Michael Tokarz and Jared Katz
Wayne State’s football team (4-6, 3-5 GLIAC) defeated Northern Michigan (1-8, 1-7 GLIAC), 26-24 on Nov. 5 at Tom Adams Field in the final home game for the 12 seniors on the team, who were recognized in the pregame ceremony.
The Warriors will be losing two captains, Dustin Carlin and Ronny Brant II, as well as running back Romello Brown and receiver Manny Mendoza.
Brown, who has been a force for the Warriors the past couple years, is looking to make a career out of football. Brown has played in 36 games during his career at WSU, and he currently has 3,731 rushing yards and 39 touchdowns total with one game left in his career.
“I graduate in a few weeks, then I’m going to go all-out pursuing an NFL career, and see how far I can get,” said Brown.
The Warriors got off to a hot start with back-to-back rushing touchdowns by Brown and Stinson that gave the Warriors a 14-0 lead after the first quarter.
On their first couple drives in the second quarter, the Warriors drove down the field but couldn’t push it in the end zone, and had to settle for two field goals. The Warriors had to settle for two field goals, but still went into halftime with a 20-10 lead.
“We need to finish those drives,” said Winters. “It’s hard because we have guys being placed in unexpected positions, and were missing Deiontae Nicholas who makes those plays for us.”
After a Jake Mayon 65-yard touchdown run, and a Dallas Dixon 50-yard touchdown reception, the Wildcats took a 24-23 lead early in the fourth quarter.
The Warriors regained the lead with about two minutes remaining in the game after a 24-yard field goal by Paul Graham, who went 4-for-4 on field goals on the day.
The game was sealed on the defensive end with an interception by junior cornerback Myron Riley with under a minute remaining.
“Well I saw that they kept throwing comeback routes towards James [Howard], so I knew they would try that on me,” said Riley.
Riley said he was honored to be able to make the play that gave the seniors their win on senior day.
“It felt extremely good to get the win,” Carlin said. “There were many ups and downs, [but] it was well deserved.”
Winters said he was pleased to get the win, despite the struggles.
“How ugly can we make a game look,” Winters said. But it’s a win, and we’ll take it.”
Redshirt freshman, Ray’Jon Williams-Jackson produced his best game as a Warrior, catching 9 balls for 153 yards.
“‘Big play Ray,’ he’s a hard worker, and an even a better person, and takes every opportunity that’s thrown his way,” said Winters.
Brown led the rushing attack for the Warriors, finishing his last home game with 116 yards on 25 carries.
The Warriors conclude the regular season on Nov. 11 at Davenport University.
Winters said he wants to close the season with two straight victories.
“It’s important to end the season on a positive note,” Winters said. “These guys have a tremendous attitude.”
Photos by Mike Tokarz