Wayne State football defeated Walsh University 31–0 in the season opener at Tom Adams Field on Aug. 30.
Graduate kicker Shane Hynes posted the first points of the season for the Warriors, as his 30-yard field goal gave the Warriors a 3–0 lead.
In the second quarter, redshirt junior quarterback Dakota Kupp enlisted the help of junior wide receiver Darece Roberson Jr. for a 62-yard touchdown, further extending WSU’s lead to 10–0.
While the offense missed a couple of opportunities in the first half, WSU head coach Paul Winters said he was pleased with the effort from the defense.
“We were only up 10–0 going into halftime (and) our offense wasn’t playing to its capabilities, but our defense was tremendous the whole game,” Winters said.
Senior quarterback D.J. Zezula was summoned from the bench to start the third quarter in an effort to jump-start the Warriors fortunes on offense.
After a scoreless third quarter, WSU’s running game helped the team pull away from Walsh in the fourth quarter.
Redshirt junior running back DeOntay Moffett’s two-yard touchdown with 13:05 remaining in the game gave WSU a 17–0 lead. Four minutes later, a touchdown from redshirt junior running back James Hill pushed the Warriors advantage to 24–0, and Moffett’s second touchdown of the game with 2:58 remaining increased WSU’s lead to 31–0.
Hill rushed for 88 yards on 13 carries with a touchdown, while Moffett added 50 yards rushing with two touchdowns.
After the game, Moffett said he was happy that he and Hill were able to contribute while they were in the game.
“(We know) we were third and fourth on the depth chart, so we had to pick it up (and) I’m happy we both took advantage of our opportunities,” Moffett said.
Junior center Charlie Younger said that the effort from the offensive line helped wear down the Cavaliers in the second half.
“It’s great that we have Tommy Richardson back and Israel Helms (has) NFL potential, and (he) is just so much better this year,” Younger said.
This win was WSU's first shutout victory since 2011, according to wsuathletics.com. Redshirt junior linebacker Leon Eggleston said it felt great to be a part of the defense to end that streak.
“Everyone contributed tonight on the defensive side of the ball,” Eggleston said. “We knew coming into the game we needed to slow down their run-pass option.”
The Warriors will head to Indianapolis Sept. 8 to take on Indianapolis University.
Winters said the team is looking forward to facing Indianapolis again.
“They beat us on a last second field goal last season, so it feels like a redemption game for us,” Winters said.
“It’s going to be a tough environment (and) they are a really physical team, (so) we’re going to have to continue to show how we play and be Warriors,” Eggleston said.
The Warriors return to Tom Adams Field Sept. 15 to play against Ashland University with kickoff scheduled for 6 p.m.
For more photos from the game, click here.
Cover photo by Quintin Banks.