MARSHALL, Minn. – Southwest Minnesota State rolled up 530 yards of total offense and forced four Minot State turnovers to earn a 37-21 Northern Sun Intercollegiate Conference victory on Friday night in Marshall. SMSU improves to 2-1 in the NSIC, while MISU drops to 1-2.
@SMSU's Tyler Tonderum, who leads NCAA II in rushing, racked up 135 yards and three touchdowns on 29 attempts to pace the Mustang offense. Charlie Kern completed 21 of 29 pass attempts for 250 yards and two touchdowns, while rushing for 43 yards on 13 carries. Jordan Cross led SMSU receiving corps with a career-high seven receptions for 78 yards and one touchdown.
@The SMSU defense finished with six sacks and four turnovers, including three interceptions. Jared Twedt had two of the interceptions for the Mustangs, while Dashawn Miller recorded three sacks.
@SMSU dominated the opening quarter of play, racking up 166 yards of offense with 10 first downs, while limiting MISU to zero first downs, one yard of total offense and forcing a pair of turnovers.
@SMSU started the scoring on its opening drive, moving the ball 66 yards in 10 plays with Tonderum closing the drive with a two-yard touchdown run to spot SMSU a 7-0 lead with 11 minutes and 32 seconds remaining.
@The Mustang defense intercepted Beaver quarterback Zach Cunha on MISU's first two possessions, but the Beaver held strong both times forcing a punt and turning over the Mustangs on downs to keep the score 7-0.
@Following a Beaver punt late in the quarter, SMSU added to the lead on its next drive moving the ball to the MISU 8-yard line, before settling for a Lance Schuveiller 25-yard field goal with 20 seconds left in the quarter.
@MISU fumbled near midfield on its next possession and this time SMSU was able to take advantage just one play later as Tonderum blasted through the line of scrimmage and sprinted 46 yards for his sixth touchdown of the season to give SMSU a 17-0 advantage.
@The SMSU defense forced another MISU punt and quickly extended the lead to 24-0 midway through the quarter as Kern fired a 31-yard touchdown pass to Cross to cap a nine-play, 73-yard drive.
@The Beavers cut the led to 24-7 late in the half on a Randel Barber 2-yard touchdown run and had a chance to add three points in the final minute, but Brian Gutierrez missed a 31-yard field goal attempt wide left.
@SMSU added to the lead on its first possession of the second half as Kern connected with Anthony Dean on a third-and-five for a 30-yard touchdown pass to push the margin to 31-7 with 9:35 remaining in the third quarter. SMSU took advantage of a MISU personal foul on fourth down to keep the drive alive and five plays later scored on the touchdown pass.
@Following a stop on downs by the SMSU defense at the Mustang 31-yard line, the SMSU took advantage and added to the lead, again taking advantage of a Beaver personal foul on an SMSU punt attempt. Tonderum broke free for a 24-yard run and was followed by a Dean 37-yard reception to move the ball to the MISU 7-yard line. Two plays later Tonderum slipped outside for a two-yard touchdown run to make the score 37-7 and SMSU never looked back in earning its first two-game winning streak since the 2010 season.
@AJ Page led the SMSU defense with seven tackles with one sack and 2.5 tackles for loss. Donovan Woods added four tackles and one interception.
@Southwest Minnesota State hits the road next Saturday afternoon taking on Bemidji State with kickoff slated for 1 p.m. BSU has won the last 12 meetings between the two teams with SMSU's last victory coming in 1997.