Five Wayne State turnovers resulted in 14 University of Mary points as the Marauders edged the Wildcats 34-27 Saturday afternoon in Northern Sun Conference football played at Bob Cunningham Field in Wayne. Wayne State is now 0-2 on the season and 0-2 in conference play while the Marauders move to 1-1 overall and 1-1 in the NSIC.
For the second straight week, Wayne State out-gained its opponent but the Wildcats found themselves trailing on the scoreboard in falling to 0-2 on the season.
The University of Mary got on the scoreboard first taking a 7-0 lead with 8:53 to play in the first quarter when senior quarterback Craig Bagnell connected with Nick Jolliffe from 14 yards out.
Wayne State then scored on their next three possessions and took a commanding 21-7 lead early in the second quarter. Redshirt freshman quarterback Zach Osborn led a eight play, 65-yard scoring drive that was capped by an 18 yard touchdown pass to Tonev Abraham to even the score at 7-7. WSC then forced the Marauders to punt and took a 14-7 lead just five seconds into the second quarter when Charlie Davidson had a touchdown plunge from three yards out.
The Wildcat defense once again stood strong on the next drive as cornerback Ben Radel intercepted Bagnell at the Mary 35 yard line and after a 32 yard scamper by Davidson to the three yard line, fullback Chad Koch punched the ball into the end zone to put Wayne State up 21-7.
Mary scored on the ensuing drive with Bagnell connecting with Jolliffe on a 30-yard strike to make the score 21-14. Both teams traded field goals to end the first half as Wayne State’s Tyler Basch booted a 40-yarder with 2:32 to go in the half followed by a Tyler Ryan 31 yarder with 43 seconds left for Mary to make the halftime score in favor of Wayne State 24-17.
WSC fumbled the first drive of the second half, giving Mary the ball at the WSC 11 yard line. Jolliffe and Bagnell hooked up for a third time, a five yard pass, to tie the score at 24-24 with 13:37 to go in the third quarter. Mary took the lead for good with a 35-yard punt return by Elby Pope to put the Marauders in front 31-24.
The Wildcats cut the lead to four at 31-27 as Basch connected on a 38 yard field goal with 4:50 to play in the third quarter. Mary then increased the advantage back to seven when Ryan nailed a 39 yard attempt giving the Marauders a 34-27 lead.
The next drive, WSC drove to the Mary 46 before turning the ball over on downs with 6:03 to play. The Marauders then used up some clock and moved to the WSC 24 before Nathan Scott blocked a Marauder field goal attempt giving WSC one last chance from the Mary 35. But backup quarterback Nate Most was intercepted by Mary’s Preston Tescher at midfield to seal the Marauder win.
Wayne State was able to outgain University of Mary 381-373 in total yardage as the ‘Cats had 147 yards on the ground and 234 through the air while the Marauders had 69 rushing yards and 304 passing yards. The Wildcats had five turnovers in the game while forcing Mary into two turnovers.
Senior running back Charlie Davidson once again carried the Wildcat offense with 142 yards and a touchdown on 31 carries. Fullback Chad Koch also added a rushing touchdown on his five carries for 24 yards. Zach Osborn quarterbacked WSC for most of the game and went 13-24 for 234 yards, one touchdown and an interception. Tonev Abraham was the top receiver for WSC with four catches for 81 yards and a score while Adam Stark had three catches for 63 yards, including a 45 yard reception.
Defensively, Wayne State was led by Jeff Van Den Top’s nine tackles (three solo, six assisted). Chase Samuel and Austan Pomajzl tied for second on the team with eight tackles and Ben Radel registered one interception to go with his six tackles.
Quarterback Craig Bagnell led U-Mary in rushing and passing with 304 yards passing going 33 for 53 with three touchdowns and one interception. Bagnell also added 23 yards rushing on four carries. Nick Jolliffe was targeted often by Bagnell as he reeled in eight passes for 92 yards and three touchdowns.
The Wildcats will be on the road next weekend visiting Minnesota Crookston for a 1 p.m. Northern Sun Conference matchup.
Story courtesy of Wayne State Athletics.