WAYNE – Aaron Wright tied a school record with a 100-yard kickoff return to start the game for Wayne State, setting the tone for a 21-point first quarter as the Wildcats rolled to a 48-10 win over the University of Mary Saturday evening before a Family Day crowd of 1,854 at Bob Cunningham Field in Wayne. WSC is now 1-1 on the year while Mary falls to 0-2.
Wright took the opening kickoff of the game and rambled 100 yards for a score to put the ‘Cats in front 7-0 15 seconds into the game. It was the first kickoff return for a score since Kevin Paulsen’s 93-yard return at Minnesota Crookston in 2011 and ties the school record held by Marque McCray – 2005 at Concordia-St. Paul and Wilson Hookfin in 1993 vs. Nebraska-Kearney.
The Wildcats made the score 14-0 at the 8:44 mark when Sam Wegner was on the receiving end of a 35-yard scoring pass from senior quarterback Zach Osborn. Later in the quarter, WSC scored on its third straight possession as Osborn hooked up with Nate Rogers for an 11-yard score giving the “Cats at 21-0 lead.
Mary got on the scoreboard with 4:42 to go second quarter on a 26-yard field goal from Aaron Brennan to make the score 21-3.
WSC answered with a touchdown on the ensuing drive as Osborn found junior Layne Sullivan for a 31-yard scoring play, giving the ‘Cats a 28-3 lead at intermission.
The scoring strike made Osborn Wayne State’s all-time leader in touchdown passes, surpassing Silas Fluellen’s 76 TD passes from 2006-09.
The Marauders scored a touchdown on the opening series of the second half as freshman DeShawn Gay raced 59 yards down the right sideline, reducing the Wildcat lead to 28-10.
WSC used a 19-yard field goal from sophomore Ethan Knudson to put the ‘Cats in front 31-10 at the 10:45 mark and scored touchdowns on their other two drives in the third quarter. Osborn and Wegner connected for a 79-yard pass play down the left sideline for the first score at the 4:56 mark followed by a Rashad Trimble 38-yard scoring run with 1:46 to play in the third quarter giving WSC a 45-10 lead entering the fourth quarter.
The lone score of the fourth quarter was a Knudson field goal of 38 yards making the final 48-10.
Wayne State ended the game with 458 yards compared to 356 for Mary. The ‘Cats had 163 rushing and another 295 yards passing while the Marauders produced 312 yards on the ground and 44 passing.
Freshman Maliki Wilson led the ‘Cats in rushing with 75 yards on nine attempts followed by Trimble with 10 carries for 68 yards.
Osborn completed 16 of 22 passes for 293 yards and four touchdowns. He now has 78 career TD passes after passing Fluellen for the all-time leader at WSC. Layne Sullivan led a balanced receiving group with four catches for 68 yards and one score followed by Sam Wegner with three receptions for 125 yards and two scores.
Senior linebacker DeWayne Scott was credited with 11 tackles followed by senior defensive tackle Logan Weinandt with 10. Senior linebacker Taylor Hoffman added nine tackles. Glenn Harris and Odessa Clark each had interceptions for the Wildcats.
The Wildcats have a short week for their next game as Wayne State travels to Minnesota Crookston Thursday evening for a 7 p.m. contest that will be televised by Midco Sports Network.