WAYNE, Neb. – Wayne State took advantage of the University of Mary’s generosity on Saturday, beating the Marauders 48-10 in the Northern Sun Intercollegiate Conference.
Aaron Wright returned the opening kickoff 100 yards for a touchdown and the Wildcats scored three touchdowns in the first quarter.
“That’s not the way you what to start a game that’s for sure,” U-Mary coach Josh Kotelnicki said. “Immediately you are in a situation where you have to play catch-up. It wasn’t a great way to start the game.”
The Marauders played catch-up the rest of the way and never got there, dropping to 0-2 on the season and in the NSIC.
The Wildcats capitalized on five scoring plays of 30 yards or longer. U-Mary rushed for an impressive 312 yards on 49 carries but struggled with special team miscues and finishing drives.
WSU quarterback Zach Osborn passed for 293 yards and four touchdowns for the Wildcats (1-1 Northern Sun, 1-1 overall).
Osborn completed 16 of 22 passes, including TD throws of 35, 15, 31 yards and 79 yards. He helped offset Wayne State’s limited running game that netted 163 yards.
WSU receiver Sam Wegner caught three passes for 125 yards.
Several mistakes cost the Marauders (0-2, 0-2). They included a 100-yard kickoff return; a 63-yard punt return that led to a score; a fake punt from the U-Mary 36-yard line that lost a yard; a failed onside kick after a touchdown that led to a Wayne State score; and a missed 38-yard field goal that was followed by a 79-yard score.
“That’s what we felt like we had to do to keep the offense with the ball and keep it away from their offense,” Kotelnicki said of the onside kick. “On offense if you throw in an explosive play that helps to change the field position … We wanted to capitalize on that. There was no sense in not calling it. We came up a yard short and put our defense in a bad spot.”
Osborn threw two scoring passes to lead Wayne State to a 21-0 lead after one quarter. He hit Sam Wegner for 35 yards and Nate Rogers from 15 yards.
DeShawn Gay, who led all rushers with 144 yards on 11 carries, had the Marauders’ biggest play of the first half, dashing 42 yards to the Wayne State 16. That led to Aaron Brennan’s 26-yard field goal with 4:42 to play in the first half.
But the Wildcats came right back to score on Osborn’s 31-yard pass to Layne Sullivan with 3:35 to play.
The first half ended with a Wayne State fumble and a Logan Nelson interception. Nelson was 0-for-2 with two interceptions while starting quarterback Colton Farmer was 2-for-3 for 44 yards.
Gay opened the third quarter with a 59-yard touchdown run for U-Mary. The speedy back tip-toed down the right sideline and broke away. Brennan’s PAT made it 28-10.
Following the score, U-Mary opted for an onside kick that Wayne State recovered at the 49 and converted into a 19-yard Knudson field goal.
The Marauders marched back down the field but the drive stalled and Brennan missed a 38-yard field goal. On the next play, Osborn hit Wegner with a 79-yard TD pass and a 38-10 lead.
Rashad Trimble ran for 68 yards, including a 38-yard TD.
The Wildcats had 458 yards of total offense to 356 for U-Mary.
“This was very disappointing,” Kptelnicki said. “We were expecting a competitive game.”