Winona state football tackles cancer


Joseph Eichele

Ty Gavin, Alec Morris, and Tyler Zirpoli celebrating in the end zone after Gavin’s first touchdown of the game.

Syerah Mulhern-Allred, Sports Editor

The Winona State University Warriors football team had their first match up in the NSIC South conference this weekend against Wayne State College. 

Going into Saturday’s match up, the Warriors sat 3-1 overall while Wayne State sat at 4-0 before getting dished their first loss of the year at Maxwell Field.  

The Warriors continued their bout of being a second half team as the score at half time was 14-0, causing the Wildcats to head for the locker room at half time feeling good.  

Saturday’s game was dedicated to Breast Cancer Awareness as many of the fall teams are doing for Breast Cancer Awareness month (October). 

The Winona State football team raised money for the Tackle Cancer initiative, which raised over $360,000 in the 2021 season amongst all the Minnesota high schools and college football games that put on Tackle Cancer games through the Randy Shaver Cancer Research and Community fund.  

The foundation supports the cancer community in Minnesota by funding research, prevention, treatment and other programs relating to the needs of the cancer community. 

Less than 10 percent of funds raised are spent on administrative costs, making efficient use of all funds donated. 

The game became heavy when Sam Santiago-Lloyd rushed a mere one yard for a touchdown combined with a Ty Gavin 24-yard rush, evening out the score. 

At the beginning of the fourth, the Warriors continued their fifth-week effort with a second rushing touchdown for Gavin and a score off Darryl Williams’ 79-yard punt return.  

Marking the third touchdown in a row for Winona State, the team now sat at double the Wildcat’s score with 28-14.  

Overall, Gavin had 139 yards for his third game of the year passing 130 rushing yards.  

“I was unlucky last year.” Gavin said about his injuries, a dislocated elbow during the 2021 season and a dislocated shoulder during spring ball. “But I knew if I did everything right in the off-season, I would be able to come back strong.” 

To finish up the strong Warrior effort, Jacob Scott had a 27-yard field goal in the fourth after missing two earlier in the game, one in the first quarter and one in the second. Despite missing two field goal attempts, Scott remained perfect on PATs for the second week in a row with 5 for 5.  

Special teams accounted for 14 out of the 38 points for the day, mainly on the effort of Scott.  

The final score came from an 18-yard punt return by Griffin Wiegel, a second-year defensive back from Kimberly, Wis. debuted this year, playing every game this season so far.  

“The biggest goal on the list is win a lot of games and championship while also growing relationships and maturity along the way,” Wiegel said. 

Clay Schueffner led the defensive effort, as per usual this season, with eight tackles and an interception. The defensive team was able to hold Wayne State to the lowest points scored since 2019 with three sacks along the way.  

Offensively, quarterbacks Trevor Paulsen and Kyle Haas played almost equally with significant snaps for both. Haas was 5 for 13 with 58 passing yards including the longest passing play of the game to Jaylen Schleicher, 38 yards. Paulsen went 8 for 15 with 17 yards rushing on four carries on top of that. 

Gavin ran 38 yards to score his first touchdown of the game, adding to his 139 yards for the day. (Joseph Eichele)

Neither suffered a sack or an interception, making for a successful offensive game. The team had 318 offensive yards compared to Wayne State’s 344, but the Warriors outgained on the ground with 178-156.  

Needless to say, Gavin had quite the game on Saturday with 19 carries, still among the league leaders in total rushing yards and attempts so far in the NSIC. 

Six players had impressive catches, most notably being Williams with 108 all-purpose yards including his touchdown punt return. Joe Sikma led in total interceptions with three during his third game of the season.  

“It really doesn’t matter if we win or lose,” Head Coach Brian Bergstrom said. “It does, but it doesn’t. We’re gonna approach practice the same way, we got to keep doing these things and fix these things.”  

With that, the Warriors will be away for the next two weeks in Aberdeen, S.D. next week to face Northern State University and Southwest Minnesota State University in Marshall, Minn. the week after. 

Both are looking to be good games as Southwest Minnesota State currently sits right above Winona State in the rankings with a 4-1 record, only losing to top-ranked Sioux Falls so far. Northern State has a 2-3 record this season, already being out of reach for the playoffs.  

After that, the homecoming game is on Oct. 22 at Maxwell Field against Sioux Falls. Stay tuned on The Winonan website and listen in to KQAL 89.5 for more updates on upcoming games. 

To further donate to the Tackle Cancer initiative, go to to learn more.