*Player of the game*: Troy Burrell (11 catches, 163 yards, 2 TDs). Check back later for more.
*Fianl Warriors 31, Bulldogs 25*. Wayne State will play Winston-Salem State University next Saturday.
*0:07*: Duluth gets first down, ball on WSU 39. Vogler throws Hail Mary to no avail. Pass deflected in endzone.
*0:15*: 4th down. Duluth drops a pass to set this play up.
*0:42*: Winfield gets partial punt block. But punt rolls down to 11 yard line.
*0:56*: Troy Burrell takes reverse for a large loss on the play. Duluth called its final timeout. They will punt.
*1:04*: 3rd-and-6; Duluth calls second timeout.
*1:09*: 2nd-and-7; Duluth calls its first timeout.
*1:36*: Huge play, Davis makes huge run. Running to the outside he slips three tacklers to pick up first down.
*2:32*: Aaron Cornette picks of a Vogler pass. It was underthrown to Winfield. It's his third interception of the season.
*4:20*: Mohner is sacked on third down; WSU recovers a fumble on the play and are forced to punt. The defense needs to come up big.
*6:29*: Holding not called, Vogler makes touchdown pass to Aaron Roth. He made a nice catch. *Warriors 31, Bulldogs 25*.
*7:17*: It's getting chippy. Raleigh Ross has gotten two personal fouls and UMD running back Hulce was ejected from the game for punching Ross.
*9:32*: Toney Davis converts it bounding into the endzone from 11 yards out. *Warriors 31, Bulldogs 18*.
*10:02*: Burrell is taking over the game. Warriors have three first downs, two of them from Burrell for 40 yards. They are moving.
*13:47*: Lucas bounds into the endzone for a UMD score. It was setup by a 17-yard Winfield catch. *Warriors 24, Bulldogs 18*.
*End: Warriors 24, Bulldogs 11*.
*0:41*: Bulldogs run first offensive play of the half. Hulce takes a nice run following another Wayne State squib on kickoff. UMD is in WSU territory.
*0:43*: Stefan Terleckyj connects on 38-yard field goal. Mohner was late on a third-down pass, which could have been intercepted.*Warriors 24, Bulldogs 11*.
*2:37*: Renel makes a nice grab on a screen pass to convert 3rd and 6.
*4:06*: Wayne State squibs it away from Winfield, recovers it after it bounces away from up-men. First down on UMD 38.
*4:11*: Warriors come back and Mohner connects with Troy Burrell on 38-yard bomb. A nice stretched-finger catch in the endzone. *Warriors 21, Bulldogs 11*.
*4:23*: Wayne State goes for another 4th-and-1. Privett takes it on dive.
*6:36*: Winfield finally makes the Warriors pay. Another fake reverse results in 87-yard kick return. It's his third career return for a score. The two-point coversion is good. So much for momentum. *Warriors 14, Bulldogs 11*.
*6:50*: Warriors punch it in on bold 4th-and-goal at the 1-yard line. Chet Privett, his second game back from injury, takes the fullback dive for the score. *Warriors 14, Bulldogs 3*.
*9:16*: Mohner, instead of throwing, takes it himself on 3rd-and-5. First-and-goal from WSU 10. Warriors have more yards on this drive than the entire first half.
*12:50*: Burrell makes big grab saving Warriors on 3rd-and-15. It was the longest WSU play. That's followed by longest run by Toney Davis, 8 yards. It seemingly sparked the offense back to life.
*15:00*: Warriors to receive.
Warriors only have 18 plays for 64 yards versus Duluth's 41 plays for 126 yards.
Josh Renel with only 13 yards on 4 carries; Toney Davis 1 yard on 2 caries; Mohner 7-for-11 passing for 55 yards and a touchdown; Troy Burrell has 52 of those yards on 5 catches and the touchdown.
Ed Viverette leading the defense with three of the Warriors' five first-half sacks.
Bulldogs are led by Zach Hulce on the ground. He has 41 yards on 9 carries. Quarterback Chase Vogler is 8 for 14 for 104 yards. D.J. Winfield, back from suspension, leads the receivers with 55 yards on 3 catches, including a long of 23 yards. He also has a kick return of 45 yards.
