Dragons’ Losing Skid Continues In Shutout

NOTE: This is the first story I ever had published in The Forum. 

Winona State’s Ryan Eversman knows his role. That’s why the senior backup quarterback prepares as if he were the starter.

His readiness paid off in the Warriors’ 42-0 victory over Minnesota State Moorhead in Northern Sun Intercollegiate Conference football at Alex Nemzek Stadium on Saturday.

It was the first time MSUM was held scoreless since 2000.

Eversman replaced injured starter Brian Wrobel in the first quarter and threw for career-highs of 307 yards and four touchdowns. It came as no shock to his coach.

“Eversman is a great quarterback,” Winona State head coach Tom Sawyer said. “We’re very fortunate to be able to take one (quarterback) out and put another one in and not miss a beat.”

Wide receiver Chris Samp gave Eversman a nice target, hauling in two touchdown passes in the second quarter to break a scoreless tie.

Eversman floated a 50-yard spiral over the middle and hit Samp in stride for the Warriors’ first touchdown. The play set the tone for Winona State (8-1, 5-0), which finished with 578 total yards.

“Those guys are confident about me coming in, and I’m confident with myself,” Eversman said.

Winona State’s receivers gave the Dragon secondary fits. Six different Warriors caught passes totaling 370 yards.

“They were giving us open looks. We did a good job taking advantage of the situation,” Samp said.

The Dragons (0-9, 0-5) struggled again offensively, gaining 274 total yards.

Sophomore Derek Smith, starting for the third week in place of injured Sean Belmont, passed for 153 yards, going 11 of 25 with one interception.

MSUM moved the ball inside the Winona State 30 only twice, but turned the ball over on downs each time.