While January is the month for the college football world to crown its Division I FBS champion, there are other schools who have played excellent football down the stretch other than Alabama and Georgia. One such school is Ferris State, who went on to dismantle Valdosta State in the Division II title game. They were victorious by a final score of 58-17, which clinched the school’s first football championship in their history.
Ferris State, based in Grand Rapids, Michigan, finished a tremendous season in style. Their championship game victory topped off a campaign in which they finished with an unblemished 14-0 record. The Bulldogs established their dominance on the ground, rushing for 459 yards, a performance which left their players rightfully feeling confident.
“I love these guys. And we’ve been the most dominant program in the nation, easily, by far,” said offensive lineman Dylan Pasquali. Via DetroitNews.com
Some of the numbers Ferris State put up throughout the course of their season were remarkable. The ground and pound approach that worked so well in the title game was a staple for them all season. They averaged over 241 yards rushing in their seven conference games, and an astonishing 45 points in each of those contests. Teams knew exactly what was coming, but couldn’t do much to stop it.
In the title game alone, Jared Bernhardt rushed for 148 yards and three touchdowns, Tyler Minor ran for 125 yards and a score, and Jeremy Burrell also contributed over 100 yards and a touchdown on the ground.
“It feels great. As a coach you do it for young people. When young people can thrive like this, it’s just incredible,” said Ferris State head coach Tony Annese. Via WZZM13.com
Annese has quite an accomplished resume. This is his third national title victory, and has been a fixture in the Michigan football scene. His first two victories came leading Grand Rapids Community College.
It will be interesting to see whether such a dominant team can remain motivated, and replenish its talent pool for a run at defending its crown. The Bulldogs should certainly be factored into the title race next season as well.