State Falls to Winona

Adam Zobel

Adam Zobel

In an 11 game schedule, four consecutive contests away from the friendly confines of Coghlin-Alumni Stadium may seem like an eternity for the SDSU Jackrabbit football team.

To make the challenge more daunting, the Jacks faced a ranked team for the second straight week as they traveled to face 22nd ranked Winona State of the Northern Sun Intercollegiate Conference.

The first-ever game between the Jackrabbits and Warriors was a hard-fought battle on the turf of Maxwell as SDSU came out on the short end of a 30-23 score to the home team.

Despite outgaining the Warriors by approximately 100 yards, the Yellow and Blue struggled with mistakes as they committed three turnovers and lost 70 yards on 10 penalties, including an early call that nullified a Jackrabbit touchdown.

The Jacks stayed in the hunt the entire game as they came out of the gates with a 20 point first half.

Quarterback Brad Nelson, last week’s NCC Offensive Player of the Week, returned to his hometown and followed up his season debut with a solid performance, going 27 of 39 for 28 yards, two touchdowns and an interception. Anthony Watson continued to shine for the Jacks as he ran for 119 yards on 26 carries.

Coach John Stiegelmeier characterized the game as a hard-fought struggle with a good Warrior squad that came down to big plays.

“They made more critical plays than we made,” Stiegelmeier said.

SDSU continues its fall odyssey this week as they travel to Monmouth, Ore. to face Western Oregon in their first-ever matchup. Kickoff at McArthur Field is at 1 p.m. Pacific time (3 p.m. Central).