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BIG RAPIDS – Ferris State outscored West Florida 21-0 in the second half to defeat the Argonauts 38-17 Saturday and advance to the NCAA D-II National Championship for a second straight season.
The Bulldogs raced out to a 17-3 lead in the first half thanks in part to two short rushing touchdowns from quarterback Carson Gulker.
West Florida swung the momentum in the second quarter, scoring two touchdowns to tie the game 17-17 at the half.
But after the halftime break, Ferris State dominated the game on both sides of the ball. The Bulldogs marched 66 yards in nine plays for a touchdown on their first possession of the third quarter.
Then, Harlon Hill finalist Caleb Murphy came up with a big play for the Ferris State defense, forcing a fumble that was recovered by the Bulldogs’ Travis Miracle.
That would prove to be the only turnover of the game, and Ferris State turned into points on its next possession with Gulker punching in his third touchdown run of the afternoon.
Later in the fourth quarter, Marcus Taylor added the exclamation point with a nine-yard touchdown run to make it 38-17. Taylor finished with 181 yards rushing for the game.
The win punches the Bulldogs’ ticket back to the D-II National Championship, where the reigning champions will look to become the first D-II school to repeat since Northwest Missouri State in 2015 and 2016.