FLORENCE, Ala. -- The magical post-season run
of the Wayne State football team (12-4 overall) ended in a 35-21
setback to the Pittsburg State Gorillas (13-1 overall) in the 2011
NCAA Division II National Championship game.
The Warriors finish with a school record 12 wins (2010 squad had the previous mark at 9-2).
WSU had four turnovers plus two kicks blocked, but still had a chance late in the fourth quarter to pull within one score but a first down pass into the end zone with 94 seconds remaining ended the Warriors last chance.
Senior Josh Renel (Rochester Hills, Mich./Rochester Adams) electrified the crowd of 7,276 with a 93-yard kickoff return for a touchdown to start the contest. It was just the third kickoff return for a touchdown in Division II championship game history and the second on the opening kickoff (Ronald Moore, Pitt State in 1992).
On PSU's first play from scrimmage, quarterback Zac Dickey's deep pass attempt was intercepted by redshirt freshman Gerren DuHart (Toledo, Ohio/Central Catholic). Unfortunately for WSU, two plays later quarterback Mickey Mohner (Painesville, Ohio/Harvey) was intercepted in Warrior territory (WSU 37).
Gorilla Eric Love rushed 15 yards for a touchdown on the second play of the ensuing drive.
Wayne State had another turnover on its second play of the following drive as a fumbled snap was recovered at the WSU 37.
After a 12-yard pass completion on the first down play, the Warrior defense stepped up and held PSU to a 37-yard field goal by Chase McCoy.
Another deep pass by WSU was intercepted at the PSU 21 on a third-and-16.
The Wayne State defense, and after allowing 28 yards combined on two plays, tightened up and had back-to-back tackles for loss including a sack by freshman linebacker Nores Fradi (Dearborn Hts., Mich./Dearborn).
Following the Gorilla punt, WSU drove 85 yards in 11 plays with sophomore Toney Davis (Muskegon Hts., Mich./Muskegon) scoring on a one-yard plunge on third-and-goal to give the Warriors a 14-10 lead.
McCoy connected on a 34-yard field goal attempt to make it a one-point WSU lead with 10:26 left before intermission.
Wayne State drove 68 yards but a 22-yard field goal attempt by sophomore Stefan Terleckyj (Warren, Mich./Mott) was blocked by Paul Robinson and returned 80 yards for a TD by Aries Herrion giving PSU a 20-14 lead.
After a WSU punt, Pittsburg State went 72 yards in 10 plays with Dickey completing a six-yard scoring toss to Bristan Kelley with just 15 seconds remaining in the second quarter making the halftime score 27-14.
WSU outrushed Pittsburg State 131-86 in the first half, but the Gorillas had a 128-19 advantage through the air.
Each team punted on its opening possession of the second half, before the Gorillas fourth down pass was incomplete. WSU punted on its second possession of the half.
Dickey was intercepted on PSU's next drive by sophomore safety Antwon Robinson (Southfield, Mich.), his fifth of the campaign.
Wayne State responded with a 15-play, 76-yard drive culminating in a one-yard touchdown run by Davis. The scoring play came just two plays after a fumble ruling on the field was overturned by replay.
The 15-play drive equaled WSU's longest TD drive of the season (Indianapolis game).
PSU regained its two score advantage with a five-play, 75-yard drive as Jason Spradling scored on a four-yard run with 2:38 left.
Mohner was intercepted on the ensuing drive in the end zone for a touchback.
Davis rushed for a game-high 178 yards and WSU totaled 211 yards on the ground. PSU had 187 rushing yards.
Next season, Wayne State moves into the GLIAC North Division with the addition of Malone and Walsh to the GLIAC South Division.
The Warriors will probably begin the 2012 campaign with a non-conference contest before starting GLIAC play with a match-up at Ashland.
Today's national championship game was the final collegiate appearance for 16 seniors. Two others were hurt (Greg Oberstaedt and Kenny Loney) and did not dress, while two others (Donald Brown and Myles McNichols) did not dress.
The 2011 senior class shattered the school record for wins by a class (originally 30 by the 1974-77 squads) by recording a 35-14 mark.
