Kenneth Sanders (#45) celebrates a touchdown on Saturday during WSU’s stunning 54-13 win over the University of Mary.
Photo by Derek Dravis.
by CHRIS EDWARDS
From The Winonan, WSU’s student newspaper
The Winona State University football team improved its record to 4-2 after defeating the University of Mary 54-13 on Saturday, October 6.
From the first play, the Warriors provided a strong Homecoming performance.
It began with sophomore defensive back Isaiah Hall returning the opening kickoff for 43 yards to the University of Mary 47-yard line.
After an Eric Birth run was stopped short on a third down, the Warriors were helped by a penalty on the Marauders, which would give them a first and goal at the nine-yard line. Winona would eventually capitalize on a six-yard touchdown pass from sophomore quarterback Owen Burke to junior receiver Tanner Gran, giving them the early lead.
After a defensive stop, Hall returned the punt into Marauders’ territory, only for Burke to throw an interception on the following play.
On Winona’s first possession of the second quarter, they marched down the field for a one-yard rushing touchdown by sophomore running back Sam Santiago-Lloyd, extending the Warriors’ lead to 14. The score was set up by a 35-yard catch from senior tight end Greg Rooney.
Not to be outdone, the Winona State defense would get in on the scoring, too, with a 65-yard pick-six by first-year safety Kenneth Sanders, pushing the lead to 21. On the following drive they had another interception by first-year defensive back David Munson. Birth would fumble on the ensuing offensive drive.
On their next offensive possession, the Warriors would start at their own eight. The poor field position would not let that stop them, scoring through with junior running back Javian Roebuck making key plays on the drive with three rushes for 72 yards and a touchdown, making the lead 27-0 after a blocked extra point.
Defensively, the Warriors would force another turnover with a fumble recovered by sophomore linebacker Trey Telez. Winona would capitalize by scoring on the next play when Burke launched a 30-yard pass into the end zone with senior receiver Isaiah Frandsen making the grab. The Warriors would end the half up 34-0.
The University of Mary finally responded by scoring a passing touchdown to start the second half, but missed the extra point attempt.
The following drive, Winona responded again by scoring on a 29-yard pass caught by Roebuck. With the big lead, head coach Tom Sawyer decided to rest Burke for the rest of the game, ending his day and completing 13 of his 16 passes for 227 yards and three touchdowns.
The Marauders then scored again, making the game 41-13.
Winona State got its bench players in on offense and its reserves would take advantage of the playing by scoring 13 more points, capping off a 54-13 homecoming victory.
Next week the Warriors will seek to continue winning as they travel to University of Minnesota-Crookston. The game will take place on Saturday, October 13, with kickoff at 1 p.m.