Southwest Minnesota State Universitys Lance Schuveiller missed a 43-yard field goal that would have sent the game to overtime with 15 seconds left in the game and Augustana escaped with a 38-35 win in the season finale. Augustana ends the season 5-6 NSIC, 3-4 NSIC South while SMSU drops to 4-7 overall, 3-4 in the South Division.
Augustana has now won 15 straight games over Southwest Minnesota State.
Augustanas Dajon Newell became the fourth 1,000-yard rusher in Augustana history finishing the game with 160 yards on the ground and three touchdowns. Newell finishes the season with 1,085 yards on the season and is the first 1,000-yard rusher since Joe Clark in 2010.
Josh Hanson finished the game 22 of 28 passing for 256 yards and two touchdowns. Hanson finishes his career as Augustanas all-time leader in touchdown passes with 73 and ended the season as the NSICs leader with 32. Hanson set a new career-high in passing yards finishing the season with 2,878 passing yards.
Augustana finished the game with 492 yards of total offense while Hanson led the Vikings on the game-winning 92-yard drive eating up six minutes of game clock. The Vikings rushed for 236 yards while the Mustangs added 156 rushing yards on the game.
SMSUs Tyler Peschong finished the game 23 of 41 passing for 271 yards and four touchdowns. Gannon Moore rushed 15 times for 55 yards while Warren Matthews rushed 14 times for 68 yards and a score.
Austin Luecke led the Viking defense with 10 tackles on the game. Luecke finishes the season with a career-high 108 tackles.
Augustana got off to a fast start marching right down the field on the opening drive going 65 yards on 12 plays behind the arm of Hanson. The senior quarterback hit Niklason four times on the drive for 31 yards, including a nine-yard touchdown catch to give Augustana an early 7-0 lead.
The Viking defense made quick work of the SMSU offense on its first chance picking off Peschong on the first play of the drive. Thomas Vanasek grabbed his third interception of the season setting up Hanson and the Viking offense at SMSUs 30-yard line. Newell plunged into the end zone for his 10th score of the season to give Augustana a 14-0 lead just six minutes into the game.
Both teams would go on to score on their next possessions but the Mustangs were able to get a big turnover after a score to take a 21-20 lead.
Augustana took a 20-7 after a 29-yard touchdown pass from Hanson to Matt Gerry. The extra point was blocked and SMSU responded with an eight-play 75-yard drive that ended with an eight-yard touchdown pass from Peschong to Anthony Dean.
On the following kick return Gebhardt was stripped of the ball and the Mustangs recovered taking over at Augustanas 40-yard line. Seven plays later Peschong hit Warren Matthews for a 16-yard touchdown and SMSU took a 21-20 lead with 5:37 left in the first half.
Augustana would not let down after the two straight SMSU scores as Newell took a 47-yard run into the end zone on the very next drive. SMSU was called offside on the extra point attempt allowing Hanson to score on a two-point conversion to give Augustana a seven-point lead at 28-21.
SMSU drove 48 yards on eight plays nearing the end of the half and after a failed fourth down conversion set up Augustana with the ball with 55 seconds left to play. Hanson threw three passes of 10-plus yards in the drive, including a 30-yard pass to Ben Parsley to set up a field goal attempt with two seconds left.
Hanson then drilled the 18-yard field goal giving Augustana a 31-21 halftime lead in Marshall.
Augustana finished the first half with 287 yards of total offense including 115 rushing yards and 172 through the air. Hanson finished the first half 15 of 16 passing with two touchdowns. Newell rushed seven times for 83 yards and two touchdowns.
Peschong was 11 of 19 passing for 143 yards and two touchdowns and an interception for the Mustangs. Each team turned the ball over once and combined for 87 penalty yards.
Augustanas defense got the ball back into the hands of its offense forcing a punt on SMSUs first possession of the half. Augustana drove the field but turned the ball over on downs after a missed 37-yard field goal by Hanson.
SMSU answered with a seven-play 80-yard scoring drive that ended with a 20-yard touchdown catch by Tyler Erickson to bring the Mustangs within three at 31-28 with 5:28 left to play in the third quarter.
On Augustanas following drive, the Vikings drove the field but failed to convert on fourth down turning the ball over to the Mustangs at their own 29-yard line. Peschong then led the Mustangs on another long drive going 72 yards on eight plays ending it with his fourth touchdown pass of the game to Cody Condon to give SMSU a 35-31 lead with 12:22 to play in the game.
Each team would punt on its next possession while SMSUs punter Schuveiller pinned the Viking offense deep in its own territory with a 59-yard punt.
The deep punt did not scare the Viking offense as Hanson led the Vikings on a 12-play 92-yard scoring drive to give Augustana a 38-35 lead with 3:12 left in the game. Newell drug a pile of Mustang defenders into the end zone for his third touchdown of the game on an 11-yard scamper.
With 3:06 left in the game and no timeouts, SMSU started with the ball at its own 21-yard line and drove all the way down to Augustanas 26-yard line where its drive came to a stall. Schuveiller came on to attempt the game tying field goal from 43 yards with 15 seconds left in the game but sent the kick wide left and the Vikings walked away with the win.
Sam Thorson finished the game with eight tackles while Nate Kirby added six for the Vikings. Thomas Vanasek finished with five tackles and added his third interception of the season.
Augustana finishes the season 5-6 overall and 3-4 in the NSIC South Division.
Courtesy: Tim Evans, Augustana Athletics