Jared Bernhardt, defense lead Ferris State to dominant semifinal win

The Bulldogs beat Shepherd 55-7
Posted at 11:02 PM, Dec 11, 2021
and last updated 2021-12-11 23:02:00-05

BIG RAPIDS, Mich. — After missing last week's game due to injury, Ferris State quarterback Jared Bernhardt looked very healthy running for 201 yards and five touchdowns Saturday as the Bulldogs routed visiting Shepherd 55-7 in a division II national semifinal game.

The wins sends Ferris State to the national championship game to play Valdosta State next Saturday in McKinney, Texas.

"Two years ago 2019, it was December 14th today is December 11th, we lost to West Florida in a painful loss," Bulldogs head coach Tony Annese remembered. "I don't know who does that? Who says we'll just lock in, oh wait a second we don't get a year in 2020, we'll lock in for 2021, but that's what we did."

All three quarterbacks played for Ferris State in the win, but it was Bernhardt who did the damage scoring all five of his touchdowns before halftime.

"We all go out each week for practice and we get the same amount of reps and during the game no one is whining about I'm getting more," Bernhardt said. "We are just trying to listen to coach and he has confidence in all of us."

Ferris State ran for 453 yards in the game.

The Bulldogs defense was outstanding holding the Rams, who entered the game leading the nation points per game at 46.4, to just one score and that came on a short field after a Ferris State fumble.

The Bulldogs last made it to the national championship in 2018 when they lost to Valdosta State.