Sunday, 18 December, 2011 8:25 PM
State football had a great season
falls in NCAA Division II National Championship
credit: Steve DeMotte/WSU Athletics
Davis (No. 24) rushed for 178 yards and 2 TDs.
-- Hosted by Northern Alabama University, Wayne State (12-4)
playing in their first ever NCAA Division-II title game but came
up just short to Pittsburg State (13-1) of Kansas, 35-21. Pittsburg
State had previously won the title in 1991 over Jacksonville State
23-6. The 12 wins were a record season for Wayne State.
played a great game and we turned over the ball and made mistakes
in the kicking game and those cost you football games,” said
Wayne State coach Paul Winters. He added, “They’re a
fine football team, an excellent football team.”
The play that doomed
the Warriors came with less than three minutes left when Zac Davis
hit wide-receiver Andrew Castenda with a double play-action 53-yard
strike to the WSU five yard line. Jason Spradling scored untouched
two plays later.
“You come here
to win it, said Pittsburg State coach Tim Beck. “You don’t
come here and try and hang on and hope to win it.”
Dickey threw for 190
yards, 10-16 and one touchdown pass in the winning effort. WSU running
back Toney Davis ran for 178 yards and two scores. It was two blocked
kicks that Pittsburg State turned into scores that became game changers.
Josh Brown had five catches and 99 yards for the winners.
The big plays started
in Wayne’s favor as Josh Renel ran back the opening kickoff
93 yards for a score. But four turnovers and two blocked kicks by
the Pittsburg State defense were devastating. Pittsburg State linebacker
Nate Dreiling, an All-America, had 15 tackles and one blocked punt.
a great run,” said WSU quarterback Mickey Mohner. “No
one thought we should be in the playoffs. No one thought we could
win in the playoffs. We came in and won four tough games on the
road.” Senior defensive back Jeremy Jones added, “Our
goal was to win the national championship. Obviously that didn’t
happen but I’m not going to let this one loss taint the whole
Injury reports had Warrior
receiver Troy Burrell leaving the game with a broken left collar
bone and Renal sustained a game ending foot injury.
At the Florence Chamber
of Commerce luncheon three Wayne State players received All-America
honors including, Jones, Burrell and senior offensive lineman Joe
Winters is expected to
be announced as the new head coach at Akron where he had been an
assistant twice previously.
Charles Roebuck contributed