MSU Moorhead claims their fifth-straight win in the Red River Valley Showdown as they hold on to the State Farm Traveling Trophy.

MOORHEAD, Minn. – A 20-point second half lifted Minnesota State University Moorhead to a 34-10 win over the University of Minnesota Crookston. Minnesota Crookston went into the half down just 14-3 to their rivals in the Red River Valley, but were unable to sustain the offensive performance they had in spots during the first half.

    MSU Moorhead claims their fifth-straight win in the Red River Valley Showdown as they hold on to the State Farm Traveling Trophy. The Dragons improve to 1-0, while the Golden Eagles fall to 0-1 on the season.

Top Players

Minnesota Crookston
Offense
Jalin Scott, Jr., QB, 6-of-12, 57 yards, 1 TD, 1 INT
26 carries, 57 yards
Elijah Todd, Jr., RB, 8 carries, 61 yards
Jacob Zwieg, 2 catches, 29 yards
Rod Stewart, 2 catches, 21 yards, 1 TD
Defense
Julian Jackson, 12 tackles, 0.5 TFL
Joe Warner, 11 tackles, 2.0 TFL
Skyler Quinn, 11 tackles, 2.5 TFL
Special Teams
Jared McLemore, 1-of-1, 22 yard FG

MSU Moorhead
Offense
Bryce Meehl, 15-of-30, 215 yards, 2 TD
Herman Gray, 14 carries, 117 yards, 1 TD
Zach Simons, 16 carries, 89 yards, 1 TD
Jake Richter, 5 catches, 123 yards, 2 TD
Defense
Casey Paskey, 12 tackles, 0.5 Sack, 1.0 TFL
Deiondre Taylor, 9 tackles, 1 INT
Matt Schoh, 8 tackles, 0.5 sack, 1 TFL

     MSU Moorhead had 434 yards of offense with 215 through the air and 219 on the ground. The Golden Eagles had 204 yards of offense with 132 yards on the ground and 72 yards through the aerial attack. Minnesota Crookston was hurt by their penalties, especially penalties at the line of scrimmage and personal fouls. The Golden Eagles had 13 penalties for 95 yards. MSU Moorhead finished with seven penalties for 70 yards.

    The Golden Eagles showed considerable improvement defensively from last season as they would stop MSU Moorhead with their backs against the wall on several occasions. Minnesota Crookston did give up several big plays defensively, that they will look to improve going into next week.

    The Dragons opened up the game with a quick score as Herman Gray took a handoff 53 yards to pay dirt to put MSU Moorhead ahead 7-0.

    After a defensive stop halted the first drive for the Golden Eagles, Minnesota Crookston responded led by the scrambling ability of Jalin Scott (Jr., QB, Houston, Texas), who made a lot out of a collapsed pocket. The Golden Eagles cut the lead to 7-3 after a 22-yard field goal by freshman Jared McLemore (K, Lucas, Texas) after they were able to driving 52 yards down to the Dragons’ five-yard line.

    The Golden Eagle defense followed up a strong offensive drive with a huge defensive stop as they held the Dragons on fourth down to bring the offense quickly back on to the field.

    After a four-and-out for Minnesota Crookston, MSU Moorhead responded as they drove down to the 17-yard line. The Golden Eagle defense again would hold as they forced 34-yard field goal which was missed by Joe Tjosvold.

    The Golden Eagles were able to move the ball late in the second quarter as they drove the ball inside the MSU Moorhead 28. However, Scott fumbled after not keeping the ball in near his body when trying to elude a Dragon tackle.

    After a big defensive stop for MSU Moorhead pinned the Golden Eagles at their two-yard line, Stephen Day would get a quick punt off but it would go just 31 yards. Zach Sweep would return it to the Minnesota Crookston 13, setting the Dragons up well with under a minute left on the clock. The Dragons were able to convert with a six-yard touchdown pass from Bryce Meehl to Jake Richter as they extended the lead to 14-3. The two teams would go into the locker room with that as the score.

    Minnesota Crookston had 123 yards of offense in the opening half led by Scott, who rushed 17 times for 62 yards. He was 4-of-6 in the air for 34 yards. Elijah Todd (Jr., RB, Toledo, Ohio) added three rushes for 15 yards. Andy Groebner (Fr., WR, Andover, Minn.) and Rod Stewart (Sr., WR, Fort Worth, Texas) led the Golden Eagles with one catch apiece for 12 yards.

    Defensively, Minnesota Crookston looked to Julian Jackson with six tackles. Joe Warner added five tackles and two tackles for loss. Will Cross also had five tackles.

    The Dragons had 227 yards of offense. Gray paced MSU Moorhead with 112 yards on 12 carries with one touchdown. Meehl was 11-of-19 through the air for 101 yards and a touchdown. His top target was Richter with 54 yards on three catches and a touchdown.

    Defensively, MSU Moorhead was guided by six tackles from Michael Strand, Deiondre Taylor, Casey Paskey, and Matt Schoh in the first half.

    The Golden Eagles looked to have a stop on third down, but a 66-yard pass from Meehl to Richter would put the Dragons in the red zone at the Golden Eagle six yard line. A bad snap would move the ball back to the 26, killing some of the momentum gained from the big pass. The Golden Eagle defense would hold MSU Moorhead to a 33-yard field goal from Tjosvold. The Dragons moved their advantage to 17-3.

    Minnesota Crookston’s offense struggled to get much going in the early second half as they offensive line did not give much time for plays to develop in the early going of the second frame.

    Defensively, the Golden Eagles came through again as they came up big with their backs against the wall. Minnesota Crookston would hold the Dragons on fourth down at the 23, giving the ball back to their offense, which was in need of a big drive.

    The Golden Eagle offense would be unable to respond as Scott threw the pick to Taylor. A return would put the ball at the Minnesota Crookston 12. MSU Moorhead quickly responded as Zach Simons rushed in from 12 yards out to push the advantage to 24-3.

    MSU Moorhead would be in great field position again at the 32 after a 35-yard punt return by Zach Sweep. The Golden Eagle defense came through with their backs against the wall. Tjosvold would have a shot at a 48-yard field goal but would miss the opportunity, giving the Golden Eagle offense another chance to respond.

    The Golden Eagles started the possession off with great energy as Todd ran it 22 yards. Minnesota Crookston would tack on 15 yards with a personal foul. Todd ran it three more times for 28 yards as the Golden Eagles moved the ball to the five yard line. Back-to-back false starts moved the ball back 10 yards for Minnesota Crookston. The Golden Eagles put a stamp on the drive as Scott connected with Rod Stewart (Sr., WR, Fort Worth, Texas) on his first career touchdown pass to cut the lead to 24-10 with 11:41 left in the game.

    MSU Moorhead would strike quick on the other end though to squash the comeback hopes for the Golden Eagles. The Dragons went 61 yards in six plays ending in a three-yard touchdown pass from Meehl to Richter as the lead moved to 31-10.

    Minnesota Crookston would not respond as Darius Woods-Steichen sacked Scott on third down to force a punt for the Golden Eagles.

    MSU Moorhead would add a 37-yard field goal late in the game from Tjosvold as the lead was pushed to 34-10. Minnesota Crookston would be unable to overcome the late deficit as they fell 34-10.

    The Golden Eagles will open their home slate Sat., Sept. 8 at 1 p.m. against St. Cloud State University at Ed Widseth Field.