Originally Published: November 7, 2007
The final game ever played at Mattke Field was sure an eventful one. Going into the game, the Mustangs were considered huge underdogs playing against the NSIC-leading Winona State University Warriors. However, the Mustangs fought the Warriors all the way through to force overtime and eventually a second overtime period.
The Mustangs struggled out of the gate trailing 13-0 after one quarter. After Winona drove 99 yards down the field for another touchdown to make the score 19-0, things were looking pretty bleak for the Mustangs. However, the Mustang sideline was quickly rejuvenated after senior Willie Sutton returned the ensuing kickoff 99 yards for a touchdown to bring the score to 19-7.
After the Warriors were forced to punt on their next possession, the Mustangs took over on their own 2-yard line. On 3rd and 8 from the 4-yard line, junior quarterback Josh Shudlick’s pass was intercepted by Winona State at the 11 and returned for a touchdown. After the Warriors’ successful two-point conversion, Winona’s lead was 27-7 with 12:25 remaining in the second quarter.
The Mustangs came back once again after two consecutive 80-yard drives both capped off by Shudlick touchdown passes. The first pass was to Zach Wysong, and Brett Ballantine caught the second to move the score to 27-21 just before halftime.
The second half was sloppy with 5 punts, 3 interceptions, and 1 fumble. After back-and-forth scoring throughout, the Mustangs had a chance to win. After David Connors intercepted a pass on the SMSU 41-yard line with just 2:24 left in a tie game, Shudlick methodically drove the Mustangs down the field. With the ball to the Winona 29-yard line with 25 seconds left, Scott Talcott came on to the field with a chance to hit a 49-yard field goal to win the game. The kick was wide right, and the game went to overtime tied at 36.
In the first overtime period, Warrior runningback Alex Wiese only needed to run the ball three times to get into the endzone for a touchdown. When the Mustangs took over, they put the ball in Shudlick’s hands. Shudlick completed all four of his passes to bring the Mustangs down to the 1-yard line. On the next play, Shudlick kept it himself on the quarterback sneak to tie the game and send it to a second overtime.
In the second overtime, the ball was in Shudlick’s hands again, but he only completed one of three passes. This forced the Mustangs to send out Talcott, who gave the Mustangs the 3-point lead on the 37-yard field goal. Winona kept the ball on the ground during their possession, running 5 straight times to bring the ball to the 3-yard line. On the next play, Wiese ran the ball in for the winning score as the Warriors won the game 46-43 in double overtime.
Shudlick finished the game completing 37 of 62 passes for 365 yards and 4 touchdowns. Wysong caught 13 passes for 138 yards and 3 touchdowns. The Mustangs only had 62 rushing yards on 29 carries in the game. Wiese led the Warrior rushing attack with 206 yards on 37 carries for 4 touchdowns, and also caught a touchdown pass.
The loss for the Mustangs moved their record to 2-8 overall and 2-6 in NSIC. With the win, Winona State moved to 9-1 and 8-0 in conference play. On Saturday, the Mustangs will play against Minnesota State University, Moorhead in the nightcap of the NSIC Metrodome Classic. The Metrodome Classic will start on Friday afternoon and conclude Saturday night with the Mustangs game versus the Dragons. Opening kickoff is set for 7 p.m.