#4 Mavericks to take on #9 Beavers in NSIC football showdown

Saturday’s ‘Clash of the Titans’ matchup will decide what team is best in the Northern Sun Intercollegiate Conference as no. 4 Mavericks head to Chet Anderson Stadium to take on no. 9 Bemidji State Beavers at their homecoming game. The winner will be crowned king of the conference and keep their undefeated record. 

Both teams are currently on a four-game win streak and have blown out each opponent they’ve faced. The Beavers currently hold an average win margin of 28.25 while the Mavericks have an average of 26. 

The Beavers strength is defense. On average, they’ve been holding opponents to 11.7 points per game. This is done by holding teams to 69.8 rushing yards and 244 yards through the air. 

“We hear a lot of talk about them,” MSU running back Shen Butler-Lawson said. “I don’t really look into all that, I just try and worry about what we are doing. We are just going to go in there with our heads up, see what they throw at us, adapt and do what we can to win.” 

Max Burdis leads the Beavers with 24 tackles on the season. Marcus Hansen has 18 tackles including 10.5 tackles for loss and 5.5 sacks. Their last defensive leader is Stephen Hoffman, who has 12 tackles and 4.5 of them are for loss. 

The Beavers also average 40 points a game on the offensive side. Quarterback Brandon Alt has thrown for 12 touchdowns on 956 passing yards. His main target is Dhel Duncan-Busby, who has six touchdowns on the season. Ali Mohamed leads BSU’s running back core with three touchdowns and 260 yards. 

“We are just going to go out there and play Maverick football, that’s all that matters,” defensive back Trey Vaval said. 

The Mavericks main focus is to work towards their “five star ranking system,” as head coach Todd Hoffner calls it. 

“We have a five star ranking system, we want to rush for 200, stop our opponents from 400 yards, we want to win the turnover battle, we want to score 31 points, we want to hold our opponent to 19,” Hoffner said.

The Mavericks have been successful at this goal. On average, the Mavericks their defense stops teams to 18.7 ppg and 289 ypg. Offensively, MSU averages 44.7 ppg on 230 rushing yards and 208 passing. 

The Mavericks offensive line has only allowed one sack and has helped Butler-Lawson become the leading rusher in Division II football as he has 667 yards with 10 touchdowns. Hayden Ekern has thrown for 800 yards and his lead target TreShawn Watson has 217 yards and two touchdowns. 

Coach Hoffner currently is undefeated on the road versus Bemidji with a record of 4-0, and an overall record of 6-1. Last year, the Mavs defeated BSU 37-34, which extended their win streak against the Beavers to three straight. 

Header Photo: What happens when an unstoppable force meets an immovable object? The Beavers have held teams to 69.8 rushing yards per game, but the Mavs are averaging 283 rushing yards per game. Which will give? (Lilly Anderson/The Reporter)

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

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