by CHRISTOPHER EDWARDS
From The Winonan, WSU’s student newspaper
Winona State University’s football team bounced back this week and got their first road win against Minnesota State University-Moorhead, 28-26.
Another thing they improved on was scoring touchdowns.
Their first came when junior Isaiah Hall took the opening kickoff at 98 yards.
From there, both teams punted before the Dragons would get on the board with a field goal to make the score 7-3.
On the ensuing drive, junior quarterback Owen Burke hit junior receiver Tyler Anderson for a 54-yard gain which got the Warriors a first and goal from the 10.
Three plays later, Burke found junior receiver Jake Balliu for the touchdown to extend the lead.
The Dragons responded on their next possession with a touchdown of their own but they bobbled the snap on the extra-point, making it a score of 14-9.
Winona State made another play on special teams when Balliu took the following kickoff 54 yards to the Dragons’ 32.
The Warriors turned that into three points.
Before the end of the half the Warriors added another field goal to make the halftime score 20-9.
Coming out of half the Dragons found momentum, scoring a touchdown and a field goal on consecutive drives.
They also held Winona State scoreless in the third quarter.
The Warriors looked to answer back by grinding out a 11-play drive but once again they couldn’t punch it in, so they had to settle for a field goal.
This made the score 23-18 early in the fourth quarter.
The Warriors lost the lead after a 54-yard pass by the Dragons set up a touchdown and a successful two-point conversion.
Balliu fumbled the kickoff and gave the Dragons possession deep in Warrior territory, but first-year linebacker Joe Perhats got a much-needed interception.
Perhats returned the ball 46-yards and set up a potentially game-tying field goal, but the attempt was blocked.
The Winona State defense responded with a big play of their own, forcing a safety to pull within one late in the fourth quarter.
The Dragons had a short kick on the ensuing punt and Hall took it 29-yards to the Moorhead 24.
After two holding penalties forced the Warriors backward on second down, Burke found Balliu for a 26-yard grab, setting up the game-winning 35-yard field by Oritz with 46 seconds left.
Anderson led the Warriors with a career-high 101 yards and a touchdown.
Following the game, Anderson said he felt very good about his chemistry with Burke.
“I felt very comfortable playing out there, and Owen and I were on the same page on things and just wanted to take advantage of what the defense was giving us in some tough playing conditions,” Anderson said.
After a disappointing game last week, Burke stepped up by only turning over the ball once and throwing for over 200 yards and two touchdowns.
Burke felt positive about team morale after the first road win of the year.
“It was definitely a morale boost to win in the harsh conditions, it was a full team effort and a full team win,” Burke added.
The Warriors will return home for Homecoming on Saturday against Minot State.
It has been two years since the two have met with Winona State, coming out on top in their last meeting, 47-7.
Kickoff will be at 2 p.m. on October 12.