Ferris State Plays For D-2 National Football Title Saturday
The University of Michigan isn't the only state school playing for a national football title. Ferris State will play Valdosta State for the Division II crown Saturday night.
The undefeated Bulldogs will try and even the score against the Valdosta State Blazers at 9pm Saturday in McKinney TX. The game will be broadcast nationally on ESPNU.
The Blazers defeated the Bulldogs 49-47 in the 2018 title game when the Bulldogs tow point conversion failed to tie the game in regulation.
That being said, Dogs coach Tony Annese says revenge is not the motivator here.
"People have hinted that this could be a revenge game," Annese told reporters Tuesday. "No, they have a big ring on their finger already so we are not getting those rings back from them, they are going to be keeping those rings and they are going to be happy about that accomplishment. So, one, we are going to recognize the fact they won the ring, we didn't and there is no getting that back so we are playing for 2021. We are playing, obviously, a lot of different guys from Valdosta, a lot of different guys from Ferris State."
In one of the more interesting story lines leading up to the title game has been Ferris quarterback Jared Bernhardt. Bernhardt was one of the nation's top Division I lacrosse players at Maryland for four seasons, helping the Terrapins win the 2017 NCAA championship.
Annese was contacted about Bernhardt's athleticism, and since Jared was a triple option quarterback in high school, which is the offense Ferris runs, the coach began the process to get him to play college football.
"I could tell he had extraordinarily great movement skills," Annese said. "I didn't know for sure he could engineer the passing game as well as he did...he's flourished with the players we put around him."
Bernhardt was unsure how he would perform as a football player, but took the job saying he just wanted to help the team out.
The Ferris-Valdosta game will be featured at watch parties throughout the state at all Buffalo Wild Wing locations.