MOORHEAD, Minn. (MSUM Athletics) -- The Minnesota State University Moorhead football team held a 26-23 lead in the fourth quarter but Winona State rallied late to a take a 28-26 win over the Dragons in Northern Sun Intercollegiate Conference football Saturday at Scheels Field at Nemzek Stadium.
MSUM is now 3-2 overall and in the NSIC while Winona State improved to 3-2.
"We showed a lot of resiliency to come back and give ourselves a chance to win the game," MSUM head coach Steve Laqua said. "We fought through a lot of adversity and battled back to get the lead, but we didn't execute well enough down the stretch to finish off the win."
Senior cornerback Deiondre Taylor had an interception and two passes defended to lead the defense. Junior safety Shad Vedaa had 10 tackles, including two for loss, while junior defensive lineman Jordan Magnuson had 10 tackles. Senior defensive end Derek Porozinski had eight tackles, including one for loss, and a blocked field goal.
Freshman quarterback Matthew Plasterer was 23-of-40 passing for 349 yards and two interceptions. He also rushed for 36 yards and a score.
Sophomore receiver Trent Marquart had eight catches for 70 yards while junior receiver Grady Bresnahan had six catches for 121 yards. Junior running backs Denver Colgrove and Ty Jochim had rushing touchdowns.
MSUM was down 23-18 in the fourth quarter after Paul Ortiz hit a field goal for the Warriors but the Dragons answered with an 8-play, 75-yard scoring drive. The big play was a 54-yard pass from Plasterer to Bresnahan to bring MSUM inside the Warrior 25-yard line. Then on a fourth down at the five, Marquart hauled in a pass to convert the first down and one play later, Jochim found the end zone to put MSUM up for the first time in the game. Plasterer rushed in the two-point conversion and MSUM led 26-23 with 9:01 left.
On the ensuing kickoff, freshman Jared Kallenbach forced a fumble and redshirt freshman Beau Driscoll recovered to put MSUM in business at the Warrior 24-yard line. However, on a third down and long, Plasterer was intercepted to end that threat.
The Warriors drove down to Dragon territory and stalled at the 12, and Porozinski blocked Ortiz's field goal attempt. However MSUM went three-and-out, and on the punt attempt, the snap sailed over the punter's head and out of the end zone for a safety to cut the Dragon lead to 26-25 with a few minutes left.
The Warriors stalled at the Dragon 18-yard line but this time converted the field goal to take the 28-26 lead with 46 seconds left.
MSUM got to its 33-yard line after a 22-yard pass from Plasterer to junior receiver Jake Richter but stalled, and a sack and fumble ended the Dragons' hopes.
Sophomore Ryan Harvey-Turner had three catches for 58 yards for MSUM. Senior linebacker Carson Zarak had 1.5 tackles for loss.
MSUM plays at Concordia-St. Paul at 12 p.m. on Saturday, Oct. 12.
Steve d'Eustachio Stat of the Game: Today marks the first loss on this date since Minnesota Duluth posted a 38-10 win over the Dragons in Duluth in 1985. It also marks the first time the Dragons lost in Moorhead on this date since Concordia College earned a 22-7 victory over in 1929.