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Top-ranked Bulldogs come up empty at Wayne State

Wayne State College put an end to a multitude of impressive Bulldog streaks by shutting down the defending NCAA Division II champions 7-0 Saturday evening at a misty Bob Cunningham Field.

Wayne State College put an end to a multitude of impressive Bulldog streaks by shutting down the defending NCAA Division II champions 7-0 Saturday evening at a misty Bob Cunningham Field.

The victory was the Wildcats' first in 11 lifetime tries against UMD and snapped the Bulldogs' 31-game Northern Sun Intercollegiate Conference winning streak. It was also the first time UMD failed to score in 128 league games (going back to a 7-0 loss at Southwest Minnesota State University on Oct. 28, 1989).

What's more, the No. 1-ranked Bulldogs entered the evening having won 23 straight games on the road, 41 against NSIC competition and 17 overall going back to the start of the 2010 season.

Wayne State (2-1 overall and 2-0 in the NSIC), which mustered just 164 yards of total offense in the victory and only 46 yards after the opening quarter, got all the scoring it would need from its special teams. On the final play of the third quarter, UMD sophomore Alex Brown's punt was blocked by Wayne State's Alex Konicek at the Bulldog 36-yard line where it was recovered by teammate Kevin Paulson and returned for a touchdown.

The Bulldogs (2-1, 1-1) did not fare a whole lot better, picking up 277 yards on 74 plays, none of which came inside the red zone. UMD was outgained 118 yards to 34 in the first 15 minutes of play, but kept the game scoreless thanks to sophomore defensive end Jordan Bauman's block of a 31-yard field goal try and senior outside linebacker Derrick Zappa's first career interception in the end zone.

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Austin Sikorski paced both teams in rushing with 76 yards on 15 carries while fellow UMD freshman running back carried eight times for 34. Junior quarterback Chase Vogler made good on 15 of 32 passes for 189 yards but his last throw -- on the final drive of the game -- was picked off, ending his streak of consecutive attempts without an interception at 106. It also was his first interception on the road since Oct. 24, 2009.

The 2011 All-NSIC North Division first team did, however, become UMD's all-time leading rusher for quarterbacks early in the fourth quarter. He wound up with 15 yards on the ground, giving him 1,440 for his career -- six yards more than the previous record-holder, All-American Ted Schlafke (2005-08).

Senior strong safety Cody Eich topped the UMD defensive charts for the third time in as many games this season, figuring in on eight total tackles while senior inside linebacker Max Phillips and sophomore cornerback Kenny Chowa both were credited with seven stops.

UMD will remain on the road for an another NSIC challenge next Saturday against Bemidji State University.

Related Topics: BULLDOG SPORTSFOOTBALL
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