Russell ready when called upon for Ferris State

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BIG RAPIDS, Mich. -- In Ferris State's second round playoff game against Northwest Missouri State on Saturday, Bulldog quarterback Jayru Campbell was a surprise scratch. The Bulldogs opted to go with a trio of quarterbacks and among them was West Catholic product Travis Russell.

"The first thing was do whatever I could do to help our team win," Russell said. "We've all worked so hard to get to this point, and the main mission was to do whatever I could to help our team advance and move on to the next weekend."

Russell was 6 of 11 passing for 147 yards but also added 80 yards and a touchdown on the ground in the 27-21 win.

"He can bring it all," Ferris State head coach Tony Annese said.  "He can bring great knowledge of our system, great leadership, great energy, great execution, so he brings it all."

This is nothing new for Russell, who also stepped in last season during the playoff run when then starter Reggie Bell went down with an injury. But for the former West Catholic Falcon, it has been a long wait since last fall to get big time game experience.

"Just to have that first game type feel that I've had in about a year was awesome," Russell added.  "Just felt fun and felt comfortable. I woke up sore on Sunday for the first time in a long time, which is a good feeling."

After the win on Saturday, Russell's phone received a lot of attention.

"I had 115 text messages after the game, a lot of people from back home, just so much support," Russell said.

While Jayru Campbell is questionable to play in the super region championship on Saturday at Ouachita Baptist, Annese knows he can trust Russell to play if called upon.

"He's always got confidence," Annese added.  "I've got confidence in him, the team has confidence in him."

Saturday's Super Region 3 final is scheduled at 2 p.m.

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