WSC football loses 45-31 against Winona

The Wildcats fall to 4-5 overall

Mason Schweizer, Staff Writer

A tough second quarter in Winona, Minn., put the Wayne State football team in too deep of a hole to dig out of, with a second half rally coming up short in a 45-31 loss to Winona State on Saturday.

WSC’s record fell to 4-5 on the season, and 1-4 in the NSIC South.

“There are no moral victories,” head coach Dan McLaughlin said. “We hung with [Winona State], and if we didn’t make some of the mistakes we made, we probably win, but you can’t worry about the if’s. It’s what you do that matters.”

Senior Ryan Ludlow shook off a nagging knee injury to run for a season-high 171 yards and three touchdowns.

“Ryan played an unbelievable game. His knee really hobbled him, and it was amazing what he was able to do in those circumstances,” McLaughlin said. “I told our kids after the game if we had 22 kids like [Ludlow], we’d be really good.”

A Sam Simon 30-yard field goal gave the ‘Cats the first lead of the game, but a second quarter that featured three Winona State touchdowns put WSC behind 28-10 at the half.

The defense came out ready to avenge their early mishaps in the second half, forcing turnovers on the first three possessions of the second half, thanks to some hard hits that forced fumbles. Wayne State turned them into 14 points with running touchdowns by Ludlow and Lane Yates.

“We started the game well before that spurt at the end of the first half that was disappointing,” McLaughlin said. “But they came out ready to play in the third quarter, and Jon Davis really sparked us with a couple of big hits.”

One of those hits got Davis a one-game suspension, it was reported Tuesday morning.

After a recent two-quarterback offense had been implemented in the past couple weeks, the ‘Cats were back to one quarterback, Taylor Reedy, as Layne Sullivan missed the game with a foot injury suffered at the end of the game against Concordia-St. Paul.

Originally, it was thought Sullivan suffered a fracture, but an MRI was inconclusive, and his activity will be monitored throughout practice this week.

Reedy struggled throughout the contest, completing 9-20 passes for just 70 yards. Marcel Dunson caught five passes for 45 yards to lead the WSC receiving corps.

WSC will look to get back to .500 in the last home game of the season, the traditional Egg Bowl against Upper Iowa on Saturday at 1 pm at Bob Cunningham Field. It is also the team’s senior day and the program’s seniors will be honored for all their hard work before their final home game.