Winona State is an impressive, if not surprising, 4-0 in the Northern Lights after a 53-7 win over North Dakota State Saturday.
Poor handling on the opening kickoff by Winona and great pressure from the visiting side saw the Bison earn an early 7-0 lead. But Winona regained composure and started putting points on the board to - 53 in a row.
After several phases, fullback Ted Wergin dotted down the first try in the corner. With several long runs and crushing tackles, senior center and captain Brandon Schweitzer helped Winona turn things around.
Beyond the two tries for the day, Brandon led the defensive effort that saw NDSU held to the one try. Winona led 24-7 at intermission, and the second half saw five more tries run in.
“NDSU came out right away and put us under tremendous pressure, but once we settled down and worked to solve the disruption NDSU was causing at the breakdown, we were able to get back to running our game plan,” said new Winona coach Jeff Noe.
“I’ve been coaching for several years, but this is my first time at the college level, and couldn’t be happier with how the team has quickly progressed.”
Winona was a competitive team last year, having finished in the middle of the pack in the Northern Lights, but this year the Warriors have been nothing short of dominant. They’ve pitched two shutouts and eclipsed the 50-point mark three times.
Their best win to date was 29-17 over Northern Iowa, another very good DII team. And If the Warriors, who've climbed to No. 12 in our rankings, remain unbeaten through a meeting with Bemidji State Saturday, the Oct. 19 match with second-ranked Minnesota-Duluth should determine the conference championship.