MOORHEAD, Minn. – MSU Moorhead came away with the win in the 2016 season opener over the Wayne State football team, posting a 41-24 victory in action Thursday at Scheels Field.
The Dragons struck first on the opening drive of the game as Demeterius Carr found Cory Ambrose for a 25-yard touchdown pass for a 7-0 Moorhead advantage.
Wayne State got on the board early in the second on a 35-yard field goal by Ethan Knudson, but Moorhead came back on the next drive, with Carr taking it the final eight yards for a 14-3 advantage.
Wayne State got within four late in the first half, with Zach Osborn throwing the first of three touchdown passes on the night. His 39-yard connection with Nate Rogers made it 14-10 late in the first half, but Moorhead would answer on their ensuing drive, with Carr hitting Damon Gibson on a 37-yard touchdown pass to make it 21-10 at the half.
Moorhead made it 28-10 early in the second half, but after a fumble recovery following a 70-yard punt by Cody Netusil, the WIldcats had a chance to make a game of it. Moorhead’s defense came up big, forcing a Houston Huss fumble at the 1-yard line, and the offense followed with a 99-yard drive to score midway through the third and take control of the game.
Wayne State got back as close as 11, with Osborn throwing a 69-yard scoring pass to Rogers and a two-yard pass to Nick Roth to make it 35-24, but Moorhead scored a final touchdown to come away with the win.
Moorhead had a 528-391 advantage in total yard again on the night. Osborn was 23-of-40 for 255 yards and three touchdowns, with Rogers the top receiver as he hauled in 11 passes for 123 yards and two scores.
Defensively, Tyri Bethea and Nick deBuhr each had eight tackles and Glenn Harris added seven. Cam Montgomery had six tackles and a fumble recovery, and Logan Weinandt and Jonathan Bland both had sacks.
The loss was just the third season-opening defeat in the last 12 years for the 0-1 Wildcats, who will host their home opener on Saturday, Sept. 10 against Minot State at 6 p.m. at Cunningham Field in Memorial Stadium.