The Free Press, Mankato, MN

October 27, 2012

MSU outscores Wayne State 42-35

The Free Press

WAYNE, NEB. — Minnesota State forced three turnovers in the first half, which were turned into 21 points, and rolled to a 42-35 victory over Wayne State in a Northern Sun Intercollegiate Conference South Division football victory Saturday.

“We were able to generate some momentum early on,” interim coach Aaron Keen said. “We kind of let some of that slip away, but we made enough plays to win in the end.”

Minnesota State took advantage of two early turnovers to go up 14-0. Andy Pfeiffer scored on a 1-yard run, and Jon Wolf added a 10-yard scoring run. Connor Thomas’ 1-yard run made it 21-0 at the end of the quarter.

Wayne State scored three touchdowns in the second quarter to tie the game, but Wolf passed 39 yards to Adam Thielen for the go-ahead score in the final minute of the half. It’s the fifth time in the last three  games that Wolf has thrown a touchdown pass to Thielen.

The half ended when Isaac Kolstad made an interception and returned it 60 yards for a 35-21 lead at halftime.

“That was huge,” Keen said. “We threw that long pass to score, then the defense came out and put another touchdown on the board.”

Wayne State scored the first points of the second half, but the Mavericks answered with a 39-yard touchdown pass from Wolf to Pfeiffer.

Wayne State drew within seven points and had the ball before the Mavericks stopped the final drive.

Wolf was 10 of 18 for 198 yards, with Thielen making nine catches for 99 yards. Pfeiffer was the top rusher with 75 yards.

Robert Gunderson led the defense with eight tackles and two interceptions. Marcus Hall-Oliver had five tackles and an interception.

Minnesota State (9-0, 5-0 in South) plays Saturday at home against Sioux Falls (8-1, 4-1).

“Essentially, our playoffs start now,” Keen said. “Our goal of going 1-0 each week isn’t going to change, but this is a big game against a good opponent. We’re excited to be back home.”