WAYNE – Wayne State College forced eight Upper Iowa turnovers as the Wildcats rallied from a 10-7 halftime deficit to post a 28-10 Northern Sun Conference football victory Saturday afternoon at Bob Cunningham Field in Wayne in the 29th annual Egg Bowl Game. WSC has its first winning season in five years, ending at 6-5 overall and 4-3 in the NSIC South, while Upper Iowa finishes the year at 6-5 and 3-4 in divisional play.
After a scoreless first quarter, Wayne State took advantage of a fumbled punt return by Upper Iowa as senior Reggie Holt recovered the ball at UIU 16. Two plays later, senior fullback Houston Huss scored on an 11-yard run to put the Wildcats in front 7-0 with 12:52 to go second quarter.
Late in the second quarter, Upper Iowa scored twice in less than one minute to take a 10-7 lead.
UIU quarterback Brent Lammers connected with Jarred Edmonds on a 21-yard scoring pass with 1:10 to go before halftime to even the score at 7-7.
The Peacocks then intercepted WSC sophomore Aaron Bleil at the WSC 21. The Wildcat defense held Upper Iowa to a 38-yard field goal from Brady Beuschel with 24 seconds to play in the half giving Upper Iowa a 10-7 lead at intermission.
Wayne State took the lead for good late in the third quarter when Bleil fired a two-yard pass to Layne Sullivan, giving the ‘Cats a 14-10 lead entering the fourth quarter.
The ensuing drive, Upper Iowa drove the ball to the WSC 25 until quarterback Brent Lammers was intercepted by Wayne State’s Aaron Wright, who returned the ball 71 yards to the UIU 8.
Three plays later, Bleil threw a three-yard touchdown pass to Nate Rogers giving WSC a 21-10 lead with 14:22 to play. The catch by Rogers was his 27th career TD reception, matching the school record held by Jim Strahan from 1947-49.
The Wildcats added an insurance score with 9:46 remaining when Bleil threw a 41-yard scoring strike to sophomore Willie Walton to make the final score 28-10.
Upper Iowa outgained Wayne State in the contest 393-227. WSC had 51 yards rushing and 176 passing while UIU gained 93 on the ground and 300 through the air.
Bleil completed 16 of 35 passes for 176 yards with three touchdowns and one interception. Nate Rogers hauled in seven catches for 49 yards and one score followed by Willie Walton with six grabs for 103 yards and one TD. Layne Sullivan finished with three receptions for 24 yards and one TD.
Wayne State’s defense forced eight turnovers in the contest with five interceptions and three fumbles. Sophomore Ian Ailts had nine tackles and one fumble recovery while senior Emeka Etta had nine tackles with one forced fumble. Senior linebacker DeWayne Scott notched eight tackles with one interception while redshirt freshman linebacker Ben Elznic contributed eight tackles.
Senior Glenn Harris added five tackles with one fumble recovery for 22 yards and one interception, his eighth of the season that tied a single season school record.
For Upper Iowa, Ryan Parmely rushed for 94 yards on 26 carries. Junior quarterback Brent Lammers completed 24 of 48 passes for 300 yards with one touchdown and five interceptions.
Wide receiver Jarred Edmonds was named Egg Bowl MVP for Upper Iowa with nine catches for 132 yards and one touchdown.