Ferris State jumps Grand Valley with first-half offensive surge, advances to third round

Detroit News staff

Jared Bernhardt ran for two touchdowns in the first quarter and threw for two in the second quarter, and Ferris State defeated Grand Valley State 54-20 in an NCAA Division II second-round playoff game Saturday at Big Rapids.

Bernhardt ran 65 yards for a touchdown on the game's third play from scrimmage, then gave the Bulldogs their second lead with a 1-yard run with 3:46 left in the quarter, making it 14-7.

Ferris State football coach Tony Annese

Bernhardt made it 21-7 with a 76-yard pass to Marcus Taylor on the first play of the second quarter, then following an interception by Cyntell Williams in Grand Valley territory, hit Mason Pline with a 26-yard scoring pass to stretch the lead to 27-7.

Two field goals by Sy Barnett gave Ferris State (11-0) a 33-7 halftime lead and Grand Valley (10-2) never got any closer in the second half.

In the second half Malik Mitchell ran 13 yards for a TD and threw 13 yards to Taylor for another. Evan Cummins closed out the Bulldogs' scoring with a 3-yard TD run.

Bernhardt finished 7-for-11 passing for 166 yards and carried 14 times for 117 yards. Taylor caught four passes for 115 yards.

Bryce Young-Walls tied the score at 7 for Grand Valley with a 6-yard reception from Cade Peterson in the first quarter. Peterson completed 16 of 35 passes for 210 yards and two touchdowns but was intercepted four times.

Ferris State and head coach Tony Annese will face Northwest Missouri State, a 50-21 winner over Central Washington Saturday, in the third round next Saturday.