*Half: Warriors 7, Bulldogs 3.*
*0:26*: UMD with a fourth-down decision. Bulldogs going for it on 4th-and-11.
*1:47*: Winfield making his presence known with 14-yard catch on 3rd-and-13. UMD on the move.
*3:11*: Vogler falls down on own 4-yard line. UMD bailed out on pass interference by DuHart.
*4:39*: Refs even things up with chop block by Ferguson. 3rd-and-forever. Warriors set to punt. UMD takes over on 13.
*6:34*: UMD shoots itself in the foot with roughing the passer and holding calls. Warriors move into UMD 35.
*7:49*: Ed Viverette records his second sack. Bulldogs punt and personal foul sets up Warriors at their own 35.
*8:58*: Warriors faked out on fake reverse return. Windfield takes it 45 yards into WSU territory.
*9:16*: Mohner-to-Burrell saves Wayne State with 11-yard Touchdown pass. *Warriors 7, Bulldogs 3*.
*10:38*: Back-to-back-to-back sacks and a punt block by Matt Maus sets up Warriors at 11.
*14:32*: Windfield, already back on kicks and punts, runs reverse to little affect.
*End*: Warriors will have to punt at UMD 44. *Bulldogs 3, Warriors 0*.
*1:17*: Burrell's second catch of the game makes 73, a single-season record. His third gave Wayne State a first down.
*2:50*: Greg Hasse recovers huge fumble on WSU 29. He forced it too. First down Wayne State.
*3:38*: UMD is having success running the ball. Zach Halce and Brian Lucas rushed for three-straight first downs in the hurry up offense. Ball at WSU 30.
*6:50*: Conway drops a would-be first down catch from Mohner. Warriors forced to punt.
*8:38*: UMD is on the board first by a David Nadeau field goal. The Bulldogs marched down inside the WSU 5, but Aaron Cornette's pass deflection and Ed Viverette's sack forced the try. *Bulldogs 3, Warriors 0*.
*14:52*: Fake reverse on the kickoff return sets up the Bulldogs in good field goal.
*Coin Toss*: Duluth elects to receive first. And here we go.
DULUTH, Minn -- Grand Valley State wasn't always a Division II football powerhouse. Before winning four national championships in five seasons it had to realize and believe they were that dominant, so said Wayne State head coach Paul Winters.
Today, having upset two teams on their way to the national quarterfinal game, the Wayne State Warriors will have to continue to realize why they got here: They're really good.
"A lot of (our) guys, as young guys, witnessed Grand Valley go to the final four or whatever they did, and they were really good," Winters said. "And they didn’t realize that 'Hey, we’ve grown and now we’re really good.' So hopefully we realize, "OK, we’ve got three tough games left, but we’re good enough to win all three games."
During the first quarter of the first-round "Snow Bowl" at St. Cloud State, the Warriors quickly fell behind 21-6. Players and coaches weren't sure of their place in the field of 24.
"I think in a lot of ways we went into that St. Cloud game and we just din’t know," Winters said. "We didn’t know we could play with them, because we saw what they did to hillsdale last year and it was pretty ugly.
"And then we got out there and it was like, "Hey we’re bigger, stonger and faster than these guys. And I think that was the same way with (Nebraska)-Kearney, and it can be the same way this Saturday."
Perhaps it was this self-doubt that resulted in Wayne State's three regular-season losses, including the season-finale heart-breaker versus Findlay, Nov. 12. Following the game, with thoughts on next season the coaching staff could only wonder what went wrong. After all, it was expected by everyone this was the season Wayne State would break through to the next level.
“I think that what happens with a football team is they get praised, and, as much as as they don’t want it to, it hurts them and it affects them,” coach Paul Winters said immediately following his team’s third loss. “And they don’t necessarily perform to the praise that they continue to get.”
But Wayne State was able to break through when nobody was expecting it. And now, even today, no one expects WSU to move on -- just the way Winters wants it.
"Not only do people not expect us to be where we are, but we have the challenge of playing the defending national champs," Winters said. "I think it’s virtually imporssible to be overconfident in that situation. I’m more hoping that our guys understand, "Hey, we’re possibly better than these guys and we’re gunna have success and we’re not going to be shocked by it."