Winona State University's Newspaper since 1919

The Winonan

Winona State University's Newspaper since 1919

The Winonan

Winona State University's Newspaper since 1919

The Winonan


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Warriors fall short to Mustangs

Sam Thiel/ Winonan

The Warriors had an opportunity to make some last-second magic against Southwest Minnesota State University. The clock struck triple zero on the Warrior effort as Winona State fell to the Mustangs 39-34 Saturday afternoon at Warrior Stadium.

Winona State jumped to an early lead in the game as senior running back Anthony Resnick took a screen pass from sophomore quarterback Jack Nelson 45 yards to start the game 7-0.

That advantage would increase to 14-0 after a one-yard rush from redshirt freshman running back Direll Clark with a little more than the half left to go in the first quarter.

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The Mustangs would not be silenced, however, as a nine-yard pass at the end of the first quarter and a five-yard rush right away in the second would cut the deficit to 14-13 as the Warriors would block the extra point on the latter score.

Winona State would respond a few minutes later when Tyler Swinford snagged a ten-yard pass for the score with 6:11 left in the half to boost the Warriors 21-13.

The Mustangs canceled out that score with a four-yard rush of their own to make it a one-point game, 21-20, as the teams headed into the locker rooms.

Southwest Minnesota State took its first lead of the game halfway through the third quarter as backup quarterback Blake Gimbel connected with Nathaniel Huot for a 71-yard score to give the Mustangs a 26-21 lead. The two-point conversion attempt would be no good, and the Mustangs would add on to their lead with a field goal from 21 yards out to make it an eight-point contest 29-21.

A second touchdown from Tyler Tonderum followed and increased the Mustang advantage 36-21.

The Warriors would not go away, though, as an eight-play, 64-yard drive culminated with junior wide receiver Josh Mikes-Nelson connection on their fade route, this time from nine yards out to cut the deficit 36-28.

Southwest Minnesota State looked like they would cement the game with a 21-yard field goal to put the Mustangs up by two scores at 39-28, but the Mikes-Nelson duo would strike again for a 70-yard touchdown less than 30 seconds later to bring Winona State to within five, 39-34. The Warriors went for two, but Clark was tackled just shy of the end zone.

Winona State would get one last shot at victory despite failing to recover the onside kick attempt. After forcing the Mustangs to punt, the Warriors would set up shop at their own three-yard line with 1:26 left, needing 97 yards to cap off the comeback.

On fourth down, Nelson found junior wide receiver Dylan Ulferts on a 27-yard connection.

With no timeouts, the Warriors would march down to as far as the Mustang 24-yard line, but failed to find the sidelines and a costly false start would run the clock out on the Warriors comeback hopes.

Sawyer said the Warriors did not get out of bounds, which was crucial to their advance.

“It cost us,” Sawyer said. “We were trying to get him [Nelson] to spike it, and he didn’t hear us. There was a penalty on the play and with the ten-second runoff the game is over. If we would have had seven or even ten seconds we could’ve huddled and got a play off.”

Nelson went 23-of-40 for 410 yards and four scores. It was the second time this season (423 against Mary) and third in his career that Nelson has thrown for over 400 yards. No Warrior quarterback has achieved this feat multiple times.

Mikes achieved history as well, with his two scores of the afternoon bringing his season total to 13, placing him in a tie for sixth-most in single-season history with one game remaining.

Mikes finished the game with 136 yards receiving, leading the way for the Warriors in that department.

Winona State picked up 14 penalties throughout the game for 149 yards.

“Its horrible,” Sawyer said. “We’ve always been a discipline football team. That’s gotten away from us. Today there was some frustration. You can’t have people on the field causing penalties.”

On the ground, Winona State ended with 103 total yards. Clark led the backs with 58 yards and a touchdown, while Resnick tallied 57 yards rushing and 61 yards receiving and a score of his own.

Resnick said, “Every week I plan on playing, I prepare the same way whether I’m the number two or number one back. I was excited to start, and to take it to the house on the first one was a good feeling.”

Defensively, senior defensive line Ryan Gerts anchored

the Warriors with 11 total tackles, seven of those being


Senior defensive line Kyle English posted ten tackles on the defensive line, junior linebacker Ian Murray added eight tackles, while redshirt freshman defensive back Andrew Spencer and sophomore linebacker Jarrett Wood chipped in seven.

Senior defensive line Tyler Kubler also had two tackles-for-loss for the Warriors, who allowed 172 yards passing on the afternoon.

Winona State (4-6) will wrap up its regular season with its final game at noon, Saturday, Nov. 15 against Concordia University-St. Paul (4-6).

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