Bermingham leads Ferris to playoff win over Midwestern State

Ferris slot back Marquel Hines (9) stiff-arms defender Jerrell Sykes (16) during Saturday's 65-34 win over Midwestern State. (Courtesy photo/Kevin T. McDermott)

Ferris slot back Marquel Hines (9) stiff-arms defender Jerrell Sykes (16) during Saturday’s 65-34 win over Midwestern State. (Courtesy photo/Kevin T. McDermott)

Quarterback Trevor Bermingham stole the show in last week’s 51-17 Senior Day win over Saginaw Valley State.

This week, the senior added a six-touchdown performance to his resume after leading Ferris State (10-2) to a 65-34 win over Midwestern State (8-3) Saturday in the first round of the NCAA Division II playoffs.

Bermingham completed 8-of-10 passes for 126 yards and one touchdown pass and carried the ball 26 times for 126 yards and five touchdowns. Marvin Campbell ran for 94 yards and Jujuan Pollack added 92 yards and one touchdown. Malik Taylor led Ferris receivers with three catches for 69 yards and one receiving touchdown.

“Trevor did another outstanding job,” Ferris head coach Tony Annese said. “We did a nice job of handling the ball under adverse conditions. He threw the ball efficiently, Malik and Shaq made some nice plays.”

The Bulldogs finished the game with 362 yards rushing, all the more impressive considering starting running back Jahaan Brown and backup Robert Thomas didn’t play due to injury. Campbell, a redshirt freshman, got the start and performed well.

“Marvin had a great game,” Annese said. “He’s a special guy; we knew he was really good going into the season. I kept telling him to be patient. He took his opportunity and ran with it.”

Mustangs quarterback Quade Howard completed 17-of-32 passes for 246 yards and three touchdown passes and one touchdown run, while Vincent Johnson had 17 carries for 48 yards.

“Ferris is a good football team,” Midwestern State head coach Bill Maskill said. “Their quarterback hurt us all day long. We just couldn’t capitalize on stopping the quarterback. Our kids fought hard and got a little bit emotional and frustrated at the end of the game. We played hard; We just didn’t make enough plays at the end.”

Junior quarterback Reggie Bell started the game for the Bulldogs, though Bell and Bermingham rotated series in the first quarter. FSU struggled with the passing game early, failing to complete a pass in the first quarter under wintry conditions.

The Mustangs jumped out to a 20-10 lead early in the second quarter due to their ability to establish the pass despite wind gusts topping 25 miles per hour.

Bermingham replaced an injured Bell early in the second quarter, and the offense seemed to pick up where it left off last week against Saginaw Valley.

The Bulldogs outscored the Mustangs 20-0 in the second quarter thanks to three Bermingham touchdown runs.

“The wind was a huge factor,” Annese said. “Nobody can be prepared for this. The biggest issue was being patient. In the second quarter we were able to use the wind to our advantage.”
Bermingham carried the momentum into the second half for the Bulldogs, capping off an 8-play, 60-yard drive with a 15-yard touchdown run to make it a 37-20 game.

“He’s had so many opportunities to lead this team, not only in games but in practice. He’s built to be able to run this team, and make all the plays we need to make.”

After going three-and-out, MSU’s punt went off the helmet of a Ferris player and was recovered by the Mustangs. The Mustangs made the most of it, with Howard completing a 21-yard touchdown pass to Deandre Black to pull back within 10 points.

The Mustangs momentum wouldn’t last, with Howard leaving the game late in the third quarter due to injury.

“They’ve got a really good senior quarterback,” Annese said. “I’d be negligent if I didn’t say when he got hurt, it hurt them. They’re an extraordinarily good comeback team, they’ve pulled off some crazy comeback wins this year.”

Bermingham and the Bulldogs responded by throwing a 47-yard touchdown pass to Malik Taylor and rushed for another to make it 51-27 Ferris to end the fourth quarter.

The Bulldogs final two scores came via interception, as Tavierre Thomas and Jevonte Alexander each took one back to the end zone. Anthony Darkangelo led the team with 12 tackles on defense and Nick Huckabay added nine including 1.5 tackles for loss.

MSU tacked on a late touchdown to finish the game’s scoring.

Two-seed Ferris State will face six-seed Colorado School of Mines (10-2) in the second round of the playoffs on a date yet to be determined.

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