FLORENCE, Ala. -- There were just too many mistakes made by the Warriors today in the Division II national championship game, losing to Pittsburg State (Kan.) 35-21.
On top of three Mickey Mohner interceptions and a costly blocked field goal (returned 80 yards for score), Wayne State also lost seniors Josh Renel and Troy Burrell to injuries.
Tailback Toney Davis carried the Warriors on offense. He finished with 178 yards on 28 carries with one score. Danny McKae came in for Burrell and led the team with 4 catches an and 30 yards.
PSU was led by quarterback Zac Dickey on the ground (68 yards) and through the air (190 yards on 10-for-16 passing and two INTs).
The Warriors couldn't become the first team to win all five road games to a championship. But what a ride it was.
*Final: Gorillas 35, Warriors 21*.
*1:00*: Warriors won't stop clock any more, season about to end.
*1:13*: Dickey runs out of bounds but picks up the first down. Wayne State only has one time out left.
*1:34*: Mickey Mohner's pass into the end zone for Maybanks is picked off. That's his third pick and Elijah Olabode second interception of the game.
*2:27*: Jones make a rare return on the kickoff going 38 yards. Ball on PSU 47.
*2:38*: Spradling puts, what likely will be, the nail in WSU's coffin. PSU converts on two-point conversion. *Gorillas 35, Warriors 21*.
*4:20*: Dickey tosses 53-yard bomb to Casteneda. Ball at WSU 10. Aggressive play call well executed.
*4:56*: Spradling breaks down the Warriors contain and goes for 17 yards. First down at own 42.
*5:05*: Warriors need a stop. Gorillas start drive from own 25.
*5:11*: Davis finally gets it in and the Warriors have new life. This ties the longest touchdown drive of the year at 15 plays. The drive took up more than 6 minutes. *Gorillas 27, Warriors 21.*
*5:37*: Davis appeared to stretch the ball across the end zone. Originally called a back-breaking fumble, the play was reviewed and Wayne State has second life.
*6:07*: Davis, carrying his team, has the Warriors inside the 5-yard line.
*7:02*: A scary bubble screen pass to Maybanks give Warriors a fresh set of downs.
*7:50*: Warriors have a third down on PSU 28. Seems like 4-down territory to me.
*10:05*: Davis picks up first down and gains 150 yards on his 21st carry.
*11:26*: Backups give Warriors a first down at WSU 34.
*12:08*: Antwon Robinson picks off tipped ball at the WSU 7, halting Pitt. Wayne State needs this to be a momentum swing. Ball on WSU 24.
*14:17*: Quarterback option giving tired defense a hard time. Dickey has runs of 15 and 14 yards the last two plays.
*End: Gorillas 27, Warriors 14*.
*1:57*: Warriors punt. PSU running back Jason Spradling and quarterback Dickey are starting to gain traction on the ground.
*3:20*: Mohner sacked, sets up 3rd-and-10.
*4:13*: Back-to-back pass interference calls in favor of WSU has the Warriors inside Gorilla territory.
*4:18*: Warriors catches a break by dodging a somewhat obvious pass interference. Turnover on downs.
*4:58*: Jones puts a lick on the ball carrier forcing a fourth down. PSU is going for it on 4th-and-1.
*6:41*: Terleckyj's punt is blocked. Ball at WSU 46. Warriors need a stop.
*8:09*: Danny McKae, in for injured Burrell, picks up first down.
*12:32*: Jeremy Jones carrying this defense. He sacked Dickey on third down to force punt. Burrell, an inexperienced punt returner, looks banged up. Ball on WSU 15.
Florence, Ala. -- Mistakes and bad breaks has Wayne State down 13 points at the half. The Warriors will have to have a similar comeback effort when it trailed 21-6 at St. Cloud State in round one.
Three turnovers (two INTs by Mickey Mohner and a failed snap exchange) and a blocked field goal returned for a touchdown has given the fast and powerful Pitt State Gorillas excellent field position and momentum.
Wayne State, it seemed had the momentum. The game started off fast for WSU when Josh Renel returned the opening kick 93 yard for a score. But PSU responded with 10 points off turnovers.
Again, the Warriors found a stride. With Renel ailing, Toney Davis took the load and found success. He rushed for 113 yards on 12 carries with a touchdown. That included a 40-yard dash that set up his 1-yard score.
In the second, winning 14-13 in the second quarter, Wayne State looked like it was about to go in for another score. Davis had just gashed the defense for 44 yards, putting the Warriors at first and goal at the PSU 7.
But momentum swung again to Pitt. WSU was forced to kick a field goal, which was blocked. Aries Herrion returned it 80 yards for the score.
