No. 4 MNSU crushes Upper Iowa, 52-7

The Mavericks rushing attack was too much for the Peacocks in a dominating game

The No. 4 Minnesota State Mavericks defeated the Upper Iowa Peacocks 52-7 on the road last weekend, looking dominant in their largest margin of victory this season as they move to 7-0.

The Mavs jumped out to an early 13-0 lead in the first quarter with two touchdown passes from sophomore quarterback Ryan Schlichte to Shane Zylstra and Tyler Schmidt. The Mavericks built on their lead the very next quarter with a scoring run from Schlichte, putting the Mavs up 20-0. Quarterback J.D. Ekowa also shined in the passing game, playing the very next scoring drive and throwing a 60-yard bomb to Parker Gloudemans. With a safety and a 58-yard scoring run from running back Justin Taormina, the Mavericks one slipup was a 10-yard touchdown pass from the Peacocks. It was a minor let up from an impressive Mavericks team that went into the half up 36-7.

The Mavericks continued to steamroll in the second half, with another touchdown pass from Schlichte and run from Taormina for a score in the third quarter. In the fourth, a Casey Bednarski field goal increased the Mavericks scoring total to 52.

Schlichte threw for 163 yards and three scores in the victory, finishing efficiently with 13 completions on 19 attempts. The change of pace quarterback also had a 61 yards on two completions for a score, along with an interception.

The offensive line looked good in another performance, keeping both quarterbacks clean of sacks and helping the Mavericks to 359 rushing yards. While sophomore running back Nate Gunn did not lead the team in rushing, he did finish with 111 rushing yards on 11 carries. It marked the seventh-straight game that he has recorded 100-yards rushing. His backfield partner Taormina finished with 118 yards and two scores.

The Mavericks were led in receiving by Gloudemans, who finished with three catches for 77-yards and a score. The team had 229 total receiving yards, with seven different players recording a catch.

The defense looked dominant as well, only allowing 150 total yards and racking up six tackles for loss along with three sacks. They also forced a fumble and had four broken up passes.

They were lead in tackles by Michael Buetow, who had six tackles, all of them solo. Other defensive standouts were Brenden Chrystal, who had four tackles and a forced fumble while both Evan Perrizo and Shola George both had four tackles, a sack and a tackle for loss each.

The Mavericks are on the road next week to face the Southwest Minnesota State Mustangs, who sit at 2-5 on the season and will most likely be another favorable matchup. The two teams hurdling towards each other are the Mavericks and the Winona State Warriors, who also sit at 7-0. The Warriors play the Wayne State Wildcats, a 4-3 team, and both squads should roll into Mankato with 8-0 records. Looking ahead, the Mavericks have a two-game home stand against the Warriors and the Wildcats before heading out to play the Sioux Falls Cougars, currently standing at 6-1. The Mavericks face what could be the best two or three teams they have played all season after next weekend, which makes the game against the Mustangs the last game before a murderous stretch. However, getting through the next month perfect would give the Mavs a great playoff bid.

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