Wayne State College recorded its first shutout win since 2011 (7-0 over #1 Minnesota Duluth in Wayne on 9/17/11) as the Wildcats posted a 34-0 Northern Sun Conference football victory over Minot State Saturday afternoon at Herb Parker Stadium in Minot, North Dakota. The Wildcats improve to 2-6 overall with the win while Minot State falls to 1-7.
Following a scoreless first quarter that saw both teams punt twice, Wayne State got on the scoreboard midway through the second quarter to take the early lead.
Sophomore running back Maliki Wilson plunged into the end zone on a one-yard run, capping a nine-play, 92-yard drive that gave the Wildcats a 7-0 lead at the 7:36 mark of the second quarter for the lone score of the first half.
Wayne State put the game out of reach by scoring on their first three possessions of the third quarter.
The ‘Cats took the opening drive of the third quarter and marched 59 yards on 10 plays as junior quarterback Aaron Bleil found Wilson on an 11-yard scoring pass, giving WSC a 14-0 lead with 10:43 remaining in the third quarter.
Wayne State scored again 50 seconds later as sophomore defensive lineman Josh Taylor intercepted a Minot State pass and rambled 12 yards for a touchdown, giving the ‘Cats a 21-0 lead.
Following a Minot State punt, the Wildcats scored on their third straight series as Bleil connected with freshman wide receiver Mason Lee on a 31-yard pass play, putting WSC in front 28-0 to culminate an impressive 90-yard scoring drive on just seven plays.
Wayne State closed out the scoring midway through the fourth stanza as freshman quarterback Alex Thramer fired a 15-yard scoring strike to senior wide receiver Nate Rogers making the final score 34-0.
The Wildcats finished the game with 442 yards of total offense compared to 242 for Minot State. WSC gained 224 yards on the ground and 218 through the air while the Beavers collected 145 yards rushing and 97 passing.
Wilson paced the Wildcats in rushing with the team’s first 100-yard rushing performance of the season, gaining 145 yards on 27 carries and one score.
Junior quarterback Aaron Bleil completed 10 of 20 passes for 185 yards and two TD’s while Thramer was 2 for 2 for 33 yards and one TD.
Mason Lee and Nate Rogers each had four catches for 74 yards and one TD. Maliki Wilson added two receptions for 23 yards and one score.
Defensively, junior linebacker Tyler Thomsen had 11 tackles and one fumble recovery to lead the Wildcats. Emile Hope added seven stops with one interception. J’Von France, Josh Taylor and Jamal Conway-Smith each had interceptions for the Wildcat defense with Taylor’s resulting in a 12-yard return for a touchdown.
Wayne State’s defense forced five turnovers in the game, resulting in 13 Wildcat points.
The Wildcats will be at home next Saturday facing #1 Minnesota State in the final home game of the season with kickoff set for 1 p.m. at Bob Cunningham Field.