Winona State bounces back to beat Wayne State

No. 11-ranked Winona State scored 33 straight points to erase an early 13-9 deficit as the Warriors topped Wayne State 42-19 Saturday in Northern Sun Conference action at Altra Federal Credit Union Stadium in Winona, Minn.

The host Warriors opened the scoring with a safety as Nick Pridgeon sacked Wildcat quarterback Zach Osborn in the end zone for a 2-0 Winona State lead, but Wayne State’s defense responded as they created a turnover with a Glenn Harris interception that was returned 40 yards to the Wayne State 46. The Wildcats cashed that in when quarterback Aaron Bleil fired an 11-yard touchdown pass to senior Nate Rogers at the 7:26 mark of the first quarter to put Wayne State up 7-2.

Winona State wasted little time in regaining the lead as the Warriors needed just four plays and 66 yards to take a 9-7 advantage, capped by a Zach Olstad one-yard run.

Wayne State responded in similar fashion as Bleil connected with junior Layne Sullivan on a 59-yard touchdown pass, giving the Wildcats the lead back at 13-9 with 3:31 to play in the first quarter.

It was all Winona State after that, as the Warriors scored the next 33 points until Wayne State closed the scoring with a touchdown in the final minute of the game when quarterback Taylor Reedy hit Rogers a six-yard score.

Winona State finished the game with 411 yards of total offense to 333 for Wayne State. The Warriors had 219 rushing and 192 passing while WSC ended with 109 on the ground and 224 passing.

Sullivan was Wayne State’s top rusher with 38 yards on three rushes followed by Rashad Trimble with 30 yards on 12 carries.

Sullivan was Wayne State’s top receiver with six receptions for 98 yards and one score followed by Willie Walton with eight grabs for 69 yards. Rogers had three catches for 29 yards and two scores and now has 24 career touchdown passes, tied for second all-time in school history with Logan Masters, who caught 24 from 2006-09.

Defensively, Ian Ailts and DeWayne Scott led the Wildcats with six tackles each. Harris and Aaron Wright each had interceptions for WSC. Wayne State played the game without leading tackler, sophomore linebacker Tyler Thomsen, who did not make the trip due to injury.

Wayne State (4-4, 2-2 NSIC South) will be at home Saturday, hosting Concordia-St. Paul in an NSIC South Division contest with kickoff set for 1 p.m. at Cunningham Field.

The Wayne Herald

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