Junior running back Eric Meyer rushed for a career-high 141 yards on 23 carries and scored two touchdowns to lead Wayne State in a 41-17 Northern Sun Conference football win over Concordia University in the 20th annual Egg Bowl Game.
With his performance, Meyer was named Egg Bowl Most Valuable Player for the Wildcats, who won their sixth straight game improved to 8-2 overall and 7-2 in the NSIC. Concordia, St. Paul is now 4-6 overall and 3-6 in league play following the loss.
The visiting Golden Bears opened the scoring, taking the opening drive to the WSC eight-yard line before settling on a 25 yard field goal by Stephan Bjerke to grab a 3-0 lead with 8:46 left in the first quarter. The Wildcats responded with a score of their own on their opening possession, driving 71 yards on 12 plays to take a 7-3 lead following a five-yard run by junior quarterback Silas Fluellen.
Early in the second quarter, the Wildcats forced a CU turnover to get great field position as senior defensive lineman Chris Barry intercepted a pass from the Golden Bears’ Spencer Ohm at the CU 30 yard line and returned it 15 yards to the Golden Bear 15. Eric Meyer then rushed the ball on three straight plays, scoring from the one yard line on second and goal to give WSC a 14-3 lead with 12:40 to play in the first half.
However, Concordia, St. Paul struck 10 seconds later as Hayden Vavra found Tyrone Ruffin on a 65 yard halfback pass to pull the Golden Bears with four points at 14-10 with 12:30 remaining in the half. WSC then drove 75 yards on their following possession, capped by a Robert Perry nine yard run, to give the ‘Cats a 21-10 advantage with 6:48 left in the second quarter.
The WSC defense then forced another turnover that resulted in a quick touchdown for the Wildcats. Troy Pribnow sacked Ohm that forced a fumble recovered by Chris Barry, giving WSC the ball at the CU six yard line. On the next play, Meyer found the end zone on a six yard run to increase the Wildcat lead to 28-10 with 5:11 remaining in the first half. WSC would score one more time in the first half as junior placekicker Nick Hope booted a 30-yard field goal with 51 seconds left in the second quarter, making the score 31-10 heading into halftime.
The lone score in the third quarter was a Nick Hope field goal from 33 yards with 32 seconds to play in the third quarter, giving Wayne State a 34-10 lead entering the fourth quarter.
Concordia’s second string quarterback Mitch Brecke engineered a scoring drive for the Golden Bears in the fourth quarter as tight end Josh Harrison hauled in a 22-yard scoring strike from Brecke with 2:18 remaining, trimming the Wildcats’ lead to 34-17. Wayne State ended the scoring as reserve freshman linebacker Daniel Leacraft picked up a tipped pass off the hands of CU receiver Tyrone Ruffin and raced 55 yards with the interception for a touchdown with 24 seconds to play, making the final score 41-17.
Wayne State finished the game with 384 yards of total offense, gaining 171 yards on the ground and 225 yards through the air. Meyer finished as the ‘Cats top rusher with 141 yards on 23 carries and two scores. In the passing department, Silas Fluellen completed 16 of 30 passes for 213 yards with no touchdowns and one interception. Junior wide receiver Logan Masters had a team-high five catches for 55 yards, extending his streak of at least two catches in a game to 33 consecutive games.sts