Football returns to Blakeslee

Mavericks returned to the field Saturday for the team’s spring game

Jake Rinehart
Staff Writer

The Minnesota State football team concluded its spring practice Saturday as the Gold Team defeated the Purple Team by a final score of 21-7 at Blakeslee Stadium.

The gold team set the pace early on as it scored on its opening drive to take an early 7-0 lead. Their drive went 75 yards in 12 plays, which was capped off by a one-yard touchdown run from junior running back Nate Gunn. Gunn rushed for 34 yards during the drive, while junior quarterback Ryan Schlichte completed three passes for 34 yards.

The Gold defense then forced a quick three and out on the Purple Team’s following drive to set up the Gold unit on the gold 35-yard line. Schlichte then completed two passes, including a 23-yard pass to Trevor Nissen, and a 42-yard touchdown pass to Justin Arnold to put the gold team up 14-0 with 1:59 to go in the first quarter.

The Purple Team was able to answer back on its following drive. Following a pair of rushes where the Purple Team lost a yard, freshman quarterback JD Ekowa completed two passes of his own as the Purple Team in the back of the end zone cut the lead to 14-7. Ekowa first completed a 31-yard pass to sophomore wide receiver Chase Werwinski, before connecting with junior Shane Zylstra on a 43-yard touchdown strike.

The Gold Team put together the final scoring drive on its next possession as they went 89 yards in 10 plays to go up 21-7 with 3:46 left in the second quarter. Schlichte completed four passes for a total of 52 yards, before junior tailback Ian Pribyl finished off the scoring drive with a 20-yard touchdown run.

Neither team was able to get on the scoreboard the rest of the game as the gold team held on to the 21-7 win. The game also went to a running clock in the second half.

For the Gold Team, Schlichte completed 11-of-13 passes for 186 yards and a touchdown. Gunn ran for 49 rushing yards and a touchdown, while freshman running back Charles Terry IV tallied 37 rushing yards in seven carries. Justin Arnold led the Gold receiving corps with 73 yards and a touchdown, whileJalen Sample caught five passes for 74 yards.

On defense, the Gold Team was led by freshman Aarion Lacy who recorded 4.5 tackles. Spencer Hermus, Cole Schroedermeier, Lance Arni and Chance Bowen each recorded a tackle for a loss.

For the Purple Team’s offense, Ekowa went 7-of-13 passing for 148 yards and a touchdown. Zylstra led the Purple receiving corps with 74 receiving yards and a touchdown. Keyshawn Davis led the Purple defense with six tackles, including one for a loss. Freshman Trey Halfmann notched 4.5 tackles and freshman Joey Roth added four.

Minnesota State opens its 2018 season on Thursday, Aug. 30, as it hosts Southwest Minnesota State at Blakeslee Stadium. Kickoff is scheduled for 6:00 p.m.

Photo: (Jeremiah Ayodele/MSU Reporter)

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