Winona State Football Ends Season On A Win
The Winona State University Football team played like they were hoping for a post-season berth as they shut out Concordia-St. Paul 38-0. It was the third shutout of the season for the Warrior defense – the first time that has happened since the 1962 season.
The game started out as a defensive battle. Concordia had the ball first in the game, but their opening drive led to a punt. The Warriors then put together a drive that put them to the Concordia 25-yard line, but Carter McCauley’s field goal attempt was blocked.
Later in the first quarter, as Concordia drove to the Warrior 34, their field goal attempt was blocked by Michael Ferrante. However, the ensuing WSU drive resulted in a 3-and-out.
The Warrior offense wouldn’t get going until the last drive of the first quarter, which was capped one play into the second quarter, when Paul Preston scored on a 1-yard touchdown run to give the Warriors a 7-0 lead.
After Concordia was stopped on a 3-and-out, the Warriors next drive resulted in a Carter McCauley 21-yard field goal.
The next few drives were all defense, as neither team could get any offense going. That was, until Paul Preston took over again, on a drive with 5:30 left in the first half. During the drive, Preston rushed three times for 32 yards, and hauled in a Jack Nelson pass for 9 more yards. Preston’s touchdown run during the drive gave the Warriors a 17-0 lead heading into the Halftime break.
The third quarter would see more of Preston, as the Senior running back scored on the first Warrior drive of the second half. Preston’s 4-yard scamper was his third of the game. He would finish with 84 yards and 3 scores.
Elliot Cox would extend the lead late in the 3rd quarter, when he took a punt 62 yards for a touchdown, to make the score 31-0.
The Warriors would round out scoring with a Michael Gomez 36-yard pick 6, lifting the Warriors to a 38-0 victory.
Cameron Johnson had 6 catches for 102 yards. He finishes his Warrior career with 172 catches for 2676 yards and 30 touchdowns. Those totals are 2nd, 6th and 4th place in Warrior history.
Paul Preston ends his time with the Warriors with 3091 yards, 4th in Warrior history.
Jack Nelson reached one more milestone during his incredible career. With a 36-yard strike to Connor Schulz, Nelson went over the 3000 yard mark for the season, and the 12,000 yard mark for his career. Nelson becomes just the 15th quarterback in NCAA Division II history to go over 12,000 yards in a career.
The Warrior trio also became the first 3000 yard passer, 1000 yard receiver and 1000 yard rusher in a single season in NSIC history.
Winona State’s defense finishes the year as the #1 defense in the NSIC.
The Warriors’ final record is 8-3, the first 8-win season since 2012. However, the Warriors were not chosen to play in the Mineral Water Bowl. That honor was given to Bemidji State.
(Photo by Lindsay Oien)