Mavericks look to ruin Beavers’ homecoming

The No. 6 Minnesota State Mavericks look to maintain dominance over Minot State University on the road Saturday. 

The 2-0 Mavericks are coming off a home win versus Wayne State University — ranked third in the Northern Sun Intercollegiate Conference. The Mavericks defense stopped Wayne State’s top-ranked offense time and time again, and now look to travel north to Minot, North Dakota to take on the Beavers. 

Minot State merged into the NSIC in 2012 and ever since have had no luck beating the Mavs. The Mavericks hold a 5-0 record over them with staggering win margins. 

The smallest win margin against Minot State was 35-7. Last year at home MSU had its largest win margin of 68-10. Mankato’s average of 53.4 points against the Beavers is its largest versus any conference foe. 

Throughout the past two games, the Mavs are averaging 42.5 points. This is done through an average of 580 yards of offense led by the running back core and quarterback Hayden Ekern.  

Running backs Shen Butler-Lawson and Christian Vasser have led the charge while Tony Anger has moved chains and punched in touchdowns. Butler-Lawson leads the team with 373 yards and five touchdown carries. Vasser has 175 rushing yards with one touchdown while Anger comes in as a big boy running up the gut with a touchdown in both games. 

When the run game becomes too predictable, Ekern comes in with his passing. Ekern has been slinging the ball for a total of 445 yards and four touchdowns. Wide receiver TreShawn Watson has been his main target through these two games with 131 yards and one touchdown. 

Defensively, the Mavs have only allowed 20 points and have on average kept both teams to 296 yards. Through two games, the defense has seven sacks. They also hold teams to a standstill on third and fourth downs, only allowing five to be converted out of 23. 

The Beavers are off to a rocky start this season. They are coming off their second loss, their last being 56-14 versus Minnesota State University Moorhead.

Offensively, they struggled as their leading rusher only recorded 62 yards on the ground while wide receiver Daniel Stokes lead the team in the air with two receptions for 49 yards. One strong point of their team was their ability to fend off the rush from Minnesota State Moorhead. They only allowed for 101 yards. The defense also sacked the quarterback three times. 

As Mankato relies heavily on their run game, it will be interesting to see how Minot State can break through the Mavs offensive line to fend off Butler-Lawson. 

This 2 p.m. Saturday matchup will be the Beavers’ homecoming game at Herb Parker Stadium.

Header Photo: In their five matchups all-time, the Mavs are 5-0 against Minot State. The Beavers have never posed much of a threat to the Mavs, and they hope to keep the good times rolling on the road this weekend. (Lilly Anderson/The Reporter)

Write to Luke Jackson at luke.jackson.2@mnsu.edu

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