Wayne St. (Mich.) continues road roll
Warriors beat fourth consecutive higher seed to reach title game
WINSTON-SALEM, N.C. -- Wayne State (Mich.) stretched its road winning streak in the playoffs to four games by recording a 21-14 at Winston-Salem State Saturday afternoon.
The Warriors (12-3 overall) struck quickly scoring just 76 seconds into the contest. Senior Jon Robinson returned a short kickoff 17 yards to the WSU 46. Senior Josh Renel had runs of 7 and 22 yards, and following an incomplete pass, Renel took a screen pass from junior quarterback Mickey Mohner 25 yards down the left side into the end zone.
The next three drives ended in punts until a Wayne State interception gave the Rams (13-1 overall) the ball at the WSU 40. However the WSSU drive ended on a fourth down incompletion.
The Warriors then drove 80 yards in 12 plays with Mohner scoring on a one-yard keeper on fourth down. Senior wide receiver Troy Burrell had catches of 15 and 28 yards on the drive.
Another Ram drive concluded in WSU territory on a fourthdown incompletion. WSSU finished the game just 1 for 5 on fourth down.
Winston-Salem went 57 yards in six plays following a WSU punt just before intermission to cut the Wayne State lead to 14-7. Kameron Smith tossed a 26-yard scoring pass to Jahuann Butler on a 3rd-and-14.
After allowing the Rams two first downs on the opening drive of the second half, the Warrior defense stepped up and forced a punt.
On WSSU's ensuing possession, Smith fumbled on a fake handoff and Andrew Matt recovered inside the 10 returning the ball to the WSSU 1-yard line.
Fullback Chet Privett scored on the very next play pushing the Warrior lead to 21-7.
The Rams nearly answered back with a 1st-and-goal from the WSU 2 but Nicholas Cooper had back-to-back rushes for minus 4 yards and minus 6 yards. Junior Aaron Cornett broke up a third-down pass while Smith's fourth down pass to Tehyvn Brantley was dropped near the goal line.
Wayne State's next possession ended in an interception with Malcolm Rowe returning it 45 yards to the WSU 5. Cooper scored on a one-yard plunge on fourth down making it a seven-point contest at 21-14 with 10:34 left.
After three consecutive punts (two by WSU and one by Winston-Salem), the host Rams had the ball at their own six yard-line with no timeouts and 2:04 on the clock.
WSSU drove just into Warrior territory but freshman cornerback Gerren DuHart batted down a fourth-down pass sending the Warrior sideline into a frenzy.
Wayne State will be looking for the school's first football national championship on Dec. 17 in an 11 a.m. ET kickoff on ESPN2.