BIG RAPIDS, Michigan – The Northwest Missouri State Bearcat football team saw its 2019 season come to an end as the No. 2-ranked Ferris State Bulldogs posted a 25-3 victory in the quarterfinals of the 2019 NCAA Division II playoffs.
The first half featured two turnovers from both squads and the only scoring play was a 35-yard field goal from Ferris State's Jackson Dieterle with 9:02 left in the second quarter.
In addition to the pair of turnovers forced, the Bearcat defense came up with a pair of fourth-down stops in Ferris State's red zone. The last stop came at the one-yard line with :19 left in the opening half when Sam Roberts stuffed FSU's Marvin Campbell on a 4th-and-goal from the two. The Bulldogs were held to 1-of-9 on third-down conversions in the first half.
Ferris State took the second-half kickoff and marched 76 yards on eight plays that was capped by a Travis Russell three-yard touchdown run. The Bulldog score gave the home squad a 10-0 lead with 11:44 left in the third quarter.
Northwest inserted backup quarterback Jadyn Kowalski and he led the first Bearcat scoring drive of the game. Kowalski guided the offense on an eight-play, 57-yard drive that culminated in a 27-yard field goal by Parker Sampson. The key play on the drive was a 19-yard pass play from Kowalski to Alec Tatum on a 3rd-and-4 that put the ball at the FSU 18-yard line. For Sampson it was his 10th straight make of a field goal attempt from less than 50 yards this season.
Ferris State hit the biggest play of the game on a 3rd-and-15 from its own 24 yard line. FSU quarterback Travis Russell hit Jevon Shaw on a wide receiver screen for a 69-yard gain to the Northwest 7-yard line. The Bearcat defense stiffened and held the Bulldogs to a 20-yard field goal by Dieterle after the long pass play. The field goal gave Ferris State a 13-3 lead with 10:34 to play in the game.
The Bulldogs extended the lead to 16-3 on a 31-yard field goal by Dieterle. The Bulldogs took over at the Bearcat 15-yard line following a failed fake punt attempt by Mike Hohensee. Dieterle's third field goal of the game came with 6:28 left in the fourth quarter.
Ferris State added a safety when Austin Edwards sacked Kowalski in the end zone with 3:03 left in the fourth quarter. The Bulldogs would ultimately add another score with 1:26 to play on a 32-yard touchdown run by Campbell. The run capped Campbell's game where he rushed 27 times for 149 yards.
Northwest finishes the 2019 season with a mark of 12-2 overall. Ferris State improves to 12-0 overall.
NOTES: Senior safety Jacob Gassman recorded his third interception of the season and fourth of his quarter in the second quarter … Northwest has intercepted 24 passes this season … four different Bearcats threw passes in the game (Braden Wright, Jadyn Kowalski, Mike Hohensee and LaTroy Harper) … Hohensee tied a Northwest single-game record with 10 punts (Jeff LeBlanc vs. Nebraska-Omaha, Sept. 4, 1999; Matt Thorman vs. Central Missouri, Sept. 30, 2017; Matt Thorman vs. Fort Hays State, Nov. 4, 2017) … Justin Rankin led Northwest with 47 yards on the ground … Alec Tatum had a team-high five receptions for 55 yards … Braden Wright passed 6-of-16 for 54 yards … Jadyn Kowalski passed 5-of-11 for 44 yards … Blake Bayer tallied a game-high 16 tackles … Jackson Barnes notched 15 tackles.
--- Northwest Athletics ---