Warrior football down to 3-2 after the weekend

Robert Glarner and Joshua Hebrink

After a huge victory against University of Mary in Bismarck, N.D., Winona State University tried to grab another win this week against Wayne State College but ended up falling, 38–21.
Traveling out of state can be difficult for the team, as they have done it back-to-back for the past two weeks. Jake Balliu, fifth-year wide receiver, commented on overcoming the home team’s fans.
“The biggest component is just learning to play our game no matter where we are at,” Balliu said. “Once we step on the field, we worry about the game and have faith within each player to execute their 1/11th with every play.
Another big factor is to minimize the mistakes and fly around on the field.”
The game started with Wayne State kicking it off to Winona State, who had the ball first. The Warriors go three and out on their first possession.
Starting at their 38-yard line, Wayne State slashed through Winona States defense, getting nine yards away from the goal line.
Winona State’s special teams pressured the Wayne State kicker. The kicker missed the 26-yard field goal. Winona State takes over with seven minutes left in the first quarter.
Owen Burke, fifth-year quarterback, delivered a strike to Darryl Williams, third-year wide receiver. The Warriors gained 30-yards, moving past the 50-yard line and closer to the end zone.
Winona State marched down to the 2-yard line. Burke found Ethan Wittenburg, third-year wide receiver, in the middle of the end zone to score the first touchdown of the game. First-year kicker, Jacob Scott, scored the extra point, making it 7-0, Winona State.
Winona State kicked it off to Wayne State for their next possession. Wayne State, deeper into Winona State’s territory, with a 56-yard run by the quarterback to set them up for a 3-yard rushing touchdown. Wayne State ties it up with sevens across the board.
Start of the second quarter, Wayne State kicks it off as Balliu is back deep. Balliu receives the catch inside the 10-yard line, runs left down the sideline and tackled at Wayne State’s 28-yard line. Balliu, with a 63-yard return, set up Winona State with good field position.
The Warriors attempt a trick play. Burke with a backward pass out right to Balliu, Balliu then heaves it into the endzone to Wittenburg for a 28-yard touchdown. Scott with the extra point to put Winona State up, 14-7.
Wayne State answers with a 28-yard rushing touchdown from their quarterback to tie it up, 14-14.
Winona State needing 18-yards to move the chains on third down. Burke threw short to Jaylen Schleicher, third-year tight end, and is intercepted by Wayne State.

Balliu, giving insight on Wayne State defense before the game, said, “Wayne State has a good defense. Starting with a strong defensive line, aggressive linebackers, and an athletic defensive back group. They play hard every play and run to the football.”
After a couple of plays, Wayne State rushes it in to score a touchdown putting Winona State down, 21-14.
Winona State punted, giving the ball back to Wayne State.
Wayne State scored their fourth rushing touchdown of the game to extend their lead, 28-14.
Winona State’s offense ran back onto the field, having to score at least a field goal to keep themselves in this game. Winona State started the drive with four minutes left in the first half.
Burke steps up into the pocket and throws it left to Schleicher, who runs it down the sideline for a 37-yard gain.
With two minutes left, Winona State rushed to score before the half ended. Winona State marched down to the two-yard line with 40 seconds left. Burke hands it off to first-year running back, Noah Carlson, to score a 2-yard rushing touchdown. Scott was successful with the extra point, making the score 28-21, Wayne State up by seven.
The second half begins with Winona State kicking off to Wayne State. Wayne State goes three and out and punting to Balliu. Winona State drives down to field goal range and missed the field goal.
Mitch Sniker, a second-year defensive back, explains the defensive plan on going up against a team that hasn’t committed many turnovers.
“One of the things are defense always preaches is we try to create turnovers,” Sniker said. “We’re going to play how we always play and hustle to the ball and hopefully get those opportunities to get it.”
Wayne State drives down to field goal range, ending with a 37-yard field goal. Winona State’s next drive ends with Burke throwing his second interception of the game, ending the third quarter with Winona State only allowing a field goal.
To start the fourth quarter, Wayne State started strong by tagging on seven to their lead with a four-yard touchdown.
Winona State’s next possession did not create scoring opportunities, and the Warrior’s defensive line up ran on the field after the fourth down.
Winona State’s defense forced Wayne State to punt to Balliu, but he is swallowed up by the defensive opponents.
Winona State’s last drive of the game continues into the red zone and into the goal line, but no points are added to the board. Burke’s last throw of the game is intercepted, and Wayne State ran out the clock.
Winona State falls to 3-2 on the season and face Northern State University on Oct. 9 at 2 p.m. for the Homecoming game.