Augustana scored 49 unanswered points in the first half on its way to a 66-20 victory over Upper Iowa (2-5 NSIC, 0-3 NSIC South) in Northern Sun Intercollegiate Conference South Division football action on Saturday afternoon in Fayette, Iowa.
Augustana improves to 3-4 on the season and 1-2 in the South Division snapping a two-game losing streak in the process. The Vikings finished the game with a season-high 650 yards of total offense, the most since 618 yards against SMSU on Sept. 25, 2010.
The Vikings passed for 335 yards and rushed for 315 yards, led by Dajon Newell who rushed 18 times for 117 yards and three touchdowns, matching his career-high for rushing touchdowns in a game. Newell rushed for three touchdowns against Minnesota State on Oct. 27, 2011. CJ Ham rushed for a career-high 105 yards and scored his first career touchdown.
Josh Hanson finished the game 14 of 17 passing for 289 and two touchdowns. He also rushed for 32 yards two scores, marking a career-high.
Grant Gebhardt caught four passes for 144 yards, including a 57-yarder. Matt Gerry caught two passes for 48 yards and a touchdown in the game.
Caden Duncan led Upper Iowa on the ground rushing for 111 yards. Cole Jaeschke was 12 of 27 passing for 116 yards one touchdown and an interception.
Austin Luecke and Thomas Vanasek led Augustana defensively both finishing with eight tackles. Vanasek also added his second interception of the season.
The Peacocks drove in to Augustana territory on the first drive of the game but the Viking defense came up with a huge play with Sam Thorson and Andy Jirik dropping Jaeschke for a loss of eight to bring up fourth down and 22 forcing UIU to punt.
Augustanas offense quickly moved down the field on the following drive. CJ Ham started it off with a 12-yard gain on the drives first play and Newell dashed 33 yards into the end zone for the games first score to give the Vikings a 7-0 lead.
After a three-and-out by the Viking defense and a 57-yard connection from Hanson to Gebhardt the Vikings were on the doorstep once again. Newell plunged into the end zone for his second rushing touchdown of the game from two yards out to give the Vikings a 14-0 lead.
The Viking defense continued to stymie Upper Iowas offense coming up with three consecutive three-and-outs and setting up the offense with great field position and its next three scores of the game.
Augustana took a 21-0 lead when Hanson dashed around the corner for a 17-yard rushing touchdown. On Augustanas next drive, Hanson found Gebhardt streaking down the field for a 47-yard connection on third and six giving the Vikings a first down at the Upper Iowa six yard-line. Two plays later, Hanson plunged into the end zone for a one yard touchdown extending Augustanas lead to 28-0.
The Vikings took a 28-0 lead into the second quarter where the Viking defense forced another short dive for the Peacock offense. Hanson set up the Viking offense at their own 31 yard line and led Vikings on a nine-play 69-yard drive that included another long strike to Gebhardt.
Hanson hit Gebhardt for 31 yards to set up the Vikings deep into Upper Iowa territory. Six plays later, Newell took an eight yard run into the end zone for his third touchdown of the game giving Augustana a commanding 35-0 lead.
Upper Iowa moved the ball well on its next drive but failed to convert on fourth and goal, turning the ball over. Ham moved the ball away from Augustanas end zone on the following drive rushing three times for 30 yards. Newell then rushed twice for 21 yards and Hanson for 10 before he hit Nick Lee for a career-long 37-yard touchdown that gave Augustana a 42-0 lead.
The defense continued to come up big, on Upper Iowas next drive, Thomas Vanasek intercepted his second pass of the season and returned it 11 yards to Upper Iowas 48 yard-line. The Peacocks were flagged for a personal foul on the play setting up a short field for the Viking offense.
Four plays later Hanson tossed his second touchdown pass of the game, a 17-yarder to Isaac Jorgensen putting the Vikings up 49-0 with 37 seconds left in the first half.
The Peacocks would not go away quietly in the half after rushes of 41 and 16 yards by Duncan setting up an eight-yard touchdown run by Nilges.
Augustana took a 49-7 lead into the locker room at halftime. The Vikings set a season-high for total offense in the first half alone with 459 yards. Augustana passed for 259 yards and rushed for 200. Upper Iowa finished with 192 yards of total offense, including 109 passing yards and 83 yards on the ground.
The Vikings opened up the second half taking up a large chunk of the clock in the second quarter driving 85 yards in 7:22 ending with Hams first career touchdown that gave Augustana a 56-7 lead.
Augustana added to its lead with a 33-yard field goal by Ben Albrecht to make the score 59-7. Upper Iowa made it 59-14 with 11:08 remaining in the game on a 40 yard touchdown strike from Brandon Rogers to Derek Giesking.
Justin Heinrich got in on the scoring mix hitting Gerry for a 23-yard touchdown pass with 5:35 left to play to make the score 66-14. Upper Iowa would add a late touchdown and miss the extra point and the final score was 66-20.
Courtesy: Tim Evans, Augustana Athletics