Late Wildcat Rally Falls Short To St. Cloud State
Posted: 23 September, 2012
WAYNE - St. Cloud State held off a late Wayne State rally where the Wildcats scored nine points in 15 seconds as the Huskies defeated Wayne State 24-19 in Northern Sun Conference football played Saturday afternoon at Bob Cunningham Field in Wayne. St. Cloud State is now 2-2 on the season and 2-2 in league play while Wayne State suffers its first loss of the season and drops to 3-1 and 3-1 in the NSIC.
The visiting Huskies scored early as Jack Moro intercepted a Nate Most pass on the third play of the game and sprinted 17 yards for a touchdown giving St. Cloud State a 7-0 lead 52 seconds into the contest. On Wayne State’s second series of the quarter, the ‘Cats drove from their own 25 to the SCSU five before Jordan Sefon intercepted Most to stop a potential Wildcat score.
Early in the second quarter, the Huskies extended their lead to 10-0 when Tyler Aldridge booted a 36 yard field goal. The Wildcats made a quarterback switch midway through the second quarter as redshirt freshman Brian Kent came into the game and energized the WSC offense that resulted in a 46 yard field goal from Max Martin to make the score 10-3 with 8:24 to play in the second quarter. Later in the quarter, the Wildcats took advantage of a bad punt snap by St. Cloud State and recovered the ball at the Husky 35 yard line. Three plays later, Kent scampered 22 yards for a touchdown to tie the score at 10-10 entering halftime.
But St. Cloud State regained the momentum with two lengthy scoring drives to open the second half that set the tone for the rest of the game. The Huskies took the second half kickoff and marched 79 yards on 10 plays with running back Michael Walker plunging in from one yard out to give SCSU a 17-10 lead. After forcing WSC into a three and out, the Huskies then drove 80 yards on 12 plays capped by another one yard run from Walker making the score 24-10.
Wayne State then made the game interesting in the final two minutes. The ‘Cats took advantage of another bobbled punt snap by the Huskies and recovered the ball at the SCSU 36. WSC then drove inside the 10 but Most was intercepted again by Moro at the one yard line. The WSC defense held SCSU and forced the Huskies to take a safety running out the back of the end zone with 1:52 to play making the score 24-12. On the ensuing kickoff, Wayne State’s Kevin Paulsen returned the kick 77 yards to the Husky eight yard line and then caught an eight yard pass from Most with 1:37 remaining to make the score 24-19. But St. Cloud State recovered the onside kick and ran out the clock to preserve the 24-19 win.
St. Cloud State held a 345-165 advantage in total offense over Wayne State. The Huskies ran 91 plays compared to Wayne State’s 47 and had the ball for 40:46 to just 19:14 for WSC. The ‘Cats had 119 yards rushing and 46 yards passing compared to the Huskies having 123 on the ground and 222 through the air. Wayne State’s top rusher was Brian Kent with 66 yards on nine carries. Most finished 7 of 17 passing for 41 yards with three interceptions and one touchdown while Kent was 1 of 7 with one interception for five yards. Kevin Paulsen was Wayne State’s with two catches for 15 yards and one score.
Defensively, senior linebacker Benjamin Perry recorded a game-high 14 tackles with three sacks while Jeff Pokorny notched 11 tackles.
Wayne State will be at home again next Saturday as the Wildcats host Augustana College in the annual Homecoming/Hall of Fame Game with kickoff slated for 1 p.m. at Bob Cunningham Field in Wayne.