Wildcats can’t take the Dragon’s heat


Breane Orlando

Mitchell Hansen (7) and Logan Weinandt (95) take down MSU Moorhead wide receiver Cory Ambrose last Thursday in the season opener. WSC would fall to the Dragons 41-24, leaving the field with a 0-1 record.

Shawn Henley, Staff Writer

Wayne State football fell 41-24 to MSU Moorhead in the season opener this past Thursday night. The loss brings the Wildcats’ record to 0-1 to start off the year, while the Dragons begin the season 1-0.

“We left 21 points on the board. Offensively it was disappointing,” head coach Dan McLaughlin said.

The game changer was when WSC’s Cody Netusil got a 70-yard punt that drove MSU Moorhead returner Michael Strand back to the five-yard line. This resulted in a fumble recovered by Wildcat Cam Montgomery, giving WSC a first and goal at the MSUM 4.

On third and goal from the one, WSC fullback Houston Huss fumbled at the one and the Dragons recovered. MSU Moorhead then marched 99 yards for a score to take a 35-10 lead with a couple of minutes left in the third.

“That was the game right there,” McLaughlin said. “At the start of the fourth quarter I still thought we were going to win. We were down 10 and had moved the ball pretty well, and then we fumbled and gave it back to them. That was a big part too, and the bottom line was that we just didn’t play well enough to win.”

The fumble was the only turnover during the game.

“I thought our special teams were really good,” McLaughlin said. “Our special teams last year were poor, but we did a good job this past week with special teams.”
One of the standouts of the game was Ethan Knudson, a freshman kicker, who gave WSC its first points of the game.

“We had some kids come back from injury that played well, so that was good to see,” McLaughlin said.

Injuries, such as starting quarterback Zach Osborn season-ending hand injury, were a downfall for the team last year.

“We got some things to build on for sure,” McLaughlin said.

The Wildcats are coached defensively by University of Nebraska-Omaha graduate Scott McLaughlin.

“I thought for the most part our kids played pretty hard,” Scott McLaughlin said. “We had moments where we stepped up and got some three and outs and stopped their momentum. We just couldn’t do it enough.”

“We just couldn’t win any one-on-one. They had a 6-4 wide-out that about four times just went up over us and we had a guy right there and we couldn’t get the ball and that was really frustrating,” Scott McLaughlin said. “That, and we missed a couple of tackles. Believe it or not, that’s 41 points.”

The Wildcats have a young team this year, and they have a lot to learn.

“We had half our defensive that haven’t played football in almost two years or college football at all,” Scott McLaughlin said. “We had some true freshmen out there. I think that’s part of it, just learning the speed of the game, and hopefully we grow from that.”

The team is looking to bounce back after a tough loss to a talented MSU Moorhead team.
Kickoff for this Saturday’s game is 6 p.m. in Wayne against Minot State.