by CHRIS EDWARDS
From The Winonan, WSU’s student newspaper
Winona State University’s football team took their second loss of the season in a defensive game against No. 3 Minnesota State University-Mankato, 20-6.
From the start, the Winona State offense could not get anything going.
The team’s first play from scrimmage was an interception from junior quarterback Owen Burke.
Three plays later, the Mavericks scored the game’s first touchdown.
The Warriors got a good field position thanks to a kick return by junior receiver Jake Balliu.
Winona State capitalize which helped get them in the red zone, but Burke threw another interception.
Both teams punted before the Mavericks marched down the field and scored another touchdown to extend the lead.
Winona State struggled in response before finally getting a field goal late in the first half.
The Mavericks killed Winona State’s momentum, returning the ensuing kick-off into Warrior territory to set up a field goal at the end of the half making the score 17-3.
To begin the second half, both defenses forced punts.
The Warriors offense got going after a 28-yard run by junior running back Landon Jacobson, getting them to the Maverick 13.
However, the Warriors could not find the endzone, so the drive ended with a field goal making it a two-possession game.
That’s as close as the game got, as the Warriors went scoreless and gave up a field goal in the fourth.
The defense had a big fourth quarter, blocking a field goal and getting an interception.
Offensively, the Warriors were held to less than 200 yards and no touchdowns.
“We just didn’t execute at times,” Burke said. “I made some bad throws that hurt our team and I have to play better in big games.”
The Warriors will stay on the road next week hoping for better results after failing to get a win in their first two road trips.
Despite this, Burke still has confidence in his team.
“I don’t think the back-to-back away games really affect us. We are used to traveling and playing on the road and we are excited to bounce back next week.” Burke said.
The Warriors were led in receiving by sophomore receiver Tyler Knutson who had four catches for 50 yards.
The sophomore feels that he’s building confidence with his coaches and Burke.
Moving forward, in the season he feels as a team “we have a chance to get in the playoffs.”
Next week the Warriors will stay on the road against Minnesota State University-Moorhead.
Kickoff will at 1 p.m. on Saturday, October 5.