July 2, 2012 Saginaw Valley State Launches SVSUCardinals.com
June 26, 2012 Michigan Tech Athletics Launches New Website
June 15, 2012 2012 GLIAC Spring Sports Academic Teams
June 6, 2012 Jamie Detillion Named GVSU Head Baseball Coach
June 6, 2012 GVSU's Zambron Named to Division II All-Star Team
June 5, 2012 Ashland's Ramsey To Appear On ESPN
May 31, 2012 WSU's Ciennik Earns Academic All-America Honors
May 30, 2012 Karr Hired as NMU Athletic Director
May 22, 2012 Grand Valley State Claims 2011-12 Presidents' Trophy
May 12, 2012 GVSU Wins 2012 GLIAC Baseball Tournament
May 8, 2012 GVSU No. 9 in the Final D-II NCBWA Top 25 Poll
May 2, 2012 Grand Valley State Rises to No. 19 in NFCA Poll
April 30, 2012 Ashland's Pendleton Drafted by the Jaguars
April 26, 2012 Grand Valley State Remained No. 20 in NFCA Poll
April 21, 2012 Grand Valley State No. 20 in NFCA Poll
April 21, 2012 Northwood Raises Money to "Strikeout Cancer"
April 18, 2012 Wayne State's Softball Team to "Strike Out Cancer"
April 17, 2012 ODU's Page Claims 900th Career Win
April 3, 2012 Ashland's Ramsey, Daugherty Receive National WBCA Awards
March 30, 2012 SVSU Helps Fight Breast Cancer
March 21, 2012 Michigan Tech's Haidar Earns Honors From Basketball Times
March 20, 2012 GVSU No. 10 in the Latest NCBWA Top 25 Poll
March 7, 2012 GVSU Jumps to No. 21 in NFCA Poll
March 6, 2012 2012 Basketball Academic Teams
March 2, 2012 SVSU No. 13, GVSU No. 24 in NFCA Coaches Poll
February 29, 2012 2012 Indoor Track & Field Academic Teams
February 28, 2012 GVSU No. 5 in the NCBWA Top 25 Poll
February 23, 2012 SVSU No. 11, GVSU No. 21 in NFCA Coaches Poll
February 23, 2012 Michigan Tech's Hoyt Named Academic All-American
February 22, 2012 Lake Erie Raises Over $1000 During Taking Breast Cancer By Storm Weekend
February 22, 2012 GVSU Remains No. 3 in the NCBWA Top 25 Poll
February 21, 2012 2012 Swimming & Diving Academic Teams
February 20, 2012 Basketball Teams to Host Pink Wave Event
February 16, 2012 Findlay's SAAC Helping to Make a Wish Come True
February 16, 2012 GVSU Picked First in 2012 GLIAC Baseball Coaches’ Preseason Poll
February 16, 2012 SVSU To Hold Free Youth Football Clinic Before Basketball Games
February 15, 2012 GVSU Climbs to No. 3 in the NCBWA Top 25 Poll
February 14, 2012 ODU Baseball Players Tutor Elementary School Students
February 13, 2012 Hillsdale basketball teams participate in GLIAC's Pink Wave event
February 13, 2012 19 GLIAC Men's Cross Country Runners Earn USTFCCCA All-Academic Status
February 10, 2012 Lake Erie College Basketball Taking Breast Cancer by Storm Feb. 16-18
February 10, 2012 2012 SVSU Breast Cancer Survivor and Recognition Event
February 9, 2012 Wayne State Basketball To Host Pink Wave Games This Saturday
February 9, 2012 ODU's Noffsinger Recognized at Scholar-Athlete Awards Banquet
February 8, 2012 Evan Yates Joins Ashland's 1,000 Point Club
February 8, 2012 2012 GLIAC Swimming & Diving Championships Begin Today
February 7, 2012 GLIAC Schools are Shooting to Wipe Out Breast Cancer
February 6, 2012 2012 Wrestling Academic Teams
February 2, 2012 SVSU Begins 2012 at No. 4 in NFCA Coaches Poll; GVSU 18th
