After being down 21-7 at halftime, the team came out in the 2nd half firing on all cylinders.
Last weekend, the Mavericks beat Winona State in a heart racing second half comeback, scoring 21 unanswered points to cap the game 31-21, improving the team’s record to 4-0 on the season and further cementing their well-deserved number one ranking.
The first half was hard to watch, as the Warriors built a disheartening 21-7 lead, notching 237 yards of total offense. Comparatively, the Mavs only totaled 146 yards, rushing for 106 of them. Early on in the game, Winona State put up points on their first two drives.
Trailing 10-0 early on in the second quarter, the Mavericks rallied with a 75-yard drive that ended with a 12-yard touchdown pass from quarterback Ryan Schlichte to junior wide out Shane Zylstra, making the score 10-7.
The Warriors added two more scores in the second quarter, a 44-yard touchdown pass from Winona State quarterback Owen Burke to Isaiah Frandsen, and then a field goal later on in the quarter, increasing their lead to 21-7 as halftime came around.
The Mavericks began the comeback on their first possession of the second half, starting the third quarter with a 75-yard drive that ended in a 10-yard touchdown run from junior Nate Gunn, closing the lead down to 7 in favor of the Warriors.
Following this opening score, however, both defenses settled in as no more points were allowed for the remainder of the third quarter. Winona ended the third marching, but the Mavs defense shaped up, forcing a Warrior field goal attempt.
Amazingly, sophomore TyShonan Brooks was able to block the kick and senior Keyshawn Davis recovered the blocked field goal, returning it to the 45-yard line.
After the blocked field goal, MSU stormed to the WSU 15, where senior Casey Bednarski kicked a 32-yard field goal, bringing the score to 21-17. On the Warriors’ next drive, they rushed for no gain before a sack from junior Alex Goettl pushed the Warriors to their own 15.
On the next play, junior Parrish Marrow intercepted a pass from Burke, returning it to the three-yard line, setting the Maverick offense up with an amazing opportunity to secure the game.
Three plays later, Gunn ran into the end zone, putting MSU up 24-21 in the fourth quarter.
Both teams failed to score on their next possessions. When Winona started its next drive they started marching, but then, as if on cue, junior Spencer Hermus intercepted a pass from Burke and returned it to the 50-yard line.
MSU’s following drive ate up most of the clock as they went 50 yards in eight plays, ending with a seven-yard touchdown run from Gunn to bring the score to 31-21.
Winona’s last drive saw sophomore Chance Bowen record sacks on back-to-back plays cementing the comeback as MSU finished the game with a 31-21.
This win proved the Mavs can come back from a bad first half and it proved they are the number one team in the conference.
Moving forward, the Mavericks return to Blakeslee Stadium on Saturday, Sept. 29, hosting St. Cloud State in the annual Homecoming game. Kickoff is scheduled for 2 p.m.
Feature Photo: Nate Gunn (pictured) helped the Mavericks effort on the night, scoring three touchdowns on the day for the team, leading to a 31-21 victory over the rival Warriors. (Mansoor Ahmad | MSU Reporter)