MOORHEAD, Minn. (MSUM Athletics) -- The Minnesota State University Moorhead football team built a 33-14 halftime lead and held on for a 47-32 win over the University of Mary in Northern Sun Intercollegiate Conference action Saturday at Scheels Field in Moorhead, Minn. MSUM retained the Paddle Trophy for a fifth straight year with the win.
The Dragons are now 3-1 overall and in the NSIC while UMary fell to 0-4.
"I was pleased, we came out and played good solid football early," MSUM head coach Steve Laqua said. "We need to sustain that for four quarters. We had too much inconsistency in the second half."
Freshman defensive back Parker Syverson had two interceptions — including a pick six — to lead the defense. Senior linebacker Carson Zarak had a team-best 10 tackles. Sophomore cornerback Deontre Wade had an interception and a pass breakup. Junior defensive linemen Jordan Magnuson and Darius Woods-Steichen had sacks.
For the offense, freshman quarterback Matthew Plasterer was 22-of-33 for 239 yards and three touchdowns in his first collegiate start.
Junior receiver Grady Bresnahan had seven catches for 95 yards and a score while freshman receiver Ryan Bieberdorf had seven catches.
Junior running back Denver Colgrove rushed for 79 yards and two touchdowns on eight carries while junior running back Ty Jochim rushed for 74 yards and a touchdown. MSUM rushed for a season-high 178 yards.
Leading 40-32, Colgrove's 53-yard touchdown burst in the final two minutes provided MSUM with an big insurance touchdown, putting the Dragons up 47-32.
Mary scored first but the Dragons responded with a 12-play, 80-yard drive capped off by a 15-yard touchdown pass from Plasterer to Bresnahan. The extra point was blocked, leaving MSUM down 7-6.
A minute later, Syverson picked off UMary quarterback Jordan Velarde and returned it 30 yards for a touchdown. The extra point was no good, leaving MSUM up 12-7 with 6:30 left in the first.
That was part of 26 unanswered points by the Dragons. Bresnahan hauled in a 30-yard score from Plasterer later in the first quarter to make it 19-7. IN the second quarter, Colgrove found the end zone from two yards out to make it 26-7.
The Marauders scored to cut it to 26-14, but Bresnahan hauled in the third touchdown of the half from Plasterer with 47 seconds left to push the lead to 33-14.
Jochim pushed the lead to 40-14 in the third with a 13-yard scoring run. The Marauders scored the next 18 points, however, and cut the lead to 40-32 with 1:53 left. The Dragons recovered an onside kick attempt and on the next play, Colgrove finished off the win with a 53-yard touchdown run.
MSUM hosts Winona State at 1 p.m. on Saturday, Oct. 5 for its 2019 Homecoming game.
Steve d'Eustachio Stat of the Game: Freshman Parker Syverson became the first Dragon with two interceptions in the same game since Michael Strand did it in a Dragons' 35-34 win over Augustana on Sept. 15, 2015. His Pick-Six was the first since Sheldon Jones returned one had one in a 35-13 win over Minnesota Crookston on Oct. 13, 2012.