Mavs take down Peacocks with ease

Four games on the schedule sit between the Minnesota State football team and the NCAA division II playoffs.

Upper Iowa seemed to be no contest for a hungry Minnesota State team, as the Mavericks shut  out the Peacocks 58-0 to improve their record to 5-2. The Peacocks now sit at 0-7 overall, still searching for their first win of the season with only one home contest remaining.

The Mavericks still find themselves outside the top 25 of the AFCA coaches poll, but have received votes.

The game script was kind to the Mavs this past weekend against the Peacocks, who were unable to put up any points against the smothering Minnesota State defense. The Mavs were unable to find a sack in the game, but totaled seven tackles for loss to do similar damage.

The defense was also able to intercept Upper Iowa quarterback Zach Reader twice in the contest, one by redshirt freshman Joey Goettl, and the other by senior Ty’Shonan Brooks. It was Goettl’s first pick of the year in which he only returned for seven yards, but Brooks’ third, in which he was able to return for 27.

On the offensive side of the ball, the Mavs were just as dominant putting up 58 points, 48 of which came in the first three quarters. Senior quarterback JD Ekowa had himself an absolute day, throwing for 286 yards and four touchdowns with no interceptions.

Ekowa also rushed five times for 19 yards, including a touchdown on an 11 yard rush in the first quarter. Outside of Ekowa’s monster day, the Mavericks seemed to share the love almost anywhere they could.

One great note for the Mavs is that sophomore starting running back Kaleb Sleezer saw the field for the first time since playing Minot State on Sept. 25. He was used lightly against Upper Iowa, only seeing six total touches on five rushes and one catch.

He did however turn his six touches into 71 total yards, which is great to see for the Mavericks as his role will continue to expand in the coming weeks. Eight different Mavs were able to find the endzone in Fayette, highlighted by a 25 yard touchdown pass from Ekowa to Jalen Sample and a 68 yard punt return touchdown from Ty’Shonan Brooks.

Brooks has had a nose for the end zone on punt returns this season, scoring touchdowns twice through only seven games. Brooks’ wingman Nyles Williams also has also been a viable choice for the Mavs when the punt return unit hits the field.

Brooks averages 17.46 yards per return, only behind Nyles Williams on the team who averages 20.44, which makes the two a very dangerous combo to punt to. It might be time for opposing punters to try and pin the Mavs deep or kick the ball far out of bounds before either player can return the ball. 

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