The Winona State University football team got its season off on the right foot, controlling the season-opener against NSIC foe Wayne State at Altra Federal Credit Union Stadium from start to finish.
The defense consistenly stifled WSC’s offense, and after an aggravating start, the offense pulled away with a 37-20 win.
Redshirt junior defensive back Cam Gavin tallied two second-half interceptions to nix Wayne State’s ideas of a comeback, and senior David Smith picked off a pass in the red zone in the first quarter.
The WSU offense left some points on the field in the first half after red-zone drives stalled, but Paul Ortiz did his job and converted field goals from 25, 33, and 27 yards out.
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The Warriors’ first touchdown of the year came off a 6-yard pass to freshman and Winona Senior High School graduate Dakota Matthees early in the second quarter. Quarterback Owen Burke tossed his second TD, this one for 31 yards to sophomore Tyler Knutson, late in the third quarter to give the Warriors a 23-0 lead.
Burke finished 23 of 33 for 313 yards and three scores, while Sam Santiago-Lloyd led the ground attack with 83 yards. WSU ran for 222 yards to total 546 yards of total offense.
Wayne State (0-1, 0-1) got on the board with a short TD pass a minute into the fourth quarter, but never sustained much.
Aaron Wright returned a kick 100 yards for a score in the fourth to bring the score to 37-14.