Young fans motivate football to stay undefeated

Two young fans successfully motivated Minnesota State running back Shen Butler-Lawson with a bold prediction which led the Mavs to victory Saturday. 

According to Butler-Lawson, he met two teenage fans at a meet-and-greet this past week. One of them messaged him on social media saying that he would rush for 200 yards leading the team to victory. Butler-Lawson hit 199 yards with ease before getting taken out of the game due to the blowout final score of 42-10 against Concordia University, St. Paul. 

“They just gave me motivation this week,” Butler-Lawson said. “They came to practice this week and texted me everyday this week just saying, ‘Shen you’re going to go for 200 this week.’ That’s how I felt coming into this week and even today, just trying to get it for Aaron. 

Butler-Lawson also recorded two touchdowns, totalling 10 throughout the past four games. 

“The O-line was doing their job making the holes and coaches were calling plays putting me in the right position. Everything in the game was just coming together,” Butler-Lawson said. 

CSP came with a game plan to slow down the Mavericks offense and limit their time of possession. This was done successfully only giving MSU the ball three times throughout the first half. The Golden Bears started the game with a lengthy 11 minute drive of run offense which only resulted in a field goal making the score 3-0. 

“They limited us to three drives in the first half which is the fewest drives that I think we’ve ever had in the history of Minnesota State Maverick football,” head coach Todd Hoffner said. “They worked the clock but they got three points in an 11 minute drive. So, probably a little disappointing. But their plan was to keep us off the field. They did that but when we got on the field we went three for three which is really impressive for the entire offense.” 

The first Maverick drive ended in a three yard touchdown carry from Tony Anger, and the next two resulted in rushing touchdowns from quarterback Hayden Ekern and Butler-Lawson. 

To conclude the half, CSP put together a tedious 13-play, 75-yard drive that took up one minute and 22 seconds. It ended on a touchdown on fourth and goal, with no time remaining. Concordia’s quarterback lobbed it up to one-on-one coverage for a contested jump ball which they came down with. The half ended 21-10, and that was the last time the Golden Bears gained another point. 

“It was one of those halves where the team with the ball was definitely going to get in the position to score but I thought we bent and didn’t break,” Hoffner said. 

Although the defense held CSP to ten points, Hoffner still had things he wanted to improve upon. 

“We probably gave up a little bit too much of the run game. We’ve got to do a better job of stopping and forcing them to throw the ball, we need to force teams to do what they’re uncomfortable doing which is really important. But at the end of the day, let’s take a look at 10 points. Giving up 10 points is really impressive. It was our best outing to date.”

The second half featured many defensive stops from the Mavericks and a lot of runs on offense. Butler-Lawson scored his second touchdown on a nine-yard run to begin the scoring. Ekern connected with Anthony Valainis for a nine-yard touchdown and TreShawn Watson had the final points of the game from a 33-yard touchdown from Ekern. 

The game’s last straw happened in the final seconds when Concordia’s pass got tipped at the line of scrimmage, sending it flying in the air. Defensive lineman Cayden Lovett tracked it in the air and got the interception. Hoffner said he was “the man of the day” for his interception. 

Jacob Daulton led the team in tackles with seven while Colton Hoffman and Nathan Bolton each recorded six tackles. Juniors Maven Kretche and Cody Brown each notched a sack, while senior Trey Vaval had the teams first interception of the game. 

Header Photo: ​​The Mavericks are off to their first 4-0 start in four years. The last time they started 4-0, they went on to have an undefeated season before losing to West Florida in the Division II Playoffs. (Jackson Forderer/SPX)

Write to Luke Jackson at

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