SCSU Upsets #4 Mankato/Await Bowl Selection
11/09/2009 - 1:00 AM
A season that started off as 0-3 came full circle last weekend when the Huskies knocked off the number 4 team in the nation MSU-Mankato. The Mavericks came into the game with an undefeated record at 10-0 and were top dogs in the conference but that all came to an end when the clock read 0:00 in the 4th quarter. With 5:15 remaining in the game, the Huskies went on a 10 play, 95-yard scoring drive to capture the lead and victory.
There were many story lines in the game that gave back the "Traveling Training Kit" to Saint Cloud. No bigger was the performance of senior back-up quarterback, Derek Stripling. Stripling who had started only one game before last Saturday, threw for 150 yards and one touchdown with no interceptions while rushing for 97 yards and two scores as well. Stripling who lost out on the starting job to Mitch Watkins two seasons ago, finally got his shot and came through in the end.
Injuries also threw another Husky into the spotlight, and gave the game another big performance. Dante Steward and Jake Machacek were filling in for Brandon Geiss who was out the last few weeks with a broken leg, but it was all Steward when Machacek went down in the 2nd half with an ankle injury. Steward scored the go ahead touchdown with under a minute to go in the game and capped off a game that was back and forth throughout.
The Mavericks had their opportunities but had an uncharacteristic four turnovers in the game including two of them inside the 5 yard line. The biggest defensive play came early in the 4th quarter with the Mavericks leading by one, Ernest Walker was stripped by senior Brian Kampa at the Huskies 1 yard line and was recovered by Saint Cloud.
The win for Saint Cloud pushes their conference record to 7-3 and a resulting tie for 3rd place in the NSIC. It is now up to an NSIC committee to decide what team will play for the Mineral Water Bowl on December 5th. The top team from the NSIC that doesn't make the playoffs plays the top team from the MIAA. Saint Cloud State along with Wayne State and Bemidji State are the top teams to be considered for the honor. Results should be known early in the week.
If it does end up being the last game for Saint Cloud this season, they will have a lot of positives to look back on, including the big upset of MSU. Playing potentially their last games for State were quarterbacks Mitch Watkins, Derek Stripling, tight ends Cody Anderson-Norblom and House Niesche, linebackers Paul Denne and Gyangelo Bradden and defensive back Brian Kampa.
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