– The Wayne State University football (3-5 overall, 2-4 GLIAC) ended its four-game losing skein with a 20-14 triumph at Michigan Tech University (3-5 overall, 2-4 GLIAC) Saturday afternoon at Sherman Field.
HOW IT HAPPENED
The Warriors had to punt on the opening drive as sophomore quarterback Dakota Kupp
(Waterford, Mich. / Mott) made his first collegiate start. The WSU defense, after allowing one first down, forced a Huskie punt.
Wayne State then drove 80 yards in 11 plays following the touchback with running back Demetrius Stinson
(Detroit, Mich. / Douglass) scoring his team-leading fourth rushing touchdown on a 27-yard jaunt.
Michigan Tech didn't trail for long as Jacob Wenzlick took the ensuing kickoff back 93 yards for a touchdown. It was the first kickoff return for a touchdown against the Warriors since Minnesota Duluth's D.J. Winfield had an 87-yard kickoff return in the NCAA Super Regional 3 Championship game on Dec. 3, 2011.
Sophomore DeOntay Moffett
(Muskegon Hts., Mich. / Mona Shores) returned the MTU kickoff 54 yards to the Huskie 39. After picking up two first downs, Kupp fumbled a snap with Michigan Tech recovering at its own 15.
MTU had a 13-play, 85-yard drive concluding with a 13-yard touchdown run by John Williams which gave the host Huskies a 14-6 lead.
WSU responded with a 13-play drive of its own, as senior Paul Graham
(Commerce Twp., Mich. / Orchard Lake St. Mary's) connecting on a 45-yard field goal attempt, the second-longest of his career. The 43-yard drive took 6:54 on the clock and pulled Wayne State within 14-9.
The Warrior defense began the second half on a high note. After allowing two first downs, they stuffed MTU signal caller Jake Brown on a quarterback sneak on a fourth-and-one at the WSU 28.
WSU's offense responded with an 11-play drive that covered 72 yards with senior Manny Mendoza
(Rochester Hills, Mich. / Rochester) hauling in a 32-yard scoring strike from Kupp to give the Warriors a 17-14 lead after Kupp's two-point conversion pass to Corey Ester
(Lake Orion, Mich.) was successful.
The next four drives (two for each team) ended in punts. On Michigan Tech's first play of the ensuing drive, senior cornerback James Howard
(Detroit, Mich. / Chandler Park Academy) forced a fumble by Huskie Jacob Wenzlick with junior defensive end Derrick Coleman
(Beverly Hills, Mich. / Country Day) recovering at the MTU 44.
Stinson had a 36-yard run on the second play of the drive, then Kupp thought he had a 12-yard touchdown run on the following play, but a late flag for holding moved WSU back to the Michigan Tech 16. Graham concluded the drive with a 27-yard field goal.
The Huskies drove into Warrior territory but a five-yard sack by Anthony Pittman
(Birmingham, Mich. / Groves) on first down, led to an MTU punt.
Wayne State then held the ball for the final 6:59 with Romello Brown
(Westland, Mich. / Livonia Churchill) carrying nine of the first 10 plays and accumulating 34 yards and three first downs.
Wayne State held a 370-250 edge in total offense, including a 243-125 advantage in rushing yards. The Warriors were 10-of-19 on third down and held the ball for 36:01, compared to 23:59 for the Huskies.
LEADING THE WARRIORS
Both Brown and Stinson had 100-yard games on the ground with Brown having 25 carries for 114 yards, and Stinson contributing 103 yards and a score on 13 attempts. It marked the second time this season, the Warriors had two backs go over 100 yards in the same game (Deiontae Nicholas
with 123 rushing yards and Brown 113 in the win at Walsh).
Kupp was 12-of-23 for 127 yards and one touchdown with no interceptions or sacks. Ester tied for game-high honors with five catches, while Mendoza led the squad with 43 receiving yards. Pittman garnered a team-best eight tackles (5-3).
LEADING THE HUSKIES
Williams led the MTU ground attack with 11 carries for 76 yards. Brown was 13-of-26 for 125 yards with Wenzlick having five receptions for a game-high 51 receiving yards.
Wayne State returns to Detroit for its final two home games of the season on Oct. 28 (noon vs. Ashland) and Nov. 4 (noon vs. Northern Michigan).