Story and photo courtesy of Wayne State Athletics
DETROIT, Mich. - The 19th-ranked Wayne State University football squad (4-1 overall, 4-1 GLIAC) extended its winning streak to four games with a 24-21 home field triumph over No. 28 Hillsdale College (4-2 overall, 4-1 GLIAC) Saturday afternoon at Adams Field.
It was WSU's eighth victory in its last 10 games dating back to last year's post-season run by the "Road Warriors."
The Warriors raced out to a 17-0 lead in the first 18 minutes of the contest and never led by fewer than three points the rest of the way.
Wayne State went 76 yards in eight plays on the opening drive with quarterback Mickey Mohner (Painesville, Ohio/Harvey) recording his first rushing touchdown of the season and just his third career scampering two yards for a score on a second-and-goal. The big play of the drive was a 46-yard completion from Mohner to junior wide receiver James Jackson (Grand Ledge, Mich.) giving WSU a first-and-goal.
Hillsdale drove 59 yards on the ensuing drive, but sophomore cornerback Gerren DuHart (Toledo, Ohio/Central Catholic) intercepted a third down pass by Charger senior quarterback Anthony Mifsud returning it 82 yards for the 10th longest interception return in school history. Stefan Terleckyj's (Warren, Mich./Mott) second PAT in the first eight minutes of the game gave the Warriors a 14-0 lead.
The next three drives of the game ended in punts before Wayne State began a drive at its own 24. On WSU's first play from scrimmage of the second quarter sophomore running back Desmond Martin (Redford, Mich./Thurston) went 73 yards down the right side setting up a first-and-goal. Three plays were not able to generate any positive yardage, but Terleckyj connected on a 25-yard field goal to become the all-time scoring kicker in Warrior history passing David Chudzinski (2005-08), who tallied 206 points.
WSU's next drive ended as the Charger defense stopped a fourth-and-one from the Hillsdale 31. The HC offense went 69 yards in seven plays with Mifsud scoring on a 27-yard run on a third-and-five play.
The Warriors responded with an 11-play drive, but junior running back Toney Davis (Muskegon Hts., Mich./Muskegon) mishandled a first down handoff in the red zone with Charger Joe Synder recovering at his own 15.
Hillsdale pulled within three points (17-14) with an 85-yard scoring drive garnering four first downs on six plays with Mifsud finding Brett Miller in the back of the end zone for a 33-yard scoring pass in the final minute of the first half.
On HC's second play of the third quarter a bad snap in a shotgun formation was recovered by junior defensive end Andrew Matt (Wyandotte, Mich./Roosevelt), who returned the ball an additional three yards to the Charger 12. Davis had back-to-back carries going for seven yards on first down, and five yards and a touchdown on the second rushing attempt. Davis' 38th career rushing touchdown snapped a tie with Ed Skowneski (1972-75) for second place on the WSU career chart.
Hillsdale drove inside the Warrior 40 on the following drive, but a fake punt run by punter Matt Eltringham was stopped one yard short by senior linebacker Nick Thomas (Akron, Ohio/St. Vincent-St. Mary).
The next three drive ended in punts, before HC started the final series of the third quarter at its own 30. After the 11th play of the drive, the Chargers had a first-and-goal at the WSU seven. Fumbles on consecutive plays followed by an incompletion on third down led to a 27-yard field goal attempt by Colin McGreevy, which was blocked by ANdrew Matt.
The next three series ended in punts prior to Hillsdale driving 71 yards in 11 plays with Mifsud scrambling right and scoring from eight yards out with 5:05 remaining in the fourth quarter. HC converted one third down and one fourth down play on the drive.
The Warrior offense was unable to garner a first down following the kickoff but Terleckyj drilled a 68-yard punt and even though it was a touchback, a holding on Hillsdale backed the Chargers up to their own 10 yard line.
On HC's third play from scrimmage, Mifsud was sacked by sophomore linebacker Steve O'Shell (Sterling Hts., Mich./Warren De La Salle) and Andrew Matt, with Nick Thomas recovering at the HC 26.
Two running plays and a 10-yard completion from Mohner to Ethan Walsh (Canton, Mich./Salem) forced the Chargers to use all their timeouts. WSU was unable to pick up a yard on fourth down giving Hillsdale the ball at its own 17 with 40 seconds left.
A third down pass by Mifsud was intercepted by Andrew Matt, his first career interception.
Wayne State has a short week as the Warriors will play Thursday night at Saginaw Valley (8 p.m.) in a nationally televised game on CBS College Sports Network.
Three of WSU's final four regular-season games are at Adams Field.