Football edges out Sioux Falls, 16-15

Members+of+the+Winona+State+football+team+break+from+a+huddle+during+the+first+home+game+of+the+season+against+the+University+of+Sioux+Falls+South+Dakota+on+Saturday%2C+Sept.+8+in+the+Altra+Credit+Federal+Union+Stadium.+The+Warriors+came+out+with+a+second+win+for+the+season%2C+beating+the+Cougars+16-15.+

Nicole Girgen

Members of the Winona State football team break from a huddle during the first home game of the season against the University of Sioux Falls South Dakota on Saturday, Sept. 8 in the Altra Credit Federal Union Stadium. The Warriors came out with a second win for the season, beating the Cougars 16-15.

Mitchell Breuer, Sports Editor

The Winona State University football team is 2-0 after defeating the University of Sioux Falls, 16-15 on Saturday.

The game proved to be an exciting home debut for the Warriors, with the lead changing hands four times throughout the contest.

After throwing his first two interceptions of the season on back-to-back drives, sophomore quarterback Owen Burke was able to bounce back and proved to be a critical part of the team’s success in the second half, throwing two touchdown passes. The second of which, not only providing quite the highlight but would prove to be the game-winner, as Burke launched the ball 39-yards downfield, connecting with junior wide receiver Tanner Gran in the end zone for the score.

On the heels of a 100+ yard rushing a week ago, junior running back Javian Roebuck, once again proved his worth, rushing for 78 yards.

“Overall I feel like the offense played well today. However, there are a few things that we need to work on going forward,” Roebuck said. “I feel like I had a good game, I do need to work on the little things to make my game better, and to help contribute to the offense.”

Roebuck’s biggest play of the game came late in the fourth quarter, breaking off for a 35-yard run, which in turn gave Winona a new set of downs, allowing them to kill the clock and get the victory.

Defensively, the team did what they needed to do to keep the Cougars off of the scoreboard, which included a critical fourth-quarter interception by second-year linebacker Ben McCabe. The unit also assisted in putting points on the board, this coming in the form of a safety to get the team its first points of the game. .

However, when it came down to it, it was the Cougars’ kicker that played the biggest role in whether or the Warriors won or not. As after starting a late-fourth-quarter drive from their own one-yard line, the University of Sioux Falls marched down the field to Winona’s 17, putting themselves in a reasonable position for a field goal.

However, their attempt at a 34-yard field goal would come up short, ending what would be their last offensive drive without anything to show for it.

The win will prove to be important for the Warriors in terms of national rankings, as they were the lower ranked team (Sioux Falls was 14th, Winona 15th) .

The team will look to keep their early winning streak alive as they head back on the road this weekend for Saturday night, for the Sept. 15 game against Upper Iowa University. Kickoff for the event will be at 6 p.m.