Photo by Todd Thoenen
(CANTON, Ohio) – Walsh's homecoming was soured by a Wayne State rushing attack that racked up over 300 yards in a 31-16 loss on a rainy Saturday evening at Tom Benson Stadium. It snapped the Cavs' (2-6, 2-6) two-game win streak while the Warriors (4-4, 3-4) evened their record.
Wayne State provided most of the offense in the game as Walsh kept looking for more as it was difficult to generate any momentum. After a three-and-out on the game's opening drive that included a fumble, the Warriors wasted little time in getting points on the board as Deion Nicholas scored from five yards out to give the visitors a 7-0 lead.
Even when Walsh pinned Wayne State deep in its own territory on the next drive, the Warriors went 95 yards in 14 plays to go up 14-0 after a Romello Brown 1-yard run.
The Cavaliers caught lightning on their next play from scrimmage as Reid Worstell found Jeremy Willison who broke loose for an 80-yard catch and run to get back in the game. Wayne State closed the half with a 22-yard field goal to go into the locker room up 17-7 at the half.
After a scoreless third quarter, Wayne State added some insurance with another touchdown run from Brown, this time from seven yards out. Michael Dudics cut the deficit back to 14 points with a 22-yard field goal with 4:09 remaining, but Wayne State Demetrious Stinson ended any hopes of a comeback with a 49-yard touchdown run with 8:37 left in the game.
The final score did fit in with the recent them of crazy plays to end college football this year. As Wayne State was attempting to run out the clock on a fourth down with just a few seconds left, the snap was fumbled. O'Shea Heard found himself with the ball and returned it 77 yards for a touchdown as time expired.
Third down hurt the Cavs as they were just 2-of-13 on conversions in the game. As a result, Wayne State's offense was able to get on the field more and outgained the Cavs 465-222.
C.J. Chatman had a strong night on the defensive side of the ball with 12 tackles, an interception, a fumble recovery, and a tackle for loss. Last week's GLIAC Defensive Player of the Week Nicholas King added 10 tackles.
Walsh remains at home and will play the final game in Tom Benson Stadium before the rest of the renovation project continues. The Cavs host Northern Michigan for Senior Night with an 8 p.m. kickoff.