GRAND RAPIDS, Mich. (WOOD) — Grand Valley and Ferris State will square off in the Division II playoffs Saturday.
It is the second time this season the two teams will meet up on the gridiron. The Bulldogs walked out of Allendale with the Anchor-Bone trophy just over a month ago en route to another GLIAC title.
National title aspirations are on the line for Saturday’s game. The winner will move on to the quarterfinals of the Division II playoffs.
“It’s a huge rivalry, West Michigan here you got two programs, really storied traditions in regards to football,” GVSU football coach Matt Mitchell said. “Someone’s going home and someone is playing so when you add that to the mix there’s a lot on the line Saturday.”
“We’re not going to focus on, you know, this is the second time, it’s hard to beat somebody a second time,” Ferris State football coach Tony Annese said. “It’s hard to beat a team the first time and we are locked in on beating them a first time, again. Because that’s kind of our take on it.”
Since Annese was hired by Ferris State in 2011, the Bulldogs have won nine of 11 games against the Lakers, including the last five matchups.
Grand Valley wants to reverse that trend, and they’ll have to learn to close out close games to do so. The past four games between these two have finished within one possession.
“I think the first game was an awesome football game,” Mitchell said. “I think we look back at some of the mistakes we made. We turned the ball over in the red zone and couldn’t get off the field on third down some. So we’re in there looking at the tape. We also did some good things in that game too, it was a one possession game in the fourth quarter so take away some positives and try to use that as we head into round two.”
Kickoff for the rivalry showdown is set for 1 p.m. Saturday.