Winona State Qualifies For Bowl Game, Simmons Finalist for Harlon Hill
Paul Van Beek Reporting
The Winona State football team is headed to the Mineral Water Bowl after beating Concordia-St. Paul Saturday afternoon 49-31. Rayon Simmons ran for 184 yards and two touchdowns and also set the Winona State and NSIC single season rushing record with 1588 yards. The Winona State offense, which averaged 447 yards per game this season, set the NSIC record for total yards per game.
Winona State was left out of the playoffs because of Missouri Western State’s 21-20 victory over Northwest Missouri State. The Warriors needed Missouri Western to lose and that may dropped them behind Winona State in the rankings. Instead both Northwest Missouri State and Missouri Western qualified for the Super Region 3 playoffs. Minnesota State-Mankato and Minnesota-Duluth, the two teams that beat Winona State this year, qualified for the playoffs from the NSIC.
Winona State will now take Lindenwood in the Mineral Water Bowl on Saturday December 1st. This will be the third appearance in the Mineral Water Bowl for Winona State and their first since 2002.
Winona State running back Rayon Simmons has been named a regional finalist for the 2012 Harlon Hill Trophy, which is given to the Division II Player of the Year. Simmons has run for 1588 yards this season and he broke the Winona State and NSIC single season and career rushing records this past season.
Six players from each of the four Division II Super Regions were selected as regional finalists and the top two from each region will advance to the national ballot. The Harlon Hill winner will be announced on December 14th.
Simmons is the seventh Warrior to be a Harlon Hill regional finalist and the first since Brian Hynes in 2005.