February 1, 2012 2012 GLIAC Football Signing Day Releases
January 23, 2012 Tiseo Named Assistant Athletic Director at SVSU
January 18, 2012 Haidar Scores 1,000th Career Point for Michigan Tech
January 18, 2012 Ashland's Loughney Named To Bowerman Watch List
January 11, 2012 SVSU Holds Community Youth Days
January 11, 2012 Ashland's Schaly Named ABCA President for 2012
January 11, 2012 Wayne State's Winters Named AFCA D-II Coach of the Year
December 22, 2011 Tony Annese Tabbed To Lead Ferris State Football
December 21, 2011 Findlay No. 18 in the NABC Division II Men’s Basketball Coaches Poll
December 17, 2011 Turnovers Costly In Wayne State's 35-21 Setback In National Title Game
December 13, 2011 NU and TU Men's Soccer Teams Earn NSCAA College Team Academic Award
December 10, 2011 Wayne State Football Team Heading To National Championship Game
December 8, 2011 LEC Football to Help Out at WDOK Rainbow Radiothon Friday Morning
December 7, 2011 GLIAC Announces Fall 2011 Commissioner's Award Recipients
December 6, 2011 Hillsdale's Otterbein Named AFCA Region 3 Coach of the Year
December 5, 2011 Ashland's Berkshire Named Finalist For Mitchell Award
December 3, 2011 Wayne State Takes Down Defending National Champions, 31-25
December 2, 2011 Northwood's Keith Lough Earns All-America Honors
November 30, 2011 OSTROWSKY NAMED NMU HEAD FOOTBALL COACH
November 22, 2011 Five GLIAC Men's Cross Country Runners Earn USTFCCCA All-American Honors
November 21, 2011 Hillsdale's Joe Glendening Named 2011 Harlon Hill Finalist
November 18, 2011 Ohio Dominican Community, Student-Athletes Raise Money for Spielman Fund
November 18, 2011 Ashland's Stutzman Makes The Case That She’s On the Mend
November 17, 2011 Football Academic Teams
November 14, 2011 Findlay's Seth White Named GLIAC Football "Offensive Player of the Week"
November 10, 2011 GLIAC Football Preview Notes - Week 11
November 10, 2011 Ashland's Yates Goes About the Business of Basketball
November 10, 2011 ODU's Men's Basketball Teams Up with Sodexo to Stop Hunger
November 9, 2011 Saginaw Valley State Ranked No. 16 in the Latest NSCAA D-II Top 25
November 8, 2011 16 GLIAC Runners Earn Men's USTFCCCA All-Midwest Region
November 7, 2011 Big Shakeup in AFCA Division II Coaches' Poll
November 4, 2011 Northwood and Tiffin Advance to GLIAC Men's Soccer Tournament Final
November 3, 2011 GLIAC Football Preview Notes - Week 10
November 3, 2011 GLIAC Men's Soccer Academic Teams Announced
November 3, 2011 SVSU, NU, ODU, and TU Ranked in the NCAA Midwest Regional Rankings
October 30, 2011 2011 GLIAC Men's and Women's Soccer Tournament Fields Set
October 28, 2011 Ohio Dominican Student-Athletes Step Up to 'Make-a-Difference'
October 28, 2011 Cardinals Participate in Walk to Cure Diabetes
October 28, 2011 Saginaw Valley State No. 21 in the Latest NSCAA D-II Top 25
October 27, 2011 GLIAC Football Preview Notes - Week 9
October 26, 2011 SVSU to Host 'Trunk-or-Treat' on Friday
October 26, 2011 LSSU Dig Pink Volleyball Match has Special Meaning for Three Players
October 26, 2011 NCAA Super Region #3 Football Rankings Include Five GLIAC Schools
October 26, 2011 Ferris State Football "Kids Day" This Saturday!
