The sixth-rated Minnesota State football team ran all over Concordia-St. Paul Saturday afternoon as it posted 479 rushing yards, en route to a 47-10 victory.
With the win, MSU improves to 5-0 on the season, including a 1-0 record in NSIC South Division play. With the loss, CSP falls to 1-4, including a 0-1 NSIC South Division record.
As a unit, the Maverick offense amassed 625 yards of total offense against the Golden Bears, including 479 rushing yards. A trio of Mavericks recorded a pair of rushing touchdowns including sophomore Nate Gunn and freshmen Justin Taormina and JD Ekowa. Gunn finished his game with 173 rushing yards, marking the fifth time he has rushed for more than 100 yards this season. Taormina added 103 yards, to pass the 100 rushing yard plateau for the first time this season as well, while Ekowa tallied 84 rushing yards. In comparison, the Maverick defense held Golden Bears to 34 rushing yards.
Sophomore Ryan Schlichte finished his day with 82 passing yards. Sophomore tight end Tyler Schmidt caught one pass for 61 yards.
The Maverick defense held the Golden Bears to 244 yards of total offense, including 210 passing yards. Ron Johnson finished with 171 passing yards and a touchdown. Sophomore Alex Goettl led the Maverick defense with six tackles, including one sack. Senior Evan Perrizo added four tackles, including 2.5 for a loss, while senior Corey Brent added five tackles and one interception.
The lone score of the first quarter came on Minnesota State’s opening drive. MSU’s eight-play drive went a total of 51 yards down field, but the Mavericks were forced to settle for a 32-yard field goal from junior Casey Bednarski to go up 3-0 with just over 10 minutes to go in the first quarter.
As in the first quarter, the Maverick offense scored on its opening drive of the second quarter to take a 9-0 lead. MSU’s first trip into the endzone did not take long as it went 80 yards in 53 seconds, which included a 33-yard run from Gunn and a 37-yard touchdown carry from Taormina.
The Golden Bears answered with a scoring drive on their next possession as they marched 61 yard down field in 15 plays. Jonas Schenderlein capped off the drive with a 29-yard field goal to make the score 9-3 in favor of the Mavericks.
Minnesota State’s following drive proved to be a long one as they went 75 yards, on 15 plays, in 6:30 to go up 16-3 with 11 seconds remaining in the half. MSU did all of its damage on the ground, which included a 1-yard touchdown run by Gunn.
Gunn finished the first half with 115 rushing yards, marking the fifth time he has rushed for more than 100 yards in a game this season. Taormina added 59 yards on the ground as well. Goettl paced the Maverick defense with six tackles in the first half, including one sack.
The third quarter saw the Mavericks put the game out of reach as they scored three touchdowns compared to one by the Golden Bears, to go up 37-10. Ekowa tallied a pair of rushing touchdowns from five and 69 yards out, while Gunn ran into the endzone from five yards out. The Mavericks added two more scores in the fourth quarter to being the final score to 47-10. Taormina tallied a 14-yard touchdown run, before junior Tucker Hague notched a 31-yard field goal.
Minnesota State returns to Blakeslee Stadium for its annual Homecoming game on Saturday, Oct. 7, as it takes on Augustana. Kickoff is scheduled for 1:30 p.m.