Augustana wins conference title for the first time in the past 62 years

Sports

SIOUX FALLS, S.D. (AU) – The Augustana football team is the NSIC Champion. For the first time in 62 years, the Vikings are the overall champions of any conference in football. Augustana captured the championship Saturday with a 55-0 rout of Southwest Minnesota State in Kirkeby-Over Stadium.

Up Next? The NCAA Division II Football Playoffs with the selection show slated for 4 p.m. on Sunday. The show can be viewed on NCAA.com.

Augustana concludes the regular season with a 9-2 record, all NSIC games, while finishing with a 5-1 mark in the NSIC South Division to claim the division championship. In addition, Augustana has now won 11-straight games on the turn in Kirkeby-Over Stadium, the second-longest mark in the nation.

The Vikings jumped out to a 28-0 start in the opening quarter and ended the first half while leading 42-0.

On the Vikings opening drive, Rudolh Sinflorant rushed 29 yards into the end zone to give AU a 7-0 lead just four minutes into the contest. After forcing a three-and-out, Augustana scored after three plays. This time it was a 16-yard pass from Kyle Saddler to Mitchell Goodbary, the first of two touchdowns on the day for the tight end.

Augustana made it 21-0 after taking advantage of a special teams’ mishap on the Vikings’ first punt of the game. Drew Jurgens punted the ball 50 yards, where the SMSU returner muffed the catch at the 11-yard line. With the ball squabbling into the end zone, Lincoln Boetel leaped on the ball to score his first-career touchdown.

The final touchdown of the first quarter came on the final play of the quarter as Saddler rushed in from two yards out to give AU a commanding 28-0 advantage.

The two scores in the second quarter came on a 17-yard touchdown pass from Saddler to Sean Engel and a 44-yard pass to Goodbary as the rout was on with a 42-0 lead entering halftime.

Augustana opened the third quarter with a 1-play, 72-yard drive as Sinflorant carried the ball 72 yards for his second touchdown of the game.

Content with running the ball in the second half, Augustana reeled off a 17-play, 80-yard drive to record its final score of the game. That was a two-yard rush from Tate Johnson, the first touchdown of his career.

Much as they have all year, the Vikings made the opponent’s run game non-existent as the Mustangs rushed for negative 19 yards on the day. In contrast, Augustana recorded 275 yards rushing and 298 yards through the air for 573 yards of total offense.

Sinflorant totaled 104 yards rushing while Johnson recorded 91 yards on the ground. Saddler tossed for 273 yards and two touchdowns with Goodbary leading the way with 60.

Defensively, the Vikings were led by Grayson Diepenbrock and Jacob Ludwig with five tackles each. Diepenbrock totaled two tackles for loss and a sack. Seth Baker forced a fumble while Ludwig, Boetel and Peyton Buckley each recovered fumbles for the Vikings.

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