October 25, 2011 2011 Cross Country Academic Teams
October 25, 2011 2011 Women's Tennis Academic Teams
October 21, 2011 Ashland University to Host 2011 GLIAC Cross Country Championships
October 20, 2011 GLIAC Football Preview Notes - Week 8
October 20, 2011 Saginaw Valley State Makes Programs Debut in the NSCAA D-II Top 25
October 20, 2011 WSU Softball Team Gives Back To The Community
October 19, 2011 Wayne State No. 12 in the D2Football.com Top 25 Poll
October 19, 2011 ODU's Women’s Basketball Teams Up With LifeCare Alliance
October 14, 2011 Ashland Athletics Launches New Online Home, www.GoAshlandEagles.com
October 14, 2011 GLIAC Football Preview Notes - Week 7
October 7, 2011 Cardinals Give Back on Baseball Diamond
October 6, 2011 GLIAC Football Preview Notes - Week 6
October 6, 2011 Wayne State Cross Country Program To "Run For A Cure"
October 4, 2011 Wayne State University's Terleckyj on Mitchell Watch List
October 3, 2011 Grand Valley State Takes 2011 GLIAC Men's Golf Championship
September 30, 2011 Ashland's Berkshire Honored By Mitchell Award Committee
September 30, 2011 Northwood Ranked No. 22 in the Men's NSCAA D-II Top 25
September 29, 2011 GLIAC Football Preview Notes - Week 5
September 29, 2011 Top 14 Places Remain Unchanged in the D2Football.com Top 25 Poll
September 29, 2011 Findlay's Isaiah Ballard Named D2Football.com "Defensive Player of the Week"
September 28, 2011 Ferris State's Trent Davison Named GLIAC Men's Golf "Athlete of the Week"
September 28, 2011 LSSU's Heath Named GLIAC Men's Cross Country "Runner of the Week"
September 26, 2011 Northwood's Vinnie Vasilevski Named GLIAC Men's Soccer "Athlete of the Week"
September 23, 2011 NMU's Julie Rochester Chosen for Advanced Leadership Institute
September 23, 2011 GLIAC Coaches Participate in Coach to Cure MD
September 22, 2011 GLIAC Football Preview Notes - Week 4
September 22, 2011 Three GLIAC Teams Appear in the D2Football.com Top 25 Poll
September 20, 2011 Tiffin University Student-Athletes Promote Recycling with "Go Green" Effort
September 20, 2011 Ashland's Jay Overy Named GLIAC Men's Golf "Athlete of the Week"
September 20, 2011 Tiffin's Colin Fisher Named GLIAC Men's Cross Country "Runner of the Week"
September 19, 2011 UIndy's Ryan Forney Named GLIAC Football "Offensive Player of the Week"
September 19, 2011 Northwood's Keith Lough Named GLIAC Men's Soccer "Athlete of the Week"
September 15, 2011 2010-11 NATIONAL WINNERS NAMED FOR DIVISION II SCHOLAR ATHLETE AWARDS
September 15, 2011 GLIAC Football Preview Notes - Week 3
September 14, 2011 ODU to Induct Six Former Student-Athletes into the Athletic Hall of Fame
September 14, 2011 LEC to Host Second Annual Football and Fireworks Extravaganza
September 14, 2011 Ashland's Brock Weaver Named GLIAC Men's Cross Country "Runner of the Week"
September 13, 2011 Four GLIAC Teams Appear in the D2Football.com Top 25 Poll
September 13, 2011 WSU's Josh Mitroka Named GLIAC Men's Golf "Athlete of the Week"
September 13, 2011 Tiffin's Jeremy Ashley Named GLIAC Men's Soccer "Athlete of the Week"
September 12, 2011 Michigan Tech Enters the Latest AFCA Division II Coaches' Top 25 Poll
September 8, 2011 Northwood Announces Sixth Athletic Hall of Fame Class
September 8, 2011 GLIAC Football Preview Notes - Week 2
September 8, 2011 Northwood to Host Children's Cancer Awareness Day
September 8, 2011 Ashland No. 23 in the Men's NSCAA D-II Top 25
September 7, 2011 NCAA DII Football TV Schedule Opens Thursday
September 7, 2011 Three GLIAC Teams Appear in the D2Football.com Top 25 Poll
September 6, 2011 Tiffin's Ashton Campbell Named GLIAC Men's Soccer "Athlete of the Week"
September 1, 2011 ODU's Men's Soccer Team Volunteers at the Local YWCA
September 1, 2011 SVSU Announces 2011-12 Community Youth Days
September 1, 2011 GLIAC Football Preview Notes - Week 1
August 24, 2011 Special Events Planned For Ferris State Football "Community Day"
August 24, 2011 Cardinal Football Team To Host Cardinal Kick-Off Event
August 18, 2011 Hillsdale's Lundberg Announces Retirement From Coaching
August 16, 2011 Michigan Tech Names 2011 Sports Hall of Fame Class
August 15, 2011 GLIAC Unveils New Logo and Branding Initiative
August 15, 2011 Three GLIAC Programs Named All-Academic Status by USTFCCCA
August 15, 2011 Hillsdale's Charney Named to the WBCA Board of Directors
August 12, 2011 Blair Named Full-Time Athletic Director at ODU
August 12, 2011 Dawn Thompson Tabbed As FSU Softball Interim Head Coach
August 11, 2011 FSU AD Perk Weisenburger Named To NACDA Executive Committee
August 4, 2011 Ohio Dominican's Blazer Inducted into the OPGA Hall of Fame
August 4, 2011 SVSU Men's Golf Team Received All-Academic Team Recognition
August 3, 2011 AU's Berkshire on the 2011 Fred Mitchell Award Watch List