The St. Cloud State football (3-3, 1-1 NSIC North) team played host to the Minot State Beavers in a NSIC rivalry match Saturday afternoon in their annual Making Strides & Tackle Cancer game.
The Huskies, who have never lost to Minot State (a perfect 7-0-1) in the series that started in 1937, had trouble through the gates on Saturday. The Beavers got on the board first, on a 2-yard rush off a pitch from Jarvis Mustipher to give the Beavers a 7-0 lead, after the extra point attempt from kicker JoseLuis Moreno went through the uprights.
The Huskies responded in the second quarter, with a 6-yard rush by sophomore Jaden Huff to tie the game.
St. Cloud State had trouble on the offensive end early, amassing only 55 total yards in the first half.
First half interceptions from junior quarterback Nate Meyer proved costly, with Minot State returning an interception late in the first half.
The Beavers then capitalized off the interception by Minot State quarterback Jose Escobar finding Jaccob Lopez late in the second quarter for a 14-7 Beavers lead at half.
The Huskies came out strong in the second half, capitalizing on a 12-yard rush from Nate Meyer off a fake handoff to tie the game at 14. The Huskies weren’t done there, scoring on their next drive off a 42-yard pass from Meyer to junior wideout Jameson Parsons for a 21-14 lead.
Parsons has been exploding this season, amassing at least 100 yards in four straight games, including an immense 163-yard performance at Minnesota-Duluth last weekend. His streak is the longest for any St. Cloud State wide receiver since 1994. Parsons leads the NSIC in receiving yards, and is fourth in the nation.
Minot State wasn’t done either, continually answering back in the second half.
Touchdown passes from Jose Escobar to Keegan Verdugo and Porter Sturm kept it close, but wasn’t enough to hold off the Huskies who fought for a hard 42-28 win.
Two huge defensive plays, including a sack on Escobar by the Huskies’ sophomore linebacker Mitch Knutson late sealed the game.
St. Cloud State’s ground game proved pivotal Saturday, with all three of their halfbacks amassing over a 100 yards and a touchdown. Third string freshman Curtwan Evans led the charge, amassing 148 yards off of 14 carries. The Huskies totaled a season high 368 yards on the ground.
Coach Scott Underwood after the game stressed the importance of their run game and how they utilized it in the second half, saying “We started trying to run the football and gain some momentum from that.”
The Huskies are now 4-3 on the season and now go on the road to take on Bemidji State (4-3, 3-0 NSIC North) at Chet Anderson Stadium Saturday, Oct. 24 at 1 p.m.