Thursday, October 27, 2011

Big win for MSU football

For the second straight week, Minnesota State has given up more than 500 yards of offense, yet came away with a victory.

On Thursday, it was Augustana that moved the ball with ease, but the Mavericks got some stops in the red zone and prevailed late in the fourth quarter.

Augustana's big, veteran offensive line dominated the Mavericks, and the Vikings held a 26-21 lead midway though the fourth quarter. But Minnesota State's best drive of the game yielded the go-ahead TD on a 6-yard pass from Jon Daniels to Andy Pfeiffer, two players who weren't at Minnesota State last season.

Dennis Carter scored two spectacular TDs in the first quarter, returning the opening kick 87 yards for a score, then a 53-yard run on a reverse, going to each sideline as he looked for running room.

However, Carter picked up a personal foul in the second quarter and did not play again. It's not the first time he's lost playing time because of his conduct.

Augustana running back Dajon Newell, just a freshman, had 189 yards and three touchdowns rushing, but the Vikings couldn't generate any offense on its final possession.

Augustana punted the ball back to the Mavericks with less than three minutes remaining, down a point with no timeouts, a curious call.

Then on first down at the 50, MSU was called for holding. Augustana accepted the penalty, giving the Mavericks an extra play. That extra 40 seconds was enough for the Mavericks to run out the clock.

The victory clinches at least a share of the Northern Sun South Division championship. It also puts Minnesota State back into the national-tournament picture.

The Mavericks have two games remaining: next week at Southwest and the finale at Minnesota Duluth. That final game could decided the conference championship and a berth in the playoffs.

This MSU team has come a long way this season, and with all the young talent, the future has rarely looked better.

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