Wayne State College Football Drops First Game of the Season to Winona State

Nate Bope, Sports Writer

The Wayne State College Wildcats Football Team suffered their first loss of the season in a 38-14 defeat to the Winona State University Warriors. After the Wildcats scored the opening 14 points, Winona State scored 38 unanswered points, including 24 points in the fourth quarter. Both teams are now 4-1 on the season, as the Wildcats fall to 0-1 in Northern Sun Intercollegiate Conference play. 

After a slow start to the game, the Wildcats opened the scoring with a 46-yard touchdown pass from Nick Bohn to David Elder for a 7-0 lead in the first quarter. On their next drive, the Wildcats extended their lead in the second quarter with a 19-yard touchdown run from Bohn to make it 14-0. Late in the second quarter, Winona State University  on a 25-yard touchdown run by Warrior sophomore running back Ty Gavin with 3:33 to go in the half. This cut the Wildcats’ lead to 14-7 as halftime hit.   

While the Wildcats controlled most of the first half, the second half gave momentum to Winona State. The only score in of in the third quarter was on a one-yard touchdown run from Warrior graduate senior running back Sam Santiago-Lloyd to tie the game at 14-14 early in the third quarter.  

On the opening play of  fourth quarter, Winona State University took their first lead with a 38-yard run by Gavin, his second of the game, to make the score 21-14. “He is a really shifty running back. He gets in and out of the holes and is really hard to tackle,” Wildcat sophomore linebacker Alex Kowalczyk said. Gavin would end the game with 139 yards and two touchdowns. 

The WSU Warriors only extended their lead from that point on, taking advantage of some Wildcat special teams’ miscues.  

After a WSC three and out, Wildcat kicker Alex Powders boomed a 47-yard punt to Warrior returner Darryl Williams. Williams weaved his way through the Wildcat defense and returned the punt 79 yards, extending the lead to 28-14 for Winona State. After the Warriors tacked on a field goal to make it 31-14, the Winona State defense forced another three and out. Powders had to punt again, although this time the punt was blocked by Sawyer Maly and returned 18 yards by defensive back, Griffin Wiegel to finish the game for the Warriors, 38-14. 

 “This is still a confident group. We know Saturday wasn’t the best representation of ourselves and we are going to play better next week,” said Wildcat senior offensive lineman Ryan Kennedy.  

The Wildcats will look to rebound dates this weekend against the Minnesota State University-Mankato Mavericks on Saturday, October 8th. The game also marks the Wildcats’ homecoming weekend. In the meeting between these teams last year, the Wildcats upset the then No. 10 ranked Mavericks 35-24 in Mankato, Minn. The game is expected to kickoff at 1 p.m. at Bob Cunningham Field.