DULUTH, Minn. -- The cinderella story of the
2011 Wayne State University football team continued on Saturday as
the Warriors (11-3 overall) claimed a 31-25 triumph at Minnesota
Duluth (11-3 overall), the defending national champions.
WSU, seeded sixth in Super Region 3, recorded three consecutive road wins (48-38 at #14-St. Cloud State, 38-26 at #4 Nebraska Kearney, and 31-25 at #9 Minnesota Duluth) to advance to next weekend's national semifinal contest at Winston-Salem.
In a defensive first half that saw teams combine for 190 yards of total offense (UMD - 126; WSU - 64), it was the Warrior special teams that set up the lone touchdown.
After the Bulldogs tallied the only points of the opening stanza on a 39-yard field goal by David Nadeau, Wayne State's punt team blocked a UMD punt that was recovered at the UMD 11. On WSU's third play, junior quarterback Mickey Mohner (Painesville, Ohio / Harvey) found senior wide receiver Troy Burrell (Port Huron, Mich.) in the end zone for an 11-yard score.
The Warriors marched down the field with the second half kickoff with fullback Chet Privett (Sterling Hts., Mich. / Warren De La Salle) scoring on a fourth-and-goal on the 14th play of the drive.
Bulldog D.J. Winfield returned the ensuing kickoff 87 yards and a two-point conversion pass was successful cutting the Wayne State lead to 14-11.
Following a 21-yard kickoff return by Josh Renel (Rochester Hills, Mich./Rochester Adams), the Warriors went 60 yards in six plays with Burrell making a great adjustment to haul in a 38-yard scoring toss. Burrell finished the contest with 11 receptions for 163 yards and two scores.
WSU's squib kickoff bounced off a UMD player and was recovered at the Bulldog 38 by sophomore Austin Nelson (Haslett, Mich.). On the seventh play of the ensuing drive, sophomore place-kicker Stefan Terleckyj (Warren, Mich. / Mott) connected on a 38-yard field goal attempt putting the Warriors in front 24-11.
It only took the Bulldogs 2:02 to score as Brian Lucas scored on a 22-yard scamper around right end on the third play of the fourth quarter.
Wayne State answered back with a nine-play, 71-yard drive culminating in a seven-yard touchdown run by Toney Davis (Muskegon Hts., Mich. / Muskegon).
UMD responded with a nine-play, 56-yard drive in 3:09 to pull within six at 31-25. Quarterback Chase Vogler found Aaron Roth for a 11-yard scoring pass on a third-and-eight.
WSU was unable to garner a first down and was forced to punt.
On the fifth play of the Bulldog drive, Vogler was picked off by junior Aaron Cornett (South Lyon, Mich.).
The Bulldogs used all three timeouts on WSU's next possession and forced another punt.
Minnesota Duluth went 50 yards in seven plays, but Vogler's 39-yard "Hail Mary" pass was batted away by sophomore Antwon Robinson (Southfield, Mich.).