WSC wins against Minnesota Duluth 31-28

Luke Stara, News Writer

Wayne State College upsets the #11 Minnesota Duluth Bulldogs 31-28 behind five turnovers by the Wildcat defense and a late field goal on Saturday, Sept. 25.

The Wildcats came into Duluth looking for their first win against the Bulldogs since 2011 and their second win all-time. The first four drives of the game resulted in no points and punts for both teams.

The Wildcats moved the football down into Bulldog territory, but fourth and first was stopped by the Bulldogs defense. After three straight incompletions, the Bulldogs went three-and-out and punted the football back to the Wildcats.

After a delay of game penalty against the Wildcats, freshman quarterback Nick Bohn threw an interception at the Wildcats’ 28-yard line, giving the Bulldogs great field position.

On the next play from scrimmage, fifth year senior running back Cazz Martin took a 28-yard run for a touchdown, giving the Bulldogs a 7-0 lead with 5:34 left in the first quarter.

The Wildcats put together a drive at the end of the first and beginning of the second quarter after a 17-yard catch by senior wide receiver Taurean Grady and a 34-yard catch by senior wide receiver Trystan Ducker.

A two-yard touchdown run by Bohn tied the game 7-7 with 14:15 left in the second quarter.

On the Bulldogs next drive, freshman defensive back Gerale Flye forced and recovered a fumble on the Bulldogs 23-yard line. One play later, Grady caught a pass from Bohn to give the Wildcats a 14-7 lead.

After a short punt by the Bulldogs, the Wildcats got the ball at the UMD 37-yard line. After a 23-yard pass from Bohn to junior wide receiver Mason Lee, senior running back Anthony Watkins scored a 12-yard run for the Wildcats third touchdown of the second quarter, making it 21-7.

The Bulldogs made it a one score game on the first play of the next drive after Martin ran 75 yards into the end zone after a few missed tackles by the Wildcats.

On the Wildcats’ next possession, they faced a third and one at the UMD 48-yard line. Watkins saved the Wildcats with a 48-yard touchdown run to make it a 28-14 game with 6:21 left in the second quarter.

On the last drive of the first half, the Bulldogs drove down to the Wildcats 5-yard line and scored a touchdown after a 5-yard touchdown pass from fifth year senior quarterback John Larson to senior Armani Carmickle made it a 28-21 game going into half.

At the start of the second half, the Bulldogs threw an interception, giving the Wildcats great field position at the UMD 33-yard line.

After two penalties against the Wildcats, they were forced to give the ball back to the Bulldogs.

The Bulldogs put together a 14-play drive and drove to the Wildcat 33-yard line, but another fumble by the Bulldogs gave the Wildcats the ball back.

The Wildcats were unable to move the football on the ensuing drive and were forced to punt. After a snap was mishandled by junior kicker Alex Powders, the Bulldogs swarmed him and tackled him at the Wayne State 9-yard line.

Starting with great field position, the Bulldogs moved the ball to the 4-yard line, but on third down, Larson threw another interception into the end zone. After getting his first interception of his career last weekend, senior defensive back Kevin Ransom picked off Larson for his third interception of the season.

Another scoreless drive by the Wildcats at the end of the third quarter gave the Bulldogs the ball back. The Bulldogs drove down the field after a 34-yard pass from Larson to Carmickle. Martin ran 6 yards for his third touchdown of the game, making it a 28-28 game with 13:55 in the fourth quarter.

After two drives that ended in punts by both teams, Wayne State got the ball with 8:40 left in the fourth quarter. After two pass interference penalties by the Bulldogs, the Wildcats were able to get down to the UMD 37-yard line. Powders attempted and made a 35-yard field goal with 2:25 left in the game, giving the Wildcats a 31-28 lead.

The Bulldogs tried to put together a drive, but the Wildcats defense forced another fumble thanks to freshman linebacker Alex Kowalczyk and junior linebacker Ijaaz Rashid pounced on the ball.

The Wildcats were able to kneel the last 58 seconds of the game and the Wildcats pulled off an upset against the Bulldogs.

Quarterback Bohn threw for 224 yards and 2 touchdowns on the night and rushed for 71 yards and a touchdown.

The leading rusher for the Wildcats was Watkins with 115 yards and a touchdown. Watkins added a score with a touchdown reception for 12 yards.

The winning state for the Wildcats was the turnover battle. The Wildcats won the turnover battle, forcing three fumbles and intercepting two passes from the Bulldogs’ Larson.

The Wildcats outgained the Bulldogs 357 yards to 337 yards.

Wayne State beat a nationally ranked opponent for the first time since Oct. 4, 2014. This is only the second win against the Bulldogs in school history.

The Wildcats host the Winona State Warriors on Saturday, Oct. 2 for the Homecoming game at Bob Cunningham Field in Wayne.