Story and photo courtesy of Wayne State (Neb.) Athletics
Senior running back Nick Pulscher ran for 145 yards and one score while senior wide receiver Kevin Paulsen added six catches for 122 yards and two scores to lead Wayne State College in a 31-27 homecoming win over Augustana College in Northern Sun Conference football played Saturday afternoon at Bob Cunningham Field in Wayne. WSC is now 8-0 in homecoming contests under head coach Dan McLaughlin as the Wildcats improved to 4-1 overall and 4-1 in the NSIC while Augustana College drops to 2-3 overall and 2-3 in league play.
The Vikings opened the scoring on the first drive of the game as quarterback Josh Hanson found Ben Parsley on an eight yard scoring pass, giving Augustana a 7-0 lead. WSC responded with a score on their first drive as Nick Pulscher raced 55 yards for a touchdown knotting the score at 7-7 with 9:54 to play in the first quarter.
WSC took the lead for good early in the second quarter on a Max Martin 20 yard field goal, giving the 'Cats a 10-7 lead with 9:16 to play in the first half. The first half ended in wild fashion as the two teams combined for three scores in the final 1:33. Kevin Paulsen hauled in a 53-yard scoring strike from Nate Most to increase the WSC advantage to 17-7 with 1:33 to play before halftime. Augustana then moved 80 yards on eight plays in just 1:10 and scored on a 20-yard pass play from Hanson to Grant Gebhardt making the score 17-14. But WSC struck just before halftime as Most found sophomore Adam Stark on a 72-yard bomb with just seven seconds left before halftime, giving the Wildcats a 24-14 lead at halftime.
Augustana took advantage of a WSC turnover midway through the third quarter after recovering a Nate Most fumble at the WSC 26 to cut the Wildcat lead to 24-21 as Hanson hooked up with Parsley on a four-yard scoring pass with 6:15 to play in the third quarter. But again WSC responded with a score as Most and Paulsen teamed up on a score for a second time in the game as Paulsen spun away from an Augustana defender and sprinted 40 yards for a touchdown giving WSC a 31-21 lead after three quarters.
The Vikings scored with 2:13 to play in the game as Hanson threw his third touchdown pass of the game to Parsley, this time from six yards out, trimming the lead to 31-27 after the extra point kick by Drew Behrens hit the right upright. Augustana attempted an onside kick that was recovered by WSC backup quarterback Brian Kent and the Wildcats used strong rushing from Pulscher to get one first down and then run time off the clock as the Wildcats hung on for the 31-27 win over the Vikings.
Augustana held a 438-429 edge in total offense over WSC. The Wildcats were balanced on offense with 230 yards rushing and 199 passing while the Vikings had 89 rushing and 349 passing. Pulscher ended the game with 145 yards on 21 carries and one score to lead the 'Cats on the ground while Charlie Davidson added 87 yards on 14 rushes. Quarterback Nate Most was 8 of 18 passing for 199 yards with three touchdowns. Kevin Paulsen led WSC in receiving with six catches for 122 yards and two scores while Adam Stark added a 72 yard touchdown grab.
Defensively, junior safety Austan Pomajzl had a game-high 14 tackles with one forced fumble while Richard Daniel finished with seven tackles, one fumble recovery and one quarterback hurry. Senior punter Randy Weich was stellar, averaging 54.8 yards on six punts for the Wildcats.
The Wildcats will be on the road next weekend, playing a 5 p.m. Northern Sun Conference game at Southwest Minnesota State in Marshall, Minnesota.