Wayne State upsets No. 1 UMD
Wildcats score off blocked punt to thwart top-ranked Bulldogs
WAYNE, Neb. -- Wayne State's Kevin Paulsen picked up a blocked punt and raced 36 yards for the game's only touchdown to give the Wildcats a 7-0 win against No. 1 and defending Division II national champion Minnesota-Duluth on Saturday at Bob Cunningham Field.
It was the first win by Wayne State against UMD in 11 meetings and ended a 31-game winning streak by the Bulldogs in Northern Sun Conference play since rejoining the league in 2008.
Wayne State took its first drive of the game from its own 27 to the UMD 14, but a Max Martin 31-yard field-goal attempt was blocked by Minnesota-Duluth's Jordan Bauman.
The Bulldogs lone scoring chance came on the final series of the second quarter as UMD drove from its own 28-yard line to the WSC 25, but a potential 43-yard field-goal attempt by Minnesota-Duluth's David Nadeau never got off thanks to a high snap.
In the third quarter, Aaron Konicek broke loose and blocked a UMD punt. Wayne State's Paulsen scooped up the loose ball at the Bulldogs' 36-yard line and raced to the end zone for the score, putting the Wildcats in front 7-0 following Max Martins' extra-point kick on the final play of the third quarter.
In the fourth quarter, UMD's deepest threat came on its second series, moving to the WSC 43. But the 'Cats forced the Bulldogs into another punt and WSC came up with its second blocked punt of the game, this one by Jeff Pokorny.
The next three series resulted in three-and-outs, giving UMD the ball at their own 10-yard line with 2:09 to play. Following a 28-yard pass completion to Joe Reichert, UMD's Chase Vogler had a pass intercepted by Richard Daniel at the UMD 39-yard line to seal the win for the Wildcats.
Minnesota-Duluth finished the game with 277 yards to Wayne State's 169. Nick Pulscher led WSC in rushing with 59 yards on 17 carries while quarterback Evan Johnson completed 13-of-22 passes for 107 yards with one interception. Paulsen had five catches to lead the Wildcats for 21 yards.
Austin Sikorski had 76 yards rushing on 15 carries to lead Minnesota-Duluth. Quarterback Chase Vogler completed 15-of-32 passes for 189 yards with one interception. Joe Reichert had five catches for 69 yards.
Defensively for WSC, Austan Pomajzl had a game-high 13 tackles. Ben Radel added seven stops with two pass breakups while senior defensive end Richard Daniel accounted for six tackles and one interception.