Historic streak on the line during family weekend football

After Minnesota State’s first loss of the season, they look to bounce back against Southwest Minnesota State University during family weekend Saturday. 

Currently, the Mavs are 7-1 and the Mustangs are 1-7. The Mavericks were on a seven-game win streak until their first loss last week while the Mustangs first win came in their first week. They have been on a seven game losing streak since. 

Historically, MSU controls this matchup. Since the two teams first met in 1971, the Mavericks have gone undefeated winning all 20 matchups. MSU averaged 40.1 points against SMSU and their largest win was a 52-0 victory.

Last year, the two teams faced each other at Blakeslee Stadium. Shen Butler-Lawson rushed for 119 yards, Hayden Ekern threw for 262 yards and four touchdowns and Trey Vaval had five tackles and one sack. Their efforts led the Mavs to a 45-24 win. 

This year, the Mavericks could put together a similar outcome. The Mavs are averaging 35 points per game on offense and are led by Butler-Lawson and Ekern. 

Butler-Lawson has 1,065 yards to go along with 12 touchdown carries this season while Ekern has thrown for 1,626 yards and 15 touchdowns.

Jacob Daulton, Mavin Kretche and Khai West lead the Maverick defense which only gives up 20 points per game and has recorded 20 sacks. 

Concerning the Mustangs, they average a mere 13 points a game and 273 yards of offense. This includes 195 passing yards on average. 

The rush is led by Donald Austin who has 598 yards and four touchdowns. 

Marcus Martin has thrown for 1,518 yards and eight touchdowns this season. Peter Osman has caught 33 passes for 395 yards and two touchdowns, while Eric Lira has recorded 275 receiving yards and a touchdown. 

As a unit, the SMSU defense has allowed 31.3 points and 392.4 yards of offense a game this season, including 241.6 passing yards and 150.8 rushing yards.

Josiah Hedensten leads the SMSU defense with 60 tackles including six for a loss, while Jalani Jefferson has notched 43 tackles and two interceptions. Avery Johnson has notched 20 tackles, including 9.5 for a loss and five sacks also.

After the matchup veruses SMSU, Mankato will only have two regular season games remaining. Next week, the Mavericks will go back on the road to Winona State University and the last game of the season will be back at home versus Minnesota Duluth. 

The first round of the playoffs will be Nov. 18 and if the Mavs win out for the rest of the season, they will likely receive home field advantage. 

For now, they need to beat SMSU. The game is set to start at 1 p.m. and could be a chilly game as the low is 28 degrees and the high is 35.

Photo caption: The Minnesota State Mavericks look to bounce back against Southwest Minnesota State University after losing their undefeated streak to the Augustana Vikings last weekend. (Lilly Anderson/The Reporter)

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