WSC rally falls inches short
WAYNE – Wayne State fell inches short in its Northern Sun Intercollegiate Conference matchup with Augustana University from Sioux Falls, South Dakota by falling to the Vikings 27-21 here at Bob Cunningham Field.
After falling behind 27-7, the Wildcats came storming back in the fourth quarter when Nate Rogers caught a pass in the back of the end zone with eight seconds left in the contest, which would have tied the game and the ensuing extra-point would have given the Wildcats the win.
“I saw Aaron (Bleil) scrambling and I went to the back of the end zone,” Rogers said. “He threw the ball up, I caught it and if my right foot would have come down first – it was a touchdown.”
The touchdown would have tied the score and with an extra-point kick, Wayne State would have come away with a huge NSIC win.
“We need to figure out how to play with the urgency at the beginning of the game we played with at the end of the game today,” Rogers said. “That is killing us and keeping us from being what we all want to be – we can move the ball and stop the ball when it’s necessary, but we can’t do it at the beginning of the game.”
His head coach agreed with his take on the game.
Dan McLaughlin has coached a lot of football, but he was mystified as to why his Wildcats waited until the last minutes of the game to get things going.
“Good grief, if you know the answer, I’ll listen,” McLaughlin said. “I love the way we fought back and made a game of it, but we certainly could have started that way and won the game.”
The Wildcats scored first on the defensive side of the ball, Odessa Clark returned an interception 36 yards for a score early in the second quarter.
But the Viking defense stifled any Wayne State offense for three quarters.
Meanwhile, the Vikings accumulated a lead of 20-7 through three quarters and extended it to 27-7 on a two-yard run with 13:38 left in the final frame.
It was then, WSC got busy.
Marlon Warren capped off a seven-play, 75-yard drive and with 11:28 left in the fourth, the Wildcats were back in the game at 27-14.
Wayne State’s defense stepped it up to give the Wildcats a chance.
After a first down, Wayne State sopped the Vikings, an incomplete pass and a completed pass short of the first down, gave the Wildcats the ball back at the WSC 16.
Bleil went to work taking the Wildcats down the field.
Bleil hit Willie Walton for nine yards then found Rogers, who finished with 100 yards on nine receptions, for 18 yards to set the Wildcats up at the Augustana 35.
Later in the drive, Bleil hit Rogers from 20 yards away to make the score
AU (2-1) 0 14 6 7 – 27
WSC (1-2) 0 7 0 14 – 21
WSC: Odessa Clark 36 interception return, Ethan Knudson kick, 11:15.
AU: Rudolph Sinflorant 1 run, Luis Guarita kick, 8:18.
AU: Sinflorant 2 run, Guarita kick, :39.
AU: Chet Peerenboom 12 pass from Kyle Saddler, kick failed, 13:09.
AU: Braiden Petersen 2 run, Guarita kick, 13:38.
WSC: Marlon Warren 7 run, Knudson kick, 11:28.
WSC: Nate Rogers 20 pass from Aaron Bleil, 3:41