Shootout shoots Football up to no. 7 rank

The Mavericks’ dominant first half performance helped them hold on versus Winona State as they won the high-scoring shootout 49-42. 

“I thought we were in control for most of the game but they just kept on fighting,” head coach Todd Hoffner said in a press conference released by Maverick Athletics. “They got the ball back late and had a chance but our defense stepped up with a couple of sacks at the end. At the end of the day we made more plays than they did to win the game.”

The Mavericks set the pace in the first half with four touchdowns. In the first quarter MSU got a two touchdown lead. Quarterback Hayden Ekern got on the board first with a three-yard rushing touchdown. Soon after, Ekern recorded another,, this time through the air as he connected with Grant Guyett on a 20-yard pass. 

WSU answered back before the quarter ended with a breakout run of 75-yards to cut the lead back to a one possession game at 14-7. 

The Mavericks defense locked down the Warriors in the second and the offense continued scoring. First, Ekern marched down the field on a long 71-yard, 10-play drive that was capped off with his second rushing touchdown of the day. Shen Butler-Lawson then had a 39-yard rushing touchdown to bring the score to 28-7 at halftime. 

In the second half, the Warriors found their momentum as they recorded 409 yards and five touchdowns. It proved to be too little too late as they couldn’t come back from the Mavericks explosive first half.  

Both teams found the endzone twice in the third quarter. Butler-Lawson got his second touchdown of the game on a 21-yard run and Tony Anger caught a dish pass from three yards out into the endzone. Winona got both of theirs from inside the redzone. 

In the last quarter, Sylvere Campbell had two long touchdowns to bring the game close. One was a 46-yard receiving touchdown while the other was 71-yards. The Mavericks scoring concluded on a one-yard rushing touchdown from Butler-Lawson. Winona also ended the game with a one-yard rushing score. 

Ekern’s efforts were good enough to name him NSIC Offensive Player of the Week. He finished his day completing 23-of-33 passes for 328 yards and two touchdowns, marking the second time in his career that he has thrown for more than 300 yards in a game. He also ran in two touchdowns.

Butler-Lawson recorded 172 rushing yards and three touchdown carries also. Butler-Lawson has now rushed for more than 100 yards in a game six times this season. 

The now seventh-ranked Mavericks move to 9-1 as they wrap up their regular season at home against University of Minnesota-Duluth. 

Header Photo: Now 9-1 on the season, the Mavericks are heading into their final regular season game, against the #24 ranked Minnesota Duluth Bulldogs.(Courtesy Maverick Athletics)

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

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