Mavs face CSP for Hoco game

The Homecoming matchup of the season is finally upon us as the No. 17 Minnesota State football team is ready to host Concordia-St.Paul this weekend. The Mavericks are 9-0 against the Golden Bears since 2011, and are hosting the Golden Bears this weekend in the hopes of continuing their win streak to ten. 

The Mavs have historically taken care of the Golden Bears by a decent margin, averaging over 40 points in their last six contests. Minnesota State has also not let Concordia-St.Paul score over 13 points in a game since 2012.

In their previous contest, the Mavericks came out on top with a 29-3 win in St. Paul. This will be the first contest between the teams since 2019 after last season was cut because of COVID.

The Mavericks will surely not overlook the Golden Bears in this one, but are poised to put a show on for the homecoming crowd this weekend.

The Mavericks lean on a dual quarterback offense, using quarterbacks senior JD Ekowa and redshirt freshman Hayden Ekern nearly equally. Ekowa brings scrambling upside to the table, currently tied for the team lead in rushing touchdowns with four.

Ekern is the smart pocket passer, supporting a 173.3 rating and a team-leading four passing touchdowns on just 41 attempts. Ekern also brings his own rushing dynamic to the quarterback room, while he leads the position in rushing yards as well.

As far as skill positions go, the Mavericks have amazing talent at the running back and wide receiver position. The running back room is absolutely filled with telent, led by sophomore Kaleb Sleezer. Sleezer leads the Mavs backfield in yards and touchdowns, but redshirt freshman Charles Coleman is a very good second running back who averages 11.6 yards per carry. 

Junior wide receiver Jalen Sample leads the Mavs wide receiver corps in yards and catches, while senior Nyles Williams backs up Sample and leads in touchdowns. Williams is also a very dangerous special teams player, and he showed just that against Minot State in the Mavericks’ previous contest. 

Williams returned a punt for a 90 yard touchdown against the Beavers, and is prepped and ready to use his elite vision and speed against the Golden Bears this weekend.

On the defensive side of the ball Minnesota State is led by seniors Eli Thomas and Ty’Shonan Brooks. The two either lead or are tied for the lead in total tackles for their respective positions with 17 and 11.

Brooks leads the Mavericks in interceptions on the season with two, each coming in the past two games. Brooks has a chance to make his interception streak three, with at least one pick this weekend.

The Golden Bears come in with an overall record of 1-3, but have some amazing talent on both sides of the ball. 

Concordia-St.Paul is led by freshman quarterback Conner Cordts, who is very efficient at his position. Cordts has only thrown one interception on the year, along with 800 yards and six touchdowns.  

Freshman running back Jay Richardson and junior wide receiver Isaiah Koran are the Golden Bears leaders in each of their respective skill positions. The Golden Bears strength in offense comes behind a young core, and should be exciting to watch in the future if all holds true.

Sophomore linebacker Andrew Egnarski is the face of the Concordia-St.Paul defense. Egnarski leads the team in total tackles with 27 and has 3.5 sacks on the year. 

As only a sophomore, Egnarski is an absolute monster in the box and only adds to the Golden Bears young and impressive core. The two teams are set to kick off Saturday October 2 at 2 p.m. at Blakeslee Stadium in Mankato.

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