Football team loses streak in ninth game

Football team loses streak in ninth game

Mitchell Breuer, Sports Reporter

The winning streak of the Winona State University football team is officially over after falling to Minnesota State University, Mankato, 27-6 this past Saturday, Oct. 28.

Offensively, the team struggled throughout the game, giving up four interceptions and two fumbles, one of which was returned for a Mankato touchdown, and zero touchdowns.

“We didn’t come out and play how we had hoped, we moved the ball well as an offense in the first half but couldn’t capitalize in the red zone, which really hurt us,” sophomore wide receiver Tanner Gran said.

Gran, who was among the leading receivers on the team Saturday, finished the game with two receptions for 31 yards.

“I’d say we have to put this one past us and really learn from it. Start preparing for [Southwest Minnesota State University] as they are going to be looking to get the sledge back,” Gran said.

The run game was stalled by Mankato’s defense, as running backs Eric Birth and Javian Roebuck combined for just 52 yards, a season low for the team.

A positive for the offense was that they were able to spread the ball throughout the field, with ten different players making a reception during the game.

The team still displayed defensive strength despite the loss, giving up only two touchdowns.

“Our defense really stepped up and played great, just like they have all season, really leading our team,” Gran said.

The defense also managed to get a sack and forced two turnovers, the first of which came after senior defensive back Andrew Spencer stripped the ball out. This allowed junior defensive end Cale Stensgard to recover the ball. The second sack came after sophomore defensive back Cole Monckton came up with his second interception of the season during the third quarter.

“I was pleased with our overall defense that we didn’t give them anything easy, hustled to the ball better, and never backed down,” senior linebacker Luke Teague said.

Teague proved to be a vital part of the defense, as he came up with 11 total tackles, eight of which were on his own without assistance. Both are season-highs for him.

“I thought I played alright. I need to be better in coverage and communication on the field,” Teague said. “I think the biggest takeaway going into next week is to get the most out of each day, and take it one day at a time. Learn from our mistakes, communicate better, and trust in one another that everyone will do their job,” he added.

The player who gained points for the Warriors this game was senior kicker Carter McCauley, who drilled both of his field goal attempts. This is the fifth time this season that he has made multiple kicks, and the fifth time he’s finished the game with zero misses. McCauley is now only four field goals away from surpassing his season high in successful attempts.

The team will attempt to get back to their winning ways next week, as they travel to Marshall, Minnesota to take on Southwest Minnesota State University this Saturday, Nov. 4 at 1 p.m.