WSU’s home finale a heartbreaker
A lot can happen in one second.
With a single tick to go in regulation, the Winona State football team nearly got a sack from Jeff Brown which would have extended its winning streak to three games. Instead, it resulted in a game-tying, six-yard touchdown from Trey Heid to Charlie Hayes, with the extra point giving Augustana a come-from-behind, 35-34 victory to close out the Warriors’ home schedule at Altra Federal Credit Union Stadium on Saturday.
Carter McCauley booted his second field of the day to give Winona State (5-5, 5-5) a 34-28 advantae with 1:39 to play, before Augustana (8-2, 8-2) drove 71 yards in nine plays to complete the comeback.
C.J. Ham rushed for 96 yards and three touchdowns for the Vikings, including the first score of the game. WSU charged right back when Alan May hit Josh Mikes with a trick pass play that went for an 80-yard score to tie it at 7-7. Jack Nelson would later connect with Mikes on a 68-yard tally and Eric Birth put the Warriors ahead 21-14 with 6:19 to go in the opening half before Ham notched his second touchdown to make it 21-21 at the half.
The first McCauley field goal came from 28 yards before May found the end zone on a 22-yard pass from Nelson to give WSU a 31-21 lead with 2:25 to go in the third quarter.
Ham pushed his third score across the goal line near the midway point of the final stanza to make it 31-28, and McCauley’s second field goal gave Winona State a six-point lead with less than two minutes remaining.
Nelson tossed four interceptions for the first time in his WSU career, but still completed 21-of-33 for 318 yards and two touchdowns, and surpassed Drew Aber for completions and passing yards in a single-season in the contest.
Mikes posted the second 200-yard receiving game of his collegiate career with five snags for 203 yards for two touchdowns. Mikes is now third on Winona State’s career receiving touchdowns list with 31, one behind Scott Peters for second place.
Ian Murray recorded a career-best 16 tackles to lead WSU while making a one-handed interception, half a sack and a tackle for loss. Nickai Poyser and Mike Imperiale each accounted for 13 tackles, and Andrew Spencer contributed 11 for a Warriors defense that accrued five sacks. Kyle Coon added an interception for Winona State.
Augustana has won four in a row, but had won its previous three by an average of 20 points.
Winona State will close out its regular season at Southwest Minnesota State next Saturday at 1 p.m..
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