Football takes tough loss on Senior Day

Austin Svehla, Staff Writer

Wayne State fell on Senior Day last Saturday to undefeated, top-ranked Minnesota State-Mankato by a score of 55-2 at Bob Cunningham Field. The loss dropped the Wildcats to 2-7 on the season.

The 30th annual Egg Bowl game between the Mavericks and Wildcats saw the scoring get underway when Mankato found the end zone on a 28-yard pass play with 12:52 remaining in the first quarter. The Mavericks failed on the ensuing PAT to keep the score at 6-0.

The Wildcats couldn’t find an answer to Minnesota State’s high-powered attack as the Mavericks took a 21-0 lead into halftime after two second-quarter touchdowns.

“We struggled on third down,” defensive coordinator Scott McLaughlin said. “We just couldn’t get off the field during their extended drives, and that’s just kind of what they’re about. They lead our conference in third-down conversions, so they’re just really a tough out in that phase.”

The third quarter found Minnesota State putting the game out of reach as three offensive touchdowns and a pick-six extended their lead to 49-0. The Wildcats’ lone score came when they blocked a Minnesota State PAT and ran 98 yards for the safety with 7:26 remaining. This concluded the scoring with the ‘Cats trailing 55-2.

“The next two teams are going to test how well we can run sideline-to-sideline,” McLaughlin said. “That’s something we’ve got to get a lot better at. I think we’re doing a pretty good job inside; we just need to be able to do a better job on the outside, keeping those runs from getting outside of us.”

WSC has 12 senior class members on this year’s program, ranging from transfers to men who have been a part of the program for the last four or five seasons. There are two games still remaining this year for the Wildcats, but it was the last home game for these 12 men, and their contributions to the program are admired.

“Cody Netusil, our starting punter for the last three years, has had an outstanding career,” head coach Dan McLaughlin said. “Shaun Knipfer was our starting long snapper all four years he was here. Nate Rogers is one of the best wide receivers Wayne State has ever had and has his name on almost all of our receiving categories. Some good transfer students came in and helped us out. Aaron Wright transferred down from Northern State; Emile Hope, Billy Rone, and Xavier Graham are all junior college transfers who helped us considerably even though they weren’t here very long. It’s just a good bunch of kids and a good mixture. I’m going to miss them.”

The Wildcats travel to Fayette, Iowa on Saturday to take on the 3-6 Upper Iowa Peacocks at 12:05 p.m.

“We always talk about the next play,” Dan McLaughlin said. “The most important play is the next play. You can’t worry about the play you just played, and you can’t change it whether it was good or bad. We’ve got to put this behind us and forget about it, focus on Upper Iowa and look to execute and be consistent.”