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“The Watchers” is a film adaptation of the 2022 book of the same name by A.M. Shine.
Review: “The Watchers”
Published June 13, 2024

Gophers lose to Aggies

New Mexico State running back Robert Clay walked into the end zone on Saturday at TCF Bank Stadium.  Minnesota struggled to stop NMSUs offense throughout the game.
Image by Mark Vancleave
New Mexico State running back Robert Clay walked into the end zone on Saturday at TCF Bank Stadium. Minnesota struggled to stop NMSU’s offense throughout the game.

A seizure to Minnesota head coach Jerry Kill overshadowed the outcome of his head coaching debut at TCF Bank Stadium.

Kill, who has had a plethora of health issues in the past, collapsed in the middle of a play with roughly 25 seconds left in the fourth quarter as the Gophers were attempting to tie the game.

He was administered with an IV and hauled off on a stretcher at around 6:15 p.m. His collapse resulted in approximately 10 minutes of near stand-still silence that overwhlemed TCF Bank stadium. Fans chanted âÄúJerryâÄù as he medical staff brought him off the field.

Kill had a seizure back in 2005 when he was the head coach at Southern Illinois University.

New Mexico State defeated Minnesota 28-21. Former Gophers defensive back DeWayne Walker coached the Aggies to their first ever win over a Big Ten opponent.

The Aggies jumped out to an early 7-0 lead and never relinquished control.

New Mexico State sophomore quarterback Andrew Manley torched the Gophers secondary, completing his first 12 passes en route to a 288 yard, three touchdown performance.

Manley led a six-play, 60-yard scoring drive on the gameâÄôs opening possession that was capped by a 26-yard play-action pass to an uncovered Taveon Rogers.

Minnesota tied the game 7-7 at the 4:29 mark in the first quarter when junior quarterback MarQueis Gray guided a 10-play drive that culminated in freshman running back Lamonte EdwardsâÄô first career touchdown, a four yard plunge.

The Gophers were knocking on the door again early in the second quarter. A one-handed circus grab by senior receiver DaâÄôJon McKnight set up a first and goal, but Minnesota was unable to capitalize.

Gray missed a wide open John Rabe in the back of the end zone, and was intercepted two plays later.

The Aggies cashed in quickly, taking only three plays to regain the lead on a Manley 41-yard touchdown pass to Rogers.

After a Gophers turnover on downs, New Mexico State widened the gap on ManleyâÄôs third touchdown pass of the half, a four-yard toss to tight end David Quiroga.

Teams exchanged interceptions on the following two possessions before the Minnesota defense came up with a stop to regain the ball with just over three minutes left in the second quarter.

The Gophers cut into the lead on the halfâÄôs final drive when Gray connected with senior tight end Collin McGarry on a ten yard score, and the teams entered the locker room with New Mexico State leading Minnesota 21-14.

True freshman quarterback Max Shortell started the second half for Minnesota and drove down into field goal range, but kicker Chris Hawthorne missed the 39-yard attempt.

After two punts by each team, the Aggies embarked on a scoring drive of 94 yards to make the game 28-14. A pass interference call negated a goal-line interception, and tailback Robert Clay waltzed into the end zone from two yards out.

Minnesota immediately responded, however. With Gray back in the game, the Gophers went 68 yards and the quarterback hit McKnight on a slant for a touchdown on fourth-and-goal, making it a 28-21 game with less than 12 minutes to play in the fourth quarter.

Sophomore cornerback Brock Vereen intercepted Manley on the next Aggie possession, but the Gophers couldnâÄôt cash in on the turnover as Edwards was stuffed on a fourth and goal from the one yard line.

Minnesota regained possession at its own 11-yard line with 2:02 left in game. Gray, who rushed for 110 yards on Saturday, showcased his ability as a runner on the gameâÄôs final drive, scrambling for multiple first downs, but the comeback was halted when the Aggies forced a turnover on downs. Kill collapsed at the game’s climax, with Minnesota facing 4th-and-10 in a critical situation. 

Following a medical postponment, Gray failed to pick up a first down and extend the game. 

A New Mexico State kneel down sealed the victory.

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