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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Football playoff hopes slashed in South Dakota

Football playoff hopes slashed in South Dakota

Adam Kirk / Winonan

Senior Cameron Johnson caught the Hail-Mary pass at the side of the end zone in what would have been the game-winning touchdown for Winona State University against Augustana University on Saturday, Oct. 29 in Sioux Falls., S.D.

The refs discussed the play and ruled the pass incomplete to end the game. The loss takes the Warriors out of playoff consideration as they fell 6-3 on the season.

“Our players found a way to win another big game and it was taken away. He made that catch,” head coach Tom Sawyer said.

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Instant replay is not allowed in the NSIC so referees were forced to make the call based on what they saw.

Offensive coordinator Cameron Keller said, “We have seen the replay from about five different angles and all of the angles clearly show that Cam caught the ball clean and landed with two feet in the end zone prior to falling down. He also came up with the ball after all the wrestling so it’s tough, in my mind, to justify not calling it a touchdown.”

On the opening drive, Winona went down the field on a four-play drive. A 48-yard run from senior running back Paul Preston set the Warriors up for a 17-yard pass from Nelson to senior tight end Abe Folkerts.

Augustana countered with a touchdown on their first drive. The Vikings went 69-yards on eight plays and scored on a four-yard pass.

Winona was forced to punt on their next drive but the defense made big plays to end the Vikings ensuing possession. Senior linebacker Jarrett Wood and junior linebacker Aikan Major combined for a sack, then junior defensive back Andrew Spencer forced a fumble a few plays later.

The Warriors did not take advantage of their possession as they were forced to punt. The Vikings did not have possession for long though, due to an interception by senior linebacker Nick Pridgeon that he returned 24-yards.

The interception gave the Warriors good field position to begin the second quarter and set up a 35-yard field goal from junior kicker Carter McCauley but the kick was blocked to keep the score 7-7.

The Winona defense would get yet another take-away on the next drive with an interception this time by senior defensive back Sir’Vegias Steele. The Warriors were unable to score after the interception.

Augustana’s following drive set them up for a field goal but it was missed wide right. The Warriors were able to set up a 47-yard field goal for McCauley to give them a 10-7 lead at the half.

In the third quarter, Winona was forced to punt on their first two possessions and the Vikings attempted another field goal that went wide right again. Augustana went for it on fourth down on their following drive. The Warrior defense forced an incomplete pass as they took over on downs.

The fourth quarter began with a fumble from Preston and on the following Viking drive, junior linebacker Mike Imperiale forced a fumble that was recovered by the Warriors. The turnover led to a 30-yard field goal from McCauley to put the Warriors up 13-7.

Augustana fumbled the ensuing kickoff to give Winona State good field position. The turnover set up another McCauley field goal but the kick was blocked.

The Vikings took possession and went 80 yards as they scored on a five-yard run. The extra point was missed to keep the score tied at 13.

The Warriors answered right back with a 61-yard drive capped off with a Preston touchdown.

Augustana kept their momentum going as they took possession and went 75-yards in just over a minute to score on a four-yard pass. The extra point attempt was originally blocked but due to a penalty they got a second chance and took the lead 21-20.

The Warriors had one final chance to set up a Hail-Mary. Nelson threw from the 50-yard-line into the end zone and Johnson appeared to make the catch. The referees ruled it an incomplete pass to end the game.

The Warriors will finish their season at home with two games. Their second to last game on Saturday Nov. 5 at 1 p.m. and their season ends with a matchup against Concordia University St. Paul on Saturday Nov. 12 at 12 p.m.

-By Adam Kirk

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