Pitt State added another score at the end of the half, driving 72 yards on 10 plays. It consumed 4:21 of the clock.
Mohner: 2-for-6 passing, 19 yards, 2 INTs; PSU QB Zac Dickey: 8 for 12, 128 yards, 1 TD, 1 INT.
*Half: Gorillas 27, Warriors 14*.
*0:20*: After stopping PSU on first and goal from the 1, the Gorillas commit a false start. But a great play call leaves tight end Bristan Kelley wide open for the touchdown. 10 plays, 72 yards, 4:21. *Gorillas 27, Warriors 14*.
*1:42*: Dickey keeps ball for 16-yard gain. First down on the 11.
*3:24*: Anthony Baskin is burned by a 46-yard pass by Dickey. It was third down, now PSU has it on the WSU 32.
*4:28*: Holding call on PSU pushes them back even more. 1st-and-20.
*5:20*: Warriors forced to punt. Block in the back pushes starting position to PSU 28.
*6:48*: Warriors fail to get into the end zone. Stefan Terleckyj's kick is blocked and returned for the touchdown. What a turn of events. Paul Robinson is credited with the block. 80-yard return for Aries Herrion. *Gorillas 20, Warriors 14*.
*8:22*: Davis breaks lose again. Davis' stiff arm throws down a defender on his way to the 7 yard line. He has more than 100 yards on the day.
*9:26*: WSU bailed out by questionable pass interference call. It was probably a make-up call from the previous pass.
*10:00*: Renel is injured again after running for 3 yards.
*10:48*: Jones making his presence felt on the run defense. He stops Dickey short of a first down, but McCoy boots a 34-yard field goal. *Warriors 14, Gorillas 13*.
*12:06*: Pitt St. gets a personal foul of its own. 2nd-and-28.
*12:52*: Dickey's legs and another personal foul call on the defense has PSU marching. Ball on WSU 21.
*End*: Gorillas run 8-yard reverse. *Warriors 14, Gorillas 10*. Davis leading way with 64 yards on 7 carries.
*0:13*: Davis jumps into the end zone on a 1-yard dive. Warriors retake the lead. Score set up by Mohner's 8-yard scramble. 11 plays, 85 yards, 5:40 on the drive. *Warriors 14, Gorillas 10*.
*1:30*: Run blitz almost cause Renel to lose the ball.
*2:10*: Davis converts on third down. First and goal from the PSU 7.
*3:22*: Renel back. Mohner throws his first completion of the game to Burrell, another first down.
*4:39*: Davis busts a 40-yard run all the way down to the PSU 36. It's WSU's first first down of the game.
*6:20*: Nores Fradi sacks Dickey to force a punt. Troy Burrell is replacing Renel. Ball on the WSU 15. Field position, thus far, is severely slanted in Pitt's favor.
*7:10*: Jones, like a missile, takes down the sweeping running back in the backfield.
*8:33*: QB Zac Dickey has two consecutive short passes go for 13 and 15 yards. Ball on PSU 44.
*9:16*: Mohner's deep throw to Maybanks is picked off. Acts as a punt.
*9:56*: Warriors don't look ready to play. Davis rushes a flea-flicker attempt, Mohner falls on the ball for 10-yard loss.
*10:47*: Moe Davenport has to be helped off the field with a leg injury on the kickoff. Injuries are quickly piling back up.
*10:57*: Jeremy Jones drops a sure pick, but Warriors force field goal try. Chase McCoy's kick bounces off post and is good. Bad luck for WSU. *Gorillas 10, Warriors 7*.
*12:22*: Botched center-quarterback exchange is fumbled, Gorillas recover. Wayne State will have to overcome another costly mistake.
*12:49*: Renel is down. Sprinting out-of-bounds he flipped over the PSU bench. He walked off the field with a limp. Davis is in.
*13:01*: It only took both teams 1:59 to each score, the quickest in championship history. Gorillas kick away from Renel.Ball on WSU 33.
*13:01*: PSU's Eric Love rushes 15 yards for the tying touchdown. Warriors struggling with the Gorillas' option offense. *Warriors 7, Gorillas 7*.
*13:44*: Tit-for-tat: Mickey Mohner's first pass is intercepted. Add a personal foul at the end, the Gorillas have it on the WSU 22.
*14:35*: Garren DuHart picks off PSU's first pass. Ball on WSU 20.
*14:44*: What a start! Josh Renel takes opening kickoff 93 yards to the house. It's the second time in championship history. The last team to do it: Pittsburg State. *Warriors 7, Gorillas 0*.