INTERVIEW: Minnesota State Receiver Shane Zylstra


WAYNE, NE (Courtesy: WSC Media Relations)– #1 Minnesota State erupted for 28 points in the third quarter and the Mavericks used a balanced offensive attack to gain 485 yards in a 55-2 Northern Sun Conference football victory over Wayne State College Saturday afternoon in the 30thannual Egg Bowl Game played at Bob Cunningham Field in Wayne.  MSU is now 9-0 and 5-0 in the NSIC South Division while Wayne State falls to 2-7 overall and 1-4 in divisional play.

Minnesota State took the opening kickoff and scored on a 28-yard pass from Ryan Schlichte to Shane Zylstra to put the Mavericks in front 7-0.

Wayne State’s first drive was the longest of the game, covering 49 yards, as the Wildcats moved from their own 25 to the MSU 26 until the drive ended on downs.

The Wildcats then stopped the Mavericks on the next two drives with a blocked field goal followed by an interception on the next drive with freshman Donte Brooks intercepting a Ryan Schlichte pass at the WSC 44.

WSC drove from their own 44 to the MSU 28 when the drive again ended on downs.

Minnesota State scored twice in the second quarter to give the Mavericks a 21-0 lead at intermission.  JD Ekowa fired a 59-yard scoring strike to Vance Barnes for the first score with running back Nate Gunn adding a five yard TD run.

The Mavericks put the game out of reach with a 28-point third quarter.

Gunn started the second half with a two-yard run.  Jack Curtis then interception an Aaron Bleil pass and ran 47 yards for another score.  Justin Taormina scored on an eight-yard run with Schlichte throwing a three-yard TD pass to Tyler Schmidt for the final score of the quarter putting the Mavericks in front 49-0.

Both teams scored at the same time in the fourth quarter as quarterback Brevin Kaiser threw a 12-yard touchdown pass to Parker Gloudemans to make the score 55-0.

On the PAT kick, Wayne State’s Kevin Ransom blocked the attempt with Donte Brooks picking up the loose ball and running to the end zone for the two point conversion making the final score 55-2.

Minnesota State outgained Wayne State in the game 485-189.  WSC was held to just 24 yards rushing and gained 165 yards through the air while the Mavericks recorded 229 yards rushing and 256 passing.

Maliki Wilson led the ‘Cats on the ground with 34 yards on 18 attempts.

Junior quarterback Aaron Bleil completed 9 of 27 passes for 139 yards with three interceptions.  Freshman Alex Thramer was 4 of 10 for 26 yards.

Senior Nate Rogers hauled in four catches for 73 yards while sophomore tight end Conner Paxton had three receptions for 44 yards.  Freshman Mason Lee added three catches for 36 yards.

Defensively, junior linebacker Tyler Thomsen recorded a game-high nine tackles with one blocked kick to earn Egg Bowl MVP honors for Wayne State.  Ben Elznic added seven tackles with Aaron Wright and Kevin Ranson each accounting for six.  Donte Brooks had two stops with one interception and a blocked PAT kick return for two points.

Minnesota State’s Egg Bowl MVP was wide receiver Shane Zylstra, who recorded six catches for 113 yards and one TD.

The Wildcats will be on the road next weekend playing at Upper Iowa in a 12:05 p.m. contest.

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