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WSU defeats GLIAC rival

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Posted: Monday, September 18, 2017 8:38 am | Updated: 8:47 am, Mon Sep 18, 2017.

Wayne State’s football team (2-1, 1-0 GLIAC) won its GLIAC home opener Sept. 16 against rival Saginaw Valley State, 41-31, on a historic night for WSU athletics.

As part of its celebration of 100 years of athletics, the Warriors wore new uniforms dedicated to the military. The jerseys featured an American flag on the shoulders, along with the names of Medal of Honor recipients on the back.

WSU athletics continued its commemoration of the 100th year mark with a parade that included former Warrior athletes and recognition of the 1967 football team.

Though it was celebratory night, the Warriors football team was still expected to top it off with a win.

The Warriors came out firing, going on an eight play, 80-yard drive on their first possession. The drive concluded with a 44-yard passing touchdown from junior quarterback D.J. Zezula to junior receiver Deiontae Nicholas.

“It wasn’t necessarily our game plan or something we saw in film, but what we saw [something on the field],” Head Coach Paul Winters said. “When their safeties were within 10 yards, and when the safeties are playing that tight, we felt it was better for us to go over the top.”

Zezula continued to pick apart the defense in the first half, with all three of his touchdown passes coming before the intermission. He finished the game 9 of 14 on passing attempts, in addition to throwing for 191 yards.

WSU’s rushing attack was led by senior Romello Brown, who did not register a touchdown in the first two games but was determined to change that versus SVSU.

“I was just trying to stay focused this week,” Brown said. “I knew I had to have a higher level of focus this week and will continue to have that mindset for the rest of the season.”

Brown recorded 93 rushing yards and two touchdowns on the night.

Winters said it was imperative for his team to understand the significance of the jerseys they wore.

“You know it is important to teach our guys about this,” Winters said. “Most of them Googled the recipient online to see who they were representing on the field tonight.”

As far as the game, Winters said anytime his team can get a conference win is a positive thing.

“We know how important a first league win tonight was,” Winters said.  “We want to win every GLIAC game we play, but it’s going to be very challenging. This league is extremely tough.”

Wayne State plays its first GLIAC road game on Sept. 23 at Tiffin.

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