Winona State dominates 2nd half, hands WSC football first loss
WAYNE, Neb. --- Winona State scored 38 unanswered points after Wayne State held a 14-0 lead late second quarter as the host Warriors handed the Wildcats their first loss of the season Saturday afternoon with a 38-14 setback in Northern Sun Conference football played in Winona, Minnesota.
Both teams are now 4-1 on the season with WSC falling to 0-1 in the NSIC South Division while the Warriors are 1-0.
Wayne State controlled the contest for the first 1 1/2 quarters. The Wildcats opened the scoring on a 46-yard pass play from sophomore quarterback Nick Bohn to David Elder with six seconds to play in the opening quarter putting the Wildcats ahead 7-0.
The Wildcats scored on their ensuing drive midway through the second quarter as Bohn capped a 65-yard drive with a 19-yard TD run giving WSC a 14-0 advantage.
Winona State got on the scoreboard late in the second quarter as sophomore running back Ty Gavin bolted 25 yards for a touchdown run with 3:33 to go before halftime, cutting the Wildcat lead to 14-7 at intermission.
Turnovers and special team miscues would doom the Wildcats in the second half as Winona State erupted for 24 fourth quarter points to break away for the win.
The lone score of the third quarter came on a Sam Lloyd-Santiago one-yard run with 9:57 to go third quarter for Winona State evening the score at 14-14.
Winona State took the lead for good on the opening play of the fourth quarter as Gavin raced 38 yards for a touchdown, giving the host Warriors a 21-14 lead.
Following a WSC three and out, the ‘Cats had to punt with Darryl Williams eluding several tacklers and scampering 79 yards for a punt return touchdown extending the Warrior lead to 28-14.
Winona State added a field goal following another WSC three and out as Jacob Scott connected from 27 yards with 8:56 to play giving the Warriors a 31-14 lead.
The final score of the contest came on special teams as Winona State blocked a Wayne State punt and returned it 18 yards for a touchdown with 7:26 to play making the final score 38-14.
Wayne State outgained Winona State 344-318 in the contest, gaining 140 yards on the ground and 204 passing.
Four turnovers, two fumbles and two interceptions, and a blocked punt hurt the Wildcats in the loss.
Bohn rushed for 74 yards on 16 carries with one TD and completed 18 of 36 passes for 204 yards with two interceptions.
Junior David Elder was the top Wildcat receiver with six receptions for 91 yards and one score. Shane Orr followed with four grabs for 36 yards while Mason Lee had three catches for 33 yards.
Defensively, sophomore linebacker Dexter Larsen was credited with eight tackles followed by Jacob Byrd and Alex Kowalczyk with seven apiece.
The Wildcats return home next weekend hosting Minnesota State for homecoming starting at 1 p.m. at Bob Cunningham Field.