Mavericks will aim to keep Minot winless

A historically dominant performance is on the horizon for the No. 20 Minnesota State football team this weekend against Minot State. The Mavericks are 4-0 against the Beavers since 2012, and are travelling to Minot this weekend in the hopes of staying undefeated in the Mavericks-Beavers series. 

The Mavs have historically “stomped” the Beavers, averaging nearly 50 points a game while only allowing just over seven points per game. Minnesota State will surely not overlook Minot State in this one, but are poised to come out of this weekend with a 3-1 record. 

In their previous contest, the Mavericks came out on top with a 62-13 win at Blakeslee stadium. This will be the first contest between the teams since 2018.

The Mavericks have settled into a dual quarterback offense in recent weeks, using quarterbacks senior JD Ekowa and redshirt freshman Hayden Ekern nearly equally. Ekowa brings scrambling upside to the table, leading the two quarterbacks in rushing touchdowns with four.

Ekern supplies an efficient air attack, supporting a 156.51 QB rating and a team-leading two passing touchdowns on 30 attempts.  Look for the Mavs to continue using their dual-headed quarterback approach this weekend.

As far as skill positions go, the Mavericks have amazing talent at the running back and wide receiver position. Sophomore Kaleb Sleezer leads the Mavs backfield in yards and touchdowns, while junior Jalen Sample leads the Mavs wide receiver corps in yards, catches, and is tied for first in touchdowns.

On the defensive side of the ball Minnesota State is led by seniors Eli Thomas and Ty’Shonan Brooks. The two lead the Mavericks in total tackles for their respective positions with 14 and 11.

They also have each recorded an interception on the season, both coming in their previous contest against Bemidji State. Thomas caught and returned his interception for only a yard, but Brooks returned his pick 50 yards for a touchdown to give the Mavs the lead in the first quarter. 

The two will look to continue their dominance this weekend against Minot State. 

The Beavers come into this game using a very similar two-quarterback attack, with senior Ben Bolinske, currently leading Minot State in nearly every quarterback category. The Beavers strength in offense comes behind sophomores Ali Mohammed and Cory Carignan.

Mohammed leads the Beaver rushing attack while Carignan is the clear cut number one wide receiver for the team. On the defensive side for Minot State stands redshirt freshman Kyle VanBerkom and sophomore Isaiah Bigby.

The two Beaver cornerbacks lead the team defense in total tackles with 21 and 20 respectively. 

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