Augustana missed two field goals and an extra point in a 31-27 loss in Northern Sun Intercollegiate Conference football action at Wayne State on Saturday afternoon. Augustana drops to 2-3 NSIC, 0-1 South while Wayne State improves to 4-1 NSIC, 1-0 South.
Augustana outgained Wayne State in total offense 438-429 including a 150 yard difference in favor of the Vikings through the air, 349-199. Augustana also collected 11 more first downs than the Wildcats, 24-13.
Josh Hanson finished the day with 349 yards passing and four touchdowns while Dajon Newell led the rushing attack with 64 yards on 14 attempts and CJ Ham rumbled for 39 yards on nine carries. Hanson has now thrown four our more touchdowns in a game four times this season and 10 times in his career.
Ben Parsley caught seven passes for 56 yards and a career-high three touchdowns. Isaac Jorgensen collected eight passes for a career-high 112 receiving yards while Darren Niklason snatched four balls for a career-high 93 yards.
Austin Luecke led the defensive charge with 10 solo tackles and 11 total. Thomas Vanasek recovered a fumble to go along with his five total tackles. Andy Jirik and Sam Lee split the only sack of the game. Lee finished with two tackles for loss.
Augustana marched down the field on the first drive of the game to take a 7-0 lead over the Wildcats. After a 33-yard kickoff return by Gebhardt, on the first play from scrimmage Hanson hit Darren Niklason over the middle for a 26-yard reception. On the tackle, Niklason was separated from the ball and Parsley recovered the fumble at Wayne States 28-yard line, almost 20 yards down field from the reception, to set the Vikings up with great field position.
With third and goal from the Wayne State eight yard line, Hanson tossed a jump ball to Parsley in the corner of the end zone for the games first score.
It only took Wayne State four plays to even the score after Nick Pulscher took a 55-yard run into the end zone just two minutes later.
Wayne State took a 10-7 lead with 9:16 to play in the first half after an 11-play drive, that took up almost six minutes on the game clock, ended on a 20-yard field goal by WSCs Max Martin.
With 1:33 to play in the first half and the Vikings trailing 10-7, Augustana was called for roughing the kicker on a punt by the Wildcats giving Wayne State the ball back at its own 47-yard line. Just one play later Most hit Kevin Paulsen for a 53-yard touchdown pass to put Wayne State ahead 17-7.
Augustana responded on its next drive using the no-huddle offense to go 80 yard on eight plays ending with a 20-yard touchdown pass from Hanson to Gebhardt for his sixth touchdown catch of the season, to bring the Vikings within three at 17-14 with 17 seconds remaining in the half.
The Wildcat offense would not be content with kneeling on the ball and Most hit Adam Stark streaking down the sideline for a 72-yard touchdown strike that helped the Wildcats take a 24-14 lead into the locker room.
Augustana was held to 14 yards rushing in the first half while the Wildcats ran for 118. Hanson completed 15 of 21 passes in the first half for two touchdowns. Nate Most was 6 of 13 passing for 148 yards and two scores.
Niklason led the Vikings offense in the first half with four catches for 93 yards. Gebhardt caught three passes for 28 yards, including his 20-yard touchdown catch at the end of the half.
Both defenses took over the game to start the second half. Each team was forced to punt twice as only five minutes ticked off the clock in four possessions.
With 9:54 to play in the third quarter the Wildcats mishandled a snap at their own 25-yard line and Augustanas Thomas Vanasek recovered the fumble and the Vikings took over at Wayne States 26 yard line.
It took the Vikings eight plays but they were able to get into the end zone to come back within three at 24-21 when Hanson tossed his third touchdown pass of the game hitting Parsley in the back of the end zone. The catch was Parsleys second score of the game. Hanson has thrown three or more touchdowns in a game four times this season and 10 in his career.
Wayne State pushed its lead back to 10 at 31-21 on the following drive after back-to-back big plays. Davidson rushed for 26 yards on third down and one and Most followed that up with a 40-yard touchdown pass to Paulsen for his second scoring grab of the game.
After each team punted on their next possessions, Augustana took over with the ball at their own 33 yard line. Hanson found Isaac Jorgensen for a 20-yard pass to bring the Vikings into Wayne State territory. On the next play Dajon Newell rushed for 25 yards setting up the Vikings with a first down at Wayne States 22-yard line.
After an eight-yard completion on the last play of the third quarter, Hanson fumbled on the first play of the fourth quarter and the Wildcats took over at their own 18-yard line thwarting the Augustana scoring threat.
On the ensuing drive, Wayne State drove 44 yards on nine plays eating up almost six minutes off the clock. The Viking defense came up with a big stop on third and six with Jake Lee getting into the backfield for the tackle for loss setting up fourth and eight at Augustanas 38-yard line.
WSCs Martin came on to the field to attempt the 54-yard field goal but came up short giving the Vikings the ball with 9:17 to play trailing by 10 at 31-21.
Augustana drove the field with plays that included a 14-yard run by Newell and a 17-yard catch by Jorgensen but the Viking offense would stall at the Wayne State 11-yard line.
Behrens stepped led the field goal unit out on to the field for the 28-yard attempt but he missed the kick wide left turning the ball over to Wayne State.
The Viking defense came up big again two drives later picking up a fumble on a bad snap to Wildcat quarterback Most and Vanasek recovered the ball setting up the Viking offense at Wayne States 26-yard line.
It took eight plays and just over two minutes off the clock but Augustana got in to the end zone with Hanson hooking up with Parsley for his career-high third receiving touchdown of the game. Behrens missed the extra point attempt and the Vikings trailed by four (31-27) with 2:13 left to play in the game.
Wayne State ran out the clock on the Vikings and earned the South Division win over the Vikings. The win for Wayne State marks its third straight over Augustana.
The Vikings head home to Sioux Falls next weekend to face off with the Minnesota State for Viking Days at 1 p.m.
Courtesy: Tim Evans, Augustana Athletics