Ferris State kicks off NCAA D-II title defense with rout; Alma surges in 2nd half D-III W

Division II playoffs: Bulldogs roll in rematch with GLIAC foe Davenport

Ferris State 41, Davenport 7: Just like in their Nov. 5 matchup, the Bulldogs (10-1) dominated the Panthers on the ground, outgaining Davenport by 169 yards in Big Rapids. Uncharastically, though, FSU scored its first three TDs on passes from Mylik Mitchell, who found Dez Lyburtus, Emari O’Brien and Cam Underwood for scores of 19, 52 and 19 yards, respectively, in the first half. The Bulldogs carried a 20-7 lead into halftime and then dominated the second half. Vincent Cooley picked off a Jason Whittaker pass for a 67-yard TD in the third quarter and Mitchell added a rushing score 28 seconds into the fourth.

The Grand Valley State football team edged Ferris State in the Anchor Bone rivalry on Saturday at Ferris State.
The Grand Valley State football team edged Ferris State in the Anchor Bone rivalry on Saturday at Ferris State.

THE SEEDS:GVSU a 1-seed in D-II football tourney; could face defending champ Ferris State on Dec. 3

C.J. Jefferson led the ground attack for FSU, picking up 71 yards on six carries. Backup QB Carson Gulker had 11 carries for 44 yards and completed three of five passes for 9 yards. Mitchell, meanwhile, was 9-for-18 passing for 155 yards and added 10 carries for 27 yards.

Ferris State’s defense of its 2021 national championship continues at noon Nov. 26 in Big Rapids with a visit from Pittsburg State, which dusted Indianapolis, 35-0, on Saturday. The winner between the Bulldogs and Gorillas will face either Northwest Missouri State (which defeated Ouachita Baptist on Saturday) or 1-seed Grand Valley State, the GLIAC champs who had a first-round bye.

Division III playoffs: Scots roll along

Alma 41, Mount St. Joseph 21: After a back-and-forth first half that saw the host Scots (11-0) trail early, then surge to a 21-6 lead before going into the intermission tied at 21-all, freshmen QB Carter St. John and RB Eddie Williams took over.

St. John found Cole Thomas for a 74-yard TD pass to give Alma the lead early in the third, and then connected with Williams for a 21-yard score early in the fourth. Williams delivered an exclamation point with a 5-yard TD run with 2:38 remaining. Williams finished with 104 yards and two TDs on 21 carries while adding three catches for 22 yards. St. John completed 14 of his 21 attempts for 208 yards and the two TDs.

The Scots advance to next Saturday’s second round of the NCAA tournament, where they’ll face Aurora, which defeated Wisconsin-Whitewater, 33-28, on Saturday. The Spartans are 10-1; their lone loss came against MIAA member Hope, 38-34, in the season opener. Alma defeated Hope, 28-26, on Oct. 15. The winner of the second-round game between the Scots and Spartans will play either Saint John’s (Minnesota) or Wartburg on Dec. 3 for a spot in the national semifinals.

This article originally appeared on Detroit Free Press: Ferris State football kicks off NCAA D-II title defense with 41-7 rout