SIOUX FALLS, S.D. (KELO) — The Augustana football team secured the program’s first playoff win under head coach Jerry Olszewski with a 51-24 win over Minnesota State.
Despite earning an 18-point win over the Mavericks in the regular season, Augustana viewed the rematch with the NSIC foe as an opportunity for an even bigger statement in the playoffs.
“Regardless of how that score was, we talked offensively about the things that we didn’t do in that game and that if we ever came back to this opportunity, we would take advantage of some of those, and our guys stepped up,” Augustana head coach Jerry Olszewski said.
The Vikings forced six MSU turnovers, including five in the first half. That defensive pressure allowed Augie to take a 17-3 lead into the locker room.
“When the ball comes to us, we want to make a play,” Augustana senior defensive back Jake Polson said. “We were just in the right position at the right time. So, we’re thankful for that.”
Offensively, Augustana clicked on all cylinders. Quarterback Casey Bauman completed 19 of his 30 pass attempts for 243 yards and four touchdowns. He also rushed for a net of 64 yards and another score. The Vikings found the endzone on their first four possessions of the second half and saw the lead balloon to 37-3.
“Casey Bauman was outstanding today in his decision making, making plays with his feet,” Olszewski said. “We talked about at halftime that we’re probably going to get six drives here in the second half. I want to score on three of them minimally, but we do the first three and then added some more on top.”
All four of Bauman’s TDs through the air went to Devon Jones, who tallied 91 yards on the day.
“I don’t score without all the other 10 guys, the O-line blocking, Casey getting the ball to me,” Jones said. “So, I benefit the success. But there’s really guys behind the scenes that really make it happen.”
After knocking off the 2019 national runner-up, Augustana will now take on the No. 1 team in the country Colorado School of Mines.
“You don’t go do this to a quality program like we just played going to be average,” Olszewski said. “These kids are exceptional and they play hard to give. That’s what it’s going to take to do it again on Saturday.”
Augustana and Colorado Mines will kick off Saturday at 1 p.m. CT. We will have highlights on the KELOLAND Weekend news.