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Adam Kirk / Winonan
The Winona State University football team beat University of Mary 51-0 in Bismarck, N.D. Senior Jack Nelson threw for 279 yards in the game, becoming the second quarterback to throw for 10,000 career-passing yards in the NSIC conference. Head coach Tom Sawyer said this is a team record.
“[Nelson] is in the top one or two percent of all quarterbacks,” Sawyer said.
Winona State’s offense gained a total of 652 yards compared to the Marauders’ 145. The Warriors had a balanced attack racking up 321 yards rushing and 331 through the air.
This is the first time since 2007 the Warriors have held a shutout for two games in a single season. The Warriors defense was able to keep their discipline against the Marauders’ triple option.
Coach Sawyer said the coaching staff researched the style in the offseason and did a good job implementing it in practice leading up to the game.
Defensive coordinator Zac Barton said the team has three goals every week: communication, do your job and disrupt the offense with turnovers.
“We have the same focus every week no matter who we play,” Barton said.
He added that Mike Imperiale has done a great job with communication and getting the team in position to make plays.
In the first quarter, the Warrior offense came out firing and scored three touchdowns. On their first possession, Cameron Johnson scored on a 28-yard pass giving him his sixth touchdown of the season and fifth straight game with a score. He finished with eight receptions and a career-high 169 receiving yards on the day.
On their following possessions, Paul Preston scored the first of his three touchdowns on a 14-yard run. Then Nelson found Connor Schulz on a 13-yard touchdown catch. Schulz caught four receptions for 81 yards.
In the second quarter, Preston added another touchdown and first year kicker Nathaniel Gennrich converted on a field goal. Gennrich has stepped up in place of Carter McCauley who has been dealing with a hamstring injury this season.
In the first half, the Warriors’ defense forced the Marauders’ offense to punt on their first five possessions.
In the second half, the offense kept rolling on their first possession and Preston found the end zone for his third rushing touchdown of the day, a new career-high.
Eric Birth got in on the action the following drive as the sophomore running back scored on a five-yard run to put the Warriors up 45-0. Birth set a new career-high with 113 running yards on 11 carries.
The fourth quarter was no different as the defense continued their shutout. The final score of the game came from receiver Elliot Cox on a ten-yard pass from backup quarterback Darren Beenken.
Nelson’s 10,000-yard accomplishment was not the only milestone reached on the day as Johnson moved into eighth place in Warrior history for career receptions.
Winona’s defense held the Marauders’ to 37 total passing yards. Clint Warminski, a redshirt freshman, led the Warriors with eight tackles. Imperiale and Travis Frank each had seven tackles.
Coach Sawyer said the Warriors would focus on keeping their third down conversion rate high and continue to finish tackles on defense.
The Warriors will host conference rivals Minnesota State University, Mankato in Winona at 1 p.m. on Saturday, Oct. 1.
-By Adam Kirk
John DiSalle / Winonan
Winona State University claimed victories over Upper Iowa University on Tuesday, Sept. 20 and St. Cloud State University on Friday, Sept. 23. The Warriors lost to the University of Minnsota Duluth the following day.
The Warriors prevailed with a 3-1 victory (25-23, 20-25, 25-19 and 25-21) despite hitting their second lowest hitting percentage of the season.
Winona State hit a .091 hitting percentage against Upper Iowa’s .067 hitting percentage. Winona State also had 52 kills compared to Upper Iowa’s 42 kills.
The Warriors led the way with 50 assists compared to their opponents’ 39 assists.
Winona State head coach Joe Getzin said, “We had some players come off the bench that had a great performance for us that got us through a rough road trip. Sophie Wilker and Jordan Runge had a great match for us.”
Junior Taylor Goar led the team once again with 15 kills. Sophomore Maria Wrage followed with 11 kills. Wilker led the team with a .538 hitting percentage, Runge had a .286 hit percentage and Wrage posted a .250 percentage.
Goar, a 2015 NSIC First Selection, leads the team in kills with 162. She is averaging 3.86 kills per set, which also leads the team, and is tied for a team high service aces with 15.
“(Goar) has consistency that we tend to rely on. She is our go to player that we will continue to rely on,” Getzin added.
Winona State will meet Upper Iowa again on Tuesday, Oct. 18 in Winona at 7 p.m.
The Warriors traveled to St. Cloud, Minn. on Friday, Sept. 23 to take on St. Cloud State. They were able to come away with a 3-0 sweep over the Huskies 25-13, 25-13, 25-17.
The Warriors led the way with a .292 attack percentage over St. Cloud’s .018 percentage and doubled the Huskies kills with 44 to 22.
Goar led Winona State with 14 kills, followed by junior Lauren Kudronowicz with 10. However, Kudronowicz led the team with a .429 percentage, followed by Goar with a .364 attack percentage.
Winona State will see St. Cloud State again later in the season on Friday, Nov. 11 at 7 p.m. in Talbot Gymnasium in Winona.
After their trip to Iowa, the Warriors traveled to the north woods to take on the No. 2 ranked University of Minnesota Duluth, Bulldogs. This is the second straight weekend the Warriors have had to take on a top five ranked team.
The No.9 ranked Winona State Warriors fell to the Bulldogs in four sets 26-24, 20-25, 17-25, 20-25.
During the first set, the Bulldogs led the Warriors 24-22. After a timeout by Getzin, the Warriors scored four straight points to take the set.
In the second set, the competition was very close until the score was tied at 17. The Bulldogs scored three straight points and eventually went on to take the, set 25-20.
The Bulldog’s momentum carried over to the third set as they took a demanding 16-8 lead. The Warriors then scored three straight points, which led to a timeout by Duluth. After the timeout, the Bulldogs closed out the set with a 25-17 set victory.
Despite being down 1-2 in the match, the Warriors started out the fourth set with an 8-4 lead, but the Bulldogs responded with a six point run to take the lead 11-9. Duluth went on to win the match with a fourth set victory, 25-20.
The Bulldogs hit a .313 attack percentage compared to the Warriors .180 percentage. The Bulldogs also led the box score with 63 kills compared to Winona State’s 56 kills.
“Going on the road is a little more difficult than playing in front of your home fans. We need to relax a little bit and do what we do best. We play our best when we are consistent,” Getzin said.
Winona State will meet the Bulldogs again on Senior Day, Saturday, Nov. 12 in Talbot Gymnasium.
Winona State volleyball’ record overall is 12-2, and 3-2 in NSIC.
The Warriors will return home this weekend to play against Bemidji State University Friday, Sept. 30 at 7 p.m. They will play the followig day against the University of Minnesota Crookston at 4 p.m.
-By John DiSalle