Wildcats fall to Bemidji State at home

Austin Svehla, Staff Writer

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Wayne State Football fell to the Bemidji State Beavers 27-10 last Saturday at Cunningham Field for the annual Homecoming/Hall of Fame Game in Wayne, America. The loss dropped WSC to 1-4 on the season, with a 1-3 record in conference play. Bemidji State improved to 4-1 on the year with a 3-1 record in NSIC competition.

Strong defenses made it difficult for the opposing offenses to get into rhythm and build momentum. The points started to hit the scoreboard with 13:04 left in the opening quarter, when the Beavers’ Andrew Lackowski scored from yard out to give Bemidji State the early 7-0 lead. Both teams played stout defense the remainder of the half, with the only other score before halftime coming on a 27-yard field goal from WSC kicker Ethan Knudson.

“Our defense played really well,” head coach Dan McLaughlin said. “We didn’t get much done offensively and we gave them short fields to work with and those are some things we’ve got to clean up.”

Bemidji State received the ball in the second half and promptly returned the kickoff 64 yards to the WSC 28 yard-line. The Beaver offense proceeded to capitalize on the short field with a three-yard touchdown run from quarterback Jared Henning. The failed PAT kept the score at 13-3 in favor of BSU.

In the third quarter, the Beavers made a big play on special teams when Gunner Olzsewski returned the ball from the five-yard line and made his way up to BSU’s 44, before tossing the ball to Michael Junker. Junker took the ball down the remainder of the field for the touchdown, giving BSU a 20-3 lead at the 6:00 mark.

“We’ve got to do a little better job tackling,” said assistant coach Denny Honnold. “We gave up a couple big returns that gave them short fields, which allowed them to turn into points against us.”

Bemidji State extended their lead to 27-3 at the beginning of the 4th quarter when Lackowski scored again from a yard out. WSC’s Marlon Warren capped the scoring late in the 4th on a 12-yard rush touchdown to narrow the score to 27-10.

Freshman quarterback Alex Thramer was 12 of 27 passing for 105 yards for the Wildcats and redshirt freshman Brady Brandsfield threw for 89 yards on 8 of 17 passing. Warren had 41 yards rushing for WSC. Senior Nate Rogers and true freshman Mason Lee each had 62 yards receiving.

“We’ve got to improve our consistency,” McLaughlin said. “We’ve got to continue to play great defense and clean up the special teams for sure.”

Wayne State travels to central Minnesota this Saturday to take on the 3-2 St. Cloud State Huskies at 1 p.m.

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