Big Rapids, Mich. — Ferris State was limited to 154 yards oftotal offense but it was enough to eke out a 21-19 victory over Harding (Ark.) in the opening round of the Division II football playoffs at Top Taggart Field on Saturday.
The Bulldogs (12-0) jumped out to a 21-0 first-half lead, then held on as Harding made it interesting with 19 points in the fourth quarter.
Ferris State will play Northwest Missouri State (10-2), which beat Grand Valley State, 42-17, in Allendale on Saturday.
That game is scheduled for next Saturday, in Big Rapids.
Ferris State quarterback Jayru Campbell, a Harlon Hill Trophy candidate and a former Detroit Cass Tech star, was 9-for-13 passing for 85 yards and a touchdown. That was a 2-yard pass to Marvin Campbell in the second quarter. Campbell also had a 1-yard TD run in the second quarter, and finished with 23 yards on 15 carries.
Jevon Shaw also scored for the Bulldogs on a 5-yard scamper in the first half.
The win earned some revenge for Ferris State, which lost deep in the playoffs last season to Harding, on a last-second field goal. The Bullogs are ranked No. 2 in the nation and seeking the program's first national championship, after the school's men's basketball team accomplished that feat in the spring.
Cole Chancey rushed for 101 yards on 25 carries, and had a touchdown, for Harding.
More Division II playoffs
Northwest Missouri State 42, (at) Grand Valley State 17: The Lakers hung touch in the first half, but then let it get away late in the sixth playoff meeting between these Division II powerhouses.
Quarterback Bart Williams, who had been nursing several injuries, was just 11-for-25 passing for 108 yards, with one interception for Grand Valley (10-2).
The Lakers rushed for 142 yards, with Jack Provencher leading the way with 60 on 16 carries, including a 2-yard touchdown run.
Dylan Carroll recovered a fumble for a touchdown for the seventh-ranked Lakers to make it 7-7 in the opening quarter.
The loss put on ice a possible rematch with rival Ferris State.
For Northwest Missouri State, Isaiah Strayhorn rushed for 171 yards and two touchdowns, and Josh Caldwell rushed for 148 yards and two touchdowns.
Hillsdale 40, (at) Kutztown (Pa.) 25: Hillsdale turned a 20-6 halftime deficit into a bit of a laugher with a monster third quarter.
Chance Stewarrt wwas 19-for-30 for 305 yards passing, with three touchdowns to one interception, for Hillsdale (10-2). His favorite target was Trey Brock, who had 170 receiving yards, including TD catches of 20 and 60 yards in the fourth quarter.
Hillsdale's David Graham rushed for 119 yards on 20 carries, and had two touchdowns, including a 28-yard scamper in the third quarter.
No. 23-ranked Hillsdale is in the playoffs for the third time ever, and is now 2-2 all-time. It will play at Ohio-based Notre Dame (11-0) next Saturday. Notre Dame had an opening-round bye.
For Kutztown (9-2), Collin DiGalbo threw for 378 yards and rushed for 107.