#18 Sioux Falls overcame an early deficit by holding Wayne State to just 116 yards of total offense in the final three quarters as the Cougars posted a 31-7 Northern Sun Conference football victory over Wayne State Thursday evening at Bob Cunningham Field in Wayne. USF is now 6-1 and 2-1 in the NSIC South Division while the Wildcats drop to 4-3 and 2-1 in divisional play.
Both teams punted on their first two possessions before the Wildcats broke into the scoring column on their third series of the game.
Senior quarterback Zach Osborn found Sam Wegner on a 49-yard pass play, giving the Wildcats a 7-0 lead with 3:29 remaining in the first quarter.
WSC finished the opening stanza with an 82-41 advantage in total offense, but the visiting Cougars shut down the Wildcat offense the rest of the night.
Sioux Falls scored 17 points in the second quarter to take the lead for good as the Cougars built a 17-7 lead at halftime.
Senior running back Jason Towns raced 40 yards for the first Cougar score to even the contest at 7-7 with 13:44 to go in the second quarter.
Sophomore Winston Maxwell found the end zone on a one-yard plunge to put USF ahead for good at 14-7 with 8:57 to go before halftime.
The Cougars used a fumble punt return by Wayne State’s Willie Walton at the Wildcat eight-yard line with 30 seconds left in the half, giving USF a first and goal. Sioux Falls closed the half on a 26-yard field goal from Stuart Vanden Heuvel to take a 17-7 lead at halftime.
The Sioux Falls defense shut down the Wildcat offense in the second half, limiting WSC to just 88 yards of offense, as the Cougars scored two more touchdowns for a 31-7 win.
USF took the opening drive of the second half and marched 82 yards on 11 plays with Colton Myles capping the drive on a one-yard run, giving the Cougars a 24-7 lead with 9:28 to go third quarter.
The final score of the game came with 13:43 remaining as Maxwell scored on a two-yard run for the Cougars to give Sioux Falls a 31-7 win.
Sioux Falls finished the game with 376 yards of total offense while holding WSC to 198. The Cougars had 167 yards rushing and 209 passing while the Wildcats were held to just 28 yards on the ground and 170 through the air.
Zach Osborn completed 8 of 28 passes for 145 yards and one touchdown. Sophomore Sam Wegner had two catches for 89 yards and one score while senior Nate Rogers had four receptions for 52 yards.
Senior running back Rashad Trimble was limited to 23 yards rushing on 11 carries.
Defensively, sophomore Ian Ailts made 10 tackles followed by Emeka Etta with nine stops.
Wayne State’s next game is Saturday, October 21 at #13 Winona State for an NSIC South Division contest at 2 p.m. in Winona, Minnesota.