Ferris State football to host first Dec. home game

Ferris State football players celebrate following a win in the NCAA Division II playoffs.


BIG RAPIDS, Mich. (WOOD) — Deep playoff runs are beginning to become a common practice in Big Rapids.

Ferris State football head coach Tony Annese has transformed the program since taking over the position in 2011. FSU has made the NCAA Division II playoffs every season since 2014.

The playoff runs continue to run further into the postseason with each season, as the team is attempting to make its second consecutive quarterfinals appearance with a win on Saturday.

“We won more games over the last six years than any program in the state,” Annese said. “Facts are, we’ve gone further in the last two years than any program in the state.”

Saturday’s game is the first time the Bulldogs will host a December home game in the nearly 120-year history of the team’s existence.

“We’re one step away from where we (were) last year, and obviously, we can taste it, but we just have to take care of what’s coming this Saturday,” said senior running back and East Grand Rapids native Jahaan Brown.

The Bulldogs will face off against No. 7 Harding, who upset reigning Great Lakes Intercollegiate Athletic Conference champion Ashland last week.

Ashland was the only team to defeat FSU this season.

“We’ve got mad respect for them,” Annese said. “Their coach is kind of playing that they are the mangy dog, they’re not. They’ve got our full attention.”

The Bison run a triple-option veer offense, which presents a unique challenge to any defense.

“Obviously, old school offense, we’re excited,” said junior defensive linemen Zach Sieler. “(A) lot of pressure on the D-line, lot of banging and we’re really looking forward to it.

Kickoff is scheduled for noon on Saturday at Top Taggart Field in Big Rapids.