Football season ends with loss

Blake Hilkemeier, Staff Writer

The Wayne State College football team played their final game of the 2018 season last Saturday in Sioux Falls, South Dakota, where it suffered a loss, bringing its season record to 3-8.

The Wildcats started out the game trailing only by a touchdown at halftime, thanks to a 13-yard touchdown pass from Brady Brandsfield to Willie Walton with seven minutes left in the second quarter.

That would be WSC’s only touchdown, as USF would take control in the third quarter, scoring 12 points and taking a commanding 26-7 lead, which would eventually become the final score.

The Cougars improved to 7-4 on the year.

Although the ’Cats did not finish the year with the record they desired, they believe there is still a lot to take from this season.

“We have to just take this season with a grain of salt,” sophomore Will Barnard said. “One thing we have to do is just take a look back at all of the bad things we did this year and just put more effort into improving on those aspects of our game.”

Two areas for improvement identified by the coaching staff are the offensive and defensive lines.

“We need to get better up front on both sides of the ball,” defensive coordinator Scott McLaughlin said. “I thought we made some strides defensively up front, but we’re losing some key seniors and a couple juniors that are graduating in May, it’s definitely going to be tough.”

The Wildcats had a lot of young players on the 2018 roster and are going to need some of them to play important roles next season.

“We have two freshman quarterbacks that are going to need to step up,” McLaughlin said. “On the defensive side I hope Jacob Protzman can come back for his senior year, and I really hope to see Tyler Thomsen become a leader next year like these younger guys are going to need him to be.”

Thomsen led the team in tackles against USF with 13 total. Protzman also showed off his skills, recording five total tackles with four of those being solo.

The Wildcats season has come to an end, but the coaching staff and returning players hope to look back on this season as a learning experience, and make improvements next year to come back stronger.