Wildcats lose game and Osborn in Duluth


Mason Schweizer, Staff Writer

If the Wayne State Wildcats had any chance of upsetting ninth-ranked Minnesota-Duluth over the weekend, it would have been due to a great performance by quarter­back Zach Osborn.

Instead, Osborn suffered a bro­ken thumb on his throwing hand and will miss the rest of the season, as the Wildcats were defeated by a score of 48-7.

Coach Dan McLaughlin summed up his team’s recent injury with a few words followed by a few laughs.

“There’s luck, and then there’s luck,” McLaughlin said.

Osborn left just two series’ into the game, going 3-7 for 21 yards. By the time he left the game, the Bulldogs had already built a 15-0 lead.

Redshirt freshman Taylor Reedy replaced Osborn, and went 19-39 for 165 yards and a touchdown to running back Ryan Ludlow, who led the Wildcats with 96 total yards.

“Taylor will start Saturday. He replaced Zach the other night and played pretty well, and we think that we’ll be alright,” McLaughlin said.

McLaughlin expects nothing to change with Reedy stepping in for the preseason honorable mention All-American at the most pivotal role on a football field.

“We’re going to do what we do. He played well, wasn’t scared, and was calm and confident, surpris­ingly so with it being his first real action as a redshirt freshman,” McLaughlin said.

“I have confidence in Taylor. We’re going to give him the keys to the car and see what he can do.”

Osborn’s injury impacted all receivers, but especially his fa­vorite target, Marcel Dunson. The sophomore from Sioux City had his coming out party in the first game, catching two touchdowns. Against the Bulldogs, Dunson was held in check for two receptions for nine yards.

Dunson was one of many younger players to struggle in the game.

“We had a lot of young guys play­ing in their first big game. There was a big crowd, it was a night game, and playing a top 10 team, I don’t know that we handled it well,” McLaughlin said.

Though they played with a backup quarterback in one of the toughest places to play in Division II, the Wildcats had some opportunities, having four drives end on downs in Minnesota-Duluth territory.

Minnesota-Duluth receiver Beau Bofferdig caught three touchdowns in the first quarter, but besides that the Bulldogs made their mark on the ground, similarly to how the Wild­cats did in their first game against Minnesota-Crookston, running for 363 yards. Logan Lauters and Ja­miah Newell led the way, rushing for 149 and 135 yards, respectively.

The Wildcats’ struggles in Duluth this weekend were nothing new, as WSC has been outscored 317-85 in seven meetings in Duluth, accord­ing to the Minnesota-Duluth athletic department.

The Wildcats return to Wayne, America this weekend, hosting Northern State at 6 p.m. Saturday at Bob Cunningham Field. It will be no easy task for the Wildcats, however. Northern State battled the number one team in Division II Minnesota State on Saturday, playing them to a 13-10 halftime deficit before Minnesota State pulled away in the second half for a 27-10 victory.

McLaughlin noted that the of­fensive line will have to protect better, facing a premier defensive line this week. Defensively, the Wildcats will have to look to stop the pass first.

“They run a Baylor-type offense, their first move is to pass the ball and spread you out, and then hit you with the run,” McLaughlin said.

If the defense can stay focused on their assignments, howev­er, McLaughlin likes his team’s chances.

Scoring Summary

1st: 10:27 UMD – Bofferding, B 3 yd pass from Bauer, Drew (Brees, Andrew rush), 10-72 4:33, WSC 0 – UMD 8 05:28 UMD – Bofferding, B 29 yd pass from Bauer, Drew (Brees, Andrew kick), 7-75 3:25, WSC 0 – UMD 15 00:13 UMD – Bofferding, B 18 yd run (Brees, Andrew kick), 6-91 3:17,

WSC 0 – UMD 22

2nd: 08:13 UMD – Brees, Andrew 24 yd field goal, 14-63 5:43, WSC 0 – UMD 25 01:24 UMD – Balts, Jason 25 yd pass from Bauer, Drew (Brees, Andrew kick), 6-69 2:17, WSC 0 – UMD 32

3rd: 06:15 UMD – Newell, Jamiah 48 yd run (Brees, Andrew kick), 3-67 1:17, WSC 0 – UMD 39 01:23 UMD – McLaughlin, T 27 yd field goal, 8-17 4:42, WSC 0 – UMD 42

4th: 14:37 UMD – Newell, Jamiah 70 yd run (McLaughlin, T kick failed), 1-70 0:12, WSC 0 – UMD 48 06:22 WSC – Ludlow, Ryan 6 yd pass from Reedy, Taylor (Simon, Sam kick), 9-60 3:28, WSC 7 – UMD 48