West Florida eliminates Ferris State in NCAA Division II football playoffs
BIG RAPIDS (AP) — Austin Reed threw two touchdown passes in the fourth quarter and Andre Duncombe had an interception and fumble recovery among six turnovers forced by the defense as West Florida rallied to defeat Ferris State 28-14 in the NCAA Division II semifinals on Saturday.
The unseeded Argonauts (12-2) play Minnesota State, a 58-15 winner over Slippery Rock, for the championship in McKinney, Texas, on Saturday.
West Florida was the national runner-up in 2017 and Ferris State (12-1) lost 49-47 to Valdosta State in the title game last year.
Reed, who connected with Tate Lehtio on a 34-yard touchdown to open the scoring early in the first quarter, hit Lehtio for 18 yards two plays after Duncombe recovered a fumble at the 16. On the fourth snap after that, Trent Archie recovered a fumble at the 33, leading to Reed’s 6-yard pass to Quentin Randolph with seven minutes to go.
Tyler Minor had a 6-yard touchdown run late in the first quarter to tie the game at seven and the Bulldogs went ahead 14-7 early in the third on Dion Earls’ 11-yard run.
Ferris State made two defensive stands deep in the red zone that led to short Austin Williams field goals that pulled the Argonauts with 14-13 four minutes into the fourth quarter.