The Mavericks survived a late comeback scare from the Vikings to improve their record to 2-0.
What. A. Game.
The Minnesota State football team was pushed to their absolute limits Saturday night in Sioux Falls, SD. Augustana gave the Mavs everything they got, but fell just short of upsetting the #1 team in D-II, losing 38-36.
The Mavericks came out running in the first quarter, as junior running back Nate Gunn finished off a 10-play drive with a 2-yard run for a TD.
The Vikings responded stronger, scoring 20 unanswered points, including a TD with the time expiring late in the first quarter.
What came after that was a game of tug of war between the two teams, all the way to the fourth quarter.
At the end of the third, QB Ryan Schlichte connected on a pass to wide receiver Shane Zylstra on a 40-yard pass to make it 30-28 Augustana.
Finally, after a Casey Bednarski field goal gave the Mavericks a 31-30 lead at the beginning of the 4th quarter, the Mavericks have something to build off of.
Then late in the quarter, Schlichte ran the ball in for a TD with 1:31 left in the game, putting Minnesota State up 38-30 late in the 4th quarter.
With over a minute left to go, Augustana had a chance to tie the game late, and send the game to overtime. Unfortunately for the Vikings, the Mavericks were able to stand their ground against their adversary.
With the game-time expired, QB Kyle Saddler ran into the endzone to make the game 38-36. After the score, Saddler celebrated by taking off his helmet on the play.
Unfortunately, because of that, he had to sit out the next play, and backup quarterback Zach Masoli had to go under center for the last, and most important play of the game.
Masoli attempted to hit one of his wide-receiver’s to tie up the game, but his pass was incomplete and the Vikings failed to convert on the two-point conversion, and that was the game.
This game was a classic game played by both teams that’ll be remembered for years to come.
Nate Gunn had a huge day for the Mavericks. He went on to get 131 rushing yards and 3 TD’s and was a key factor for the Mavericks.
Ryan Schlichte threw for 332 yards and one TD, while WR’s Shane Zylstra and Justin Arnold combined for 216 yards and 1 TD on the day.
The defense also did their part. Led by Jack Curtis who had 8 tackles, the Mavs didn’t hold back. Zack Robertson and Keyshawn Davis had 6 each.
For the Vikings, Kyle Saddler threw for 451 and 3 TD’s, completing 28 passes. RB Rudolh Sinflorant ran for 62 and a TD of his own. WR’s Nickel Meyers and Chet Peerenboom caught the ball a combined 11 times and 214 yards, with 2 TD’s. Kyle Theis recorded the only sack of the game.
This year’s matchup has been closer than years past, as the Vikings showed everyone why they shouldn’t be taken lightly in 2018.
Ladies and gentlemen, the Mavericks football team has shown again why the team is in for a heck of a year. Get in the seats, cheer your hearts out, and remember, go Mavericks!
Feature photo by Mansoor Ahmad/MSU Reporter.