Mavericks handle the Vikings in the home opener

Zylstra and Gunn carry the offensive load for MSU football

Andrew Neururer
Sports Editor

In Minnesota State’s first football home game of the 2019 season, they took a 27-7 NSIC rival victory over the Augustana Vikings.

Last year, the Mavericks had a hard-fought battle against the Vikings, coming from behind to win 38-36. MSU learned from its mistakes a year later and controlled the football game from start to finish.

The Mavericks never trailed the game, but Augustana did make things interesting in the first half. By the start of the third quarter, the Vikings trailed by three points, 10-7.

It was a dominating second half in which the Mavericks scored 17 points in the third quarter. Those points in the third marked the only points made by either side for the remainder of the game. 

The defense played a big part in the win, giving up just seven points. Vikings quarterback Kyle Saddler completed 19 of his 38 passing attempts. Despite throwing for 245 yards and a touchdown, he still gave up three interceptions. 

Junior Cole Schroedermeier continued his success from week one’s victory over Southwest Minnesota State, snagging his second interception in as many as two games.

Senior Jack Curtis and junior Jack Leius took part in the other two interceptions thrown from Saddler.

The Mavericks were only able to sack the quarterback twice in Saturday night’s victory. Senior defensive end Garret Jansen and junior defensive tackle Michael Buetow were the two who were able to wrap up the quarterback. 

Buetow also tied senior linebacker Zach Robertson for a team-high seven tackles. 

Quarterback duo JD Ekowa and Ryan Schlichte split time throwing the ball – a consistent feature in the Mavericks offense. It wasn’t the best day for the two, but they were still able to each throw a touchdown. The two combined for 10 completed passes on 29 attempts. 

Offensive standouts Nate Gunn and Shane Zylstra continued their success in week two. Gunn picked up 138 yards and a touchdown on 20 rushing attempts. He didn’t surpass over 200 yards and three TDs like last week, but he was just as dominant. 

Zylstra picked up 108 receiving yards and two touchdowns. He led the game in receiving yards, including the longest passing play of the game at 50 yards. Beyond Zylstra, the Mavericks struggled to get anything rolling in the air, with just sophomore receiver Jalen Sample picking up 31 yards.

The Mavericks will look to go 3-0 in an away game next week against Concordia-St. Paul. The game will be held at noon Saturday, Sept. 21.

Header photo by Mansoor Ahmad | MSU Reporter.

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