For the second straight week, Augustana scored in all three phases of the game – offense, defense, and special teams – and finished strong in the 4th quarter to outlast Concordia-St. Paul for a 52-24 win. The Vikings racked up five offensive scores, a fumble recovery touchdown, and a 54-yard punt return TD en route to racking up a season-high 52 points in the win. After scoring 21 straight points in the 4th quarter last week, the Vikings put up 14 unanswered points to seal Saturday’s win. Augustana runs their win streak to three games while improving to 6-3 (3-2 NSIC South), and drops the Golden Bears to 4-5 (2-3 NSIC South).
Augustana head coach Jerry Olszewski is proud of the way his team executed in all three phases and finished the game strong. “Our men played more physical today,” Olszewski said. “I’m proud of their effort and execution, and believe we will continue to get better down the home stretch of the regular season.”
Going into the matchup, one of the keys to the game was winning the line of scrimmage, and the Augustana line was brilliant. On offense, the big men up front not only paved the way for a pair of 100-yard rushers for the Vikings, but they also shut down the Golden Bears defensive line, allowing 0 sacks and just four hurries. Coming into Saturday, Concordia St. Paul was second in the NSIC with 25 sacks on the season. Despite just seven carries, Braiden Petersen finished with a career-high 110 yards (15.6/average) and two touchdowns. Rudolh Sinflorant also hit the century mark, finishing with 100 yards on 18 carries. The outstanding day from the duo marked the first time the Vikings have had a pair of 100-yard rushers this season, and the first time since Oct. 2015 (CJ Ham 154, and Trey Heid 106). Defensively, the Vikings line played great too, helping force three fumbles, recording three sacks, and keeping Concordia off balance all afternoon.
The Vikings won the toss, elected to receive, and once again came out strong. Concordia attempted an onside kick to start the game, but a poor kick sailed out of bounds and gave the Vikings great field position at the CSP 46. Augustana quickly got in the red zone and then Petersen capped off the opening drive with a 12-yard touchdown run to make it 7-0.
Concordia St. Paul tied it up with a touchdown from quarterback Dom McKinzy, but the Augustana offense responded on their next drive. Kyle Saddler found Chet Peerenboom for a 29-yard completion, and Luis Guarita finished off the drive with a 25-yard field goal. Following a CSP field goal, the Vikings got the ball back, and Saddler and the offense went to work. The sophomore found Jake Welsheimer for back-to-back completions and then hit Drew Reinschmidt for 16 yards to get into the red zone. A 22-yard rush from Petersen found the Vikings side the 1-yard line, and after three attempts came up short, on 4th and goal Saddler took flight and leaped over the pile for the touchdown.
Now late in the second half, the Vikings looked to light up the scoreboard again. With 30 seconds left in the half and the Golden Bears punting inside their own 10, Avram Tynes came up with one of the biggest plays of his career. The senior caught the ball at the 45, made two guys miss and sprinted down the sideline for a 54-yard highlight reel punt-return touchdown. It’s the second touchdown in his Augustana career, and his first ever punt return touchdown. The score also marked the first time in more than 11 years (Dustin Rice, Sept. 2007) that the Vikings returned a punt for a touchdown. Behind big plays from the Augustana defense, including Eli Weber, Kirby Hora, and Cody Kujawa, the Vikings led 28-10 at halftime.
Augustana carried the momentum into the second half. On their first offensive possession, Saddler hit Welsheimer over the middle, and the junior found the far sideline and dove inside the pylon for the score, making it 31-10. Welsheimer led the Vikings with three catches for 66 yards on the day.
On Concordia’s next possession, it was time for the Vikings defense to bring the noise. On a quarterback scramble, Cody Kujawasacked QB Max Hutton and knocked the ball loose. Grayson Diepenbrock scooped up the ball and rumbled 24 yards for the fumble recovery touchdown. It’s the first touchdown of Diepenbrock’s career, and the second defensive touchdown in as many weeks for the Vikings. The Augustana score marked 28 unanswered points for the Vikings and gave them a 38-10 lead.
