Football suffers loss against Sioux Falls

Christopher Edwards, Sports Reporter

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Winona State University’s football team took its first loss of the season Saturday, Sept. 14, against the University of Sioux Falls, falling 34-12.

The Warriors opened the game on defense and made the best of it, causing a turnover when junior defensive back Isaiah Hall came up with an interception.

Unfortunately, Winona State gave the ball back when an off-target pass by junior quarterback Owen Burke resulted in an interception.

Sioux Falls capitalized on the turnover, scoring on a two-yard touchdown run to take the 7-0 lead.

On the ensuing drive, the Warriors would go three-and-out.

The Cougars started the following drive at the Winona State’s 39 yard-line after a good punt return.

On defense, the Warriors held the Cougars to no points after forcing a turnover on downs.

After another unsuccessful offensive drive, Winona State pinned the Cougars at the three-yard line after a Paul Ortiz punt.

Two plays later, senior linebacker Noel Winch recovered a fumble for touchdown.

The extra point was blocked and the score remained 6-7.

Sioux Falls extended their lead on their next possession scoring a touchdown on a 11-play drive to extend to 14-6.

After another punt by the Warriors, the Cougars would have to settle for a field goal, pushing the lead to 17-6 at half.

After both teams traded punts to begin the half, the Warriors finally looked to have momentum as they marched down the field.

Burke ended up finding junior receiver Jake Balliu on a screen-pass for a touchdown.

The Warriors were unsuccessful on the two-point conversion so they still trail 12-17.

Sioux Falls opened take their first drive of the fourth quarter to the end zone after starting at the their own five.

The Warriors struggled in the remaining drives of the game, throwing two more interceptions and surrendering ten more points in the 34-12 loss.

The game came down to special teams. and turnovers.

The Warriors turned over the ball three times.

On special teams they had a block extra point and some big returns that led to a short field for the Cougars.

Some of the bright spots for the Warriors were Isaiah Hall who had an interception.

Balliu also had five catches for 60 yards and a touchdown.

Next week the Warriors will look to bounce back at home against Upper Iowa University.

Kickoff will at 7 p.m. Thursday, Sept. 19.