#3 MSU downs #10 Winona State 27-6 in inaugural Harvest Bowl

The #3 Minnesota State Mavericks (9-0, 5-0 NSIC South) won their top-10 matchup Saturday afternoon against the #10 Winona State Warriors (8-1, 4-1 NSIC South) 27-6 in the inaugural Harvest Bowl at Blakeslee Stadium.

With its win, MSU snapped a two-game losing streak to the Warriors and has now won its last 11 outings dating back to week 10 last season. The Mavericks also ended WSU’s 10-game winning streak that began on week 10 last season.

As a team, MSU posted 319 yards of offense, including 205 passing yards. The Mavericks limited the Warriors to 233 yards of offense. WSU was averaging 35 points a game heading into this weekend.

The Maverick defense recorded six turnovers on the day, including four interceptions and two fumble recoveries. Sophomore Jack Curtis came away with two interceptions, while senior Corey Brent and sophomore Alex Goettl each tallied one. The trio Larry Moore, Evan Perrizo and Zach Dodge each tallied two sacks on the day. One of Moore’s two sacks caused a fumble that Perrizo returned 12 yards for a touchdown. Moore led the Maverick defense with nine tackles, with senior Brendan Chrystal following right behind with seven.

Sophomore Ryan Schlichte completed 14-of-24 passes for 205 yards and a touchdown. Darren Beenken led WSU with 185 passing yards but he threw two of Winona State’s four interceptions on the day.

Freshman Justin Taormina anchored Minnesota State’s rushing attack as he tallied 95 yards and a touchdown. Senior Ty Dennis led Maverick receivers with six catches and 89 yards. Sophomore Shane Zylstra also chipped in with three catches for 44 yards and a touchdown. Zylstra now has 12 touchdown catches on the season.

The Warriors started the game with a 77-yard drive that resulted in a 28-yard field goal from Carter McCauley after the Mavericks defense caused Winona State to stall in the red zone. Minnesota State would respond on its next drive as a 47-yard pass from Schlichte to Dennis gave the Mavericks first and goal at the six. On the following play, Taormina found the end zone to give the Mavericks a 7-3 lead.

After a Warrior field goal and a Minnesota State punt, Winona State faced third and eight on their own side of the field when Moore blitzed off the right side and forced the ball loose from quarterback Darren Beenken. Perrizo recovered the ball and ran it in for the touchdown giving the Mavericks a 14-6 lead after the extra point. The touchdown was the first score in Perrizo’s career with the Mavericks.

With Minnesota State driving late in the first half, sophomore Justin Arnold fumbled the ball into the end zone, a touchback by rule, giving Winona State the football back at their own 20-yard line. The Warriors then drove down the field before Goettl intercepted a screen pass to send the game to halftime with Minnesota State holding a 17-6 lead.

In the first half the Mavericks were outgained 197 to 148 in total yards and the Warriors held the time of possession advantage 18:50 to 11:10. The advantage came for Minnesota State in the turnover department, winning that battle 3-1 in the first half.

In the third quarter, with favorable field position once again, Schlichte found Zylstra on a drag route and Zylstra hurdled the defender into the end zone to score a 28-yard touchdown and give the Mavericks a 24-6 lead with 8:48 remaining in the quarter. Bednarski would add a 27-yard field goal for Minnesota State as time expired in the third quarter to push the lead to 27-6. A scoreless fourth quarter preserved MSU’s 27-6 win.

Minnesota State wraps up its regular season home schedule on Saturday, Nov. 4 as it hosts Wayne State. Kickoff is scheduled for 12:00 p.m.

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