However, Concordia-St. Paul didn’t go quietly. A pair of touchdowns from Hutton in the span of five minutes made a 38-24 game and had the Golden Bears thinking comeback. However, for the second-straight week, the Vikings finished in the 4th quarter. Just minutes into the fourth, Saddler found Nickel Meyers on the slant route, and Meyers found the end zone. Saddler and Meyers have now connected for a touchdown in five straight games and the score gives Meyers 10 touchdowns on the season. Saddler finished the game with 238 yards and three total touchdowns.
Now with a 45-24 lead midway through the 4th, the Vikings put the game on ice. They went back to the freshman Petersen who stole the show with a 63-yard touchdown run. It’s the longest career rush for Petersen and the longest rush of the season for the Vikings. With the offensive line making space, Augustana finished with 234 rushing yards, their second-highest amount this season (248 vs. Crookston). Petersen’s 110 rushing yards led all players.
Overall, Augustana finished with 470 yards, and 28 first downs while limiting the Golden Bears to just 316 total yards and 14 first downs. The Vikings executed in the red zone, racking up four scores in five chances. Defensively, the Vikings were lead by Hora and Kujawa whom each recorded eight (8) tackles and forced a fumble. Augustana recorded three turnovers in the win, compared to just one for CSP.
Augustana now returns home to Kirkeby-Over stadium for their final regular season home game of the year. The Vikings will welcome in Winona State for a 1 p.m. kickoff, and fans interested in tickets can visit GoAugie.com/tickets.
- The Vikings are now a perfect (5-0) on the road in 2018. The five road wins matches the most the Vikings have had in the last decade.
- Augustana’s three-game win streak is the longest of the year and the programs best since 2016.
- The 52 points scored by Augustana is a season high.
- Augustana offensive line allowed zero (0) sacks on the day.
- The Vikings have now outscored their last two opponents 35-0 in the 4th quarter alone.
- For the second straight week, the Vikings scored a touchdown on offense, defense, and special teams.
- Braiden Petersen finished with a career-high 110 rushing yards and two touchdowns.
- Petersen’s 63-yard touchdown run is the longest career rush for Petersen, and the longest rush of the season for the Vikings.
- Rudolh Sinflorant also passed the century mark, finishing with 100 rushing yards.
- Saturday marked the first time the Vikings have had a pair of 100-yard rushers this season, and the first time since Oct. 2015 (CJ Ham 154, and Trey Heid 106).
- With a 54-yard punt-return touchdown, Avram Tynes scored the second touchdown his Augustana career, and his first ever punt return touchdown.
- The punt return TD also marked the first time in more than 11 years (Dustin Rice, Sept. 2007) that the Vikings returned a punt for a touchdown.
- The Vikings defense forced three fumbles (recovered two) and also made one interception.
- Linebacker Cody Kujawa forced his third fumble of the season, which leads the team is among the best in the NSIC.
- Grayson Diepenbrock scooped up a forced fumble and returned it 24-yards for his first career touchdown.
- With a minimum of two games to go in his career, Kirby Hora has 392 career tackles. He needs 28 to break the all-time school record, which is held by Bryan Schwartz with 419 (1991-1994).
- Hora and Kujawa both led the team with 8 tackles on one forced fumble
- On Saturday, Welsheimer led the Vikings with three catches for 66 yards on the day.
- Overall, Augustana finished with 470 yards and 28 first downs while limiting the Golden Bears to just 316 total yards and 14 first downs.
- Over the last five games, Augustana has allowed an average of just 286 yards and 20 points per game on defense.
- The Vikings are 37-28 all-time under head coach Jerry Olszewski, with coach ‘OJ’ earning his first ever win as a Viking at MSU Moorhead in the 2013 season-opener, 41-28.