The Golden Eagles fall to 1-6 (1-4 Div.).

    The University of Minnesota Crookston struggled to move the football on a cold and windy day at Ed Widseth Field as they fell 51-13 to Winona State University. The wind made it tough to pass on the day as both teams struggled going into the wind.

    Minnesota Crookston finished with 175 yards of offense with 94 through the air and 81 yards on the ground. Winona State picked up 400 yards of offense with 288 on the ground and 112 in the passing game.

    The Golden Eagles fall to 1-6 (1-4 Div.) on the 2018 season, while Winona State improves to 5-2 (3-2 NSIC) with Saturday’s win.

    Tristan Robbins (Fr., QB, Muskegon, Mich.) came off the bench at quarterback to give a boost to the Golden Eagles. Robbins showed glimpses of his potential as he continues to develop. Robbins went 11-of-20 for 94 yards through the air with a touchdown. Robbins rushed 18 times for 55 yards for an average of 3.1 yards per rush. Robbins relieved Jalin Scott (Jr., QB, Houston, Texas), who was 0-of-2 for 0 yards. He also had four rushes for six yards.

Key Players

Minnesota Crookston
Tristan Robbins, 11-of-20, 94 yards, 1 TD, 18 carries, 55 yards
Shonte Smith, 7 carries, 18 yards, 1 TD, 2 catches, 10 yards, 1 TD
Andy Groebner, 2 catches, 26 yards
Kyler Banks, 1 catch, 22 yards
Jeremy Neuman, 3 catches, 19 yards
Will Cole, 11 tackles
Skyler Quinn, 6 tackles, 1.5 TFL

Winona State
Owen Burke, 9-of-21, 112 yards, 2 TD
Sam Santiago-Lloyd, 15 carries, 122 yards, 2 TD
Miguel Benjamin, 6 carries, 85 yards, 1 TD
Eric Birth, 14 carries, 52 yards, 1 TD
Tanner Gran, 2 receptions, 31 yards, 1 TD
Michael Ferrante, 7 tackles, 1.5 TFL, 1 sack
Cole Monckton, 5 tackles, 1 TFL

    The game started out with three consecutive defensive stops before Winona State was able to break the scoreless tie with 8:52 left in the first quarter when Eric Birth rushed in from three yards out.

    The Golden Eagles moved into Winona State territory on their next drive, but a Kevin Evans (Sr., RB, Groveland, Fla.) fumble would give the ball back to the Warriors. On the next play, Owen Burke fumbled for Winona State, with Joe Warner (Jr., DL, St. Louis Park, Minn.) recovering. Unfortunately, Elijah Todd (Jr., RB, Toledo, Ohio) fumble two plays later with Cole LaLiberty coming up with the ball making it three fumbles on four plays between the two teams.

    The Warriors capitalized on Todd’s fumble as Sam Santiago-Lloyd went in from three yards out on the touchdown rush to push the advantage to 14-0.

    On the next drive, a high snap on a punt sent Stephen Day (R-Sr., K/P, Eveleth, Minn.) running for the ball. The punter got the ball in the end zone and threw it out of the back of the end zone for the safety to push Winona State’s lead to 16-0.

    The Warriors added a score early in the second quarter as Santiago-Lloyd ran in from 11 yards out for his second touchdown of the game to push the lead to 23-0.

    The Golden Eagles came up with a big defensive stop mid-way through the second quarter as Devante Nutall (Sr., DL, Plymouth, Minn.) stopped Santiago-Lloyd for no gain on a fourth down with four yards to go.

    Minnesota Crookston got the ball down to the Winona State 39 on the next drive, but Robbins was stopped on fourth down to give the ball back to the Warriors.

    Neither team would be able to get another score in the first half as Winona State went into the half up 23-0.

    The Warriors opened the second half with a score as Burke found Tanner Gran on fourth down for a 22-yard touchdown strike to move the lead to 30-0.

    Minnesota Crookston was able to move the ball down to the Winona State 14 on the ensuing drive led by a 17-yard pass from Robbins to Andy Groebner (Fr., WR, Andover, Minn.) and 13-yard run by Robbins. However, Groebner fumbled on the option pitch on fourth down with Ben McCabe recovering the halt the drive.

    Winona State added to their tally later in the third quarter as Burke connected with Darryl Williams for a 25-yard touchdown pass to extend the lead to 37-0.

    The Warriors added a tally in the fourth quarter as Robbins fumbled deep in his territory with Alex Evans recovering the fumble in the end zone to move the lead to 44-0.

    The Golden Eagles responded as they got on the scoreboard for the first time in the game with Shonte Smith (Jr., WR, Pacoima, Calif.) taking the hand-off for a four-yard touchdown run capping off a 75-yard drive. The drive was led by an 18-yard rush by Robbins and a 22-yard pass to Kyler Banks (R-So., WR, Cannon Falls, Minn.) for the first career catch for the converted safety.

    Winona State countered with a 70-yard touchdown run by Miguel Benjamin to move the lead to 51-7.

    The Golden Eagles came back with their second score of the season as Robbins found Smith for the 10-yard strike. A failed extra point put the score at 51-13. The 67-yard drive was guided by Robbins, who rushed five times for 36 yards on the drive, as he showed off his athleticism on the drive.

    Winona State ran out the clock the rest of the way as they won by the 51-13 tally.

    Minnesota Crookston hits the road next week to take on Concordia University-St. Paul for a 12 p.m. kickoff in St. Paul, Minn.