Coyotes defeat Wayne State South Dakota opened the 1998 football season with a 24-14 win over Wayne State in the DakotaDome last Saturday. It marked USD's 19th consecutive win over a team outside the North Central Conference. The last loss for the Coyotes against a non-conference team came in the 1986 season opener against Washburn (16-14). USD entertains Truman State this Saturday at 1:30 p.m.
The Coyote defense limited Wayne State to 255 yards in total offense, including only 39 yards rushing. In fact, the Wildcats were held to one-yard rushing after the first two quarters. Meanwhile, the USD offense generated 326 total yards with 206 yards rushing and 120 passing. The Coyote offensive line was sparked by Vermillion senior Chris Bartling, who was named USD's Offensive Lineman of the Week.
South Dakota jumped to a 10-0 first quarter lead. On USD's first offensive possession the Coyotes went 40 yards in 9 plays capped by a 28-yard field goal by Adam Hicks. The Coyote defense rose up on Wayne State's next series when Matt Chatham intercepted a pass on the sideline and returned it five yards to the Wildcats' 22-yard line. It eventually set up Peter Martin's six-yard touchdown pass to Tim Squier with 3:58 left in the period.
Wayne State managed to record a safety early in the second quarter, but midway through the period the Coyotes took over at the Wildcats' 43 – sparked by a 24-yard punt return by Phillip Meehan. The Coyotes proceeded to find the endzone in six plays with the final call being a 30-yard touchdown strike from Brian Litecky to Steve Young for a 17-2 margin.
The Coyotes increased their margin to 24-2 with 5:45 remaining in the third quarter on Dustin Sagedahl's four-yard touchdown reception from Martin. USD was fueled in the drive by two big runs. Meehan got USD out of a difficult field position on a third-and-32 situation with a 53-yard scamper to the Wildcats' 38. Jamel White then followed with a 34-yard burst which set up Sagedahl's score.
Martin completed 11 of 17 passes for 89 yards, while Litecky hit two of six for 31 yards. Meehan led the rushing department with 62 yards on six carries, while Darren Smith netted 51 yards on five attempts. The Coyotes used seven different receivers. Eric Porisch had three catches for 38 yards. Mike Weister had three receptions for 22 yards, with Young hauling in two for 38 yards.
Defensively the Coyotes were paced by Nathan Lake's 14 tackles and one fumble recovery. Jared Pospisil had 10 tackles. Overall, the USD defense recorded 14 tackles for 39 yards in losses and four quarterback sacks.