Northwest Missouri State is playing in its 10th Division II National Championship (photo/Bearcats Facebook)

Northwest Missouri overcame three turnovers as they held Ferris State to just 284 yards in a 35-20 win that earned them a trip to their second straight national title game.

The Bearcats struck first at the 5:32 mark in the first quarter as they used a 14-play 92-yard drive to open the scoring with a Randy Schmidt four-yard rush.

“It is hard not to get emotional when you talk about our team tonight and their performance,” Northwest coach Adam Dorrel said. “I thought it was one of the gutsier performances in Bearcat history.

“I’ve been part of a lot of big games here as an assistant coach and head coach and I don’t know if I have seen a team grind out a victory against a better team than we did today. You look at the amount of injuries we had and when they happened.”

Ferris State would answer early in the second quarter as their quarterback Trevor Bermingham took it in from three yards out to knot up the score. The Bulldogs would strike again as they took advantage of a NWMSU turnover and Bermingham called his own number again, this time from four-yards out.

The Bearcats would block the extra point, and on the next drive Jonathan Baker would find Shane Williams for a 19-yard strike making it a 14-13 lead. NWMSU struck again as Cameron Wilcox ran it in from two yards out to make it a 21-13 lead with 3:14 to go in the half.

Coming out of halftime Davontae Harrington would run in from six-yards out for FSU to cut it to a 21-20 lead with 9:51 to go in the third quarter. The Bearcats would answer as Wilcox got his second score of the day this time from one-yard out making it a 28-20 lead with four seconds to go in the third.

The Bearcats would put the game away as Phil Jackson scored from ten-yards out with 4:45 to go in the fourth quarter.

For the Bearcats, Baker finished with 139 yards passing and one touchdown while Schmidt carried the ball 13 times for 71 yards and a score. Jackson finished with 45 on the ground while Wilcox added 41 yards with his two touchdowns. Dre Washington had a big day receiving hauling in six passes for 74 yards.

On the defensive side of the ball Jacob Vollstedt had 12 tackles including 2.5 for a loss and also forced a fumble. Colin Bevins finished with a sack and Jarrod Bishop added nine tackles while Kevin Berg had eight.

The Bearcats will face North Alabama in the national championship on Dec. 17 at 3 p.m. from Children’s Mercy Park in Kansas City.

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