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Mustangs Outlast Augustana In Season Finale

Noah Huisman, Augustana Vikings vs Southwest Minnesota State Mustangs.jpg
Tom Slattery/ for Augustana College

SIOUX FALLS, SD — Southwest Minnesota State scored on two fourth down plays and outlasted Augustana in a 34-24 win to mark the Mustangs first win over the Vikings since the 1991 season. Augustana (4-7, 2-5 NSIC South) had won 15 straight games over SMSU (7-4, 5-2 NSIC South) prior to Saturday’s loss.

The Mustangs went ahead 34-24 with 2:06 to play when Charlie Kern found Cody Condon for a 46-yard touchdown pass on fourth down and two from Augustana’s 46-yard line. Augustana moved the ball into SMSU territory on its final drive but was unable to get the ball into the end zone.

Augustana finished the game with a season-high 411 yards of total offense, including a season-high 300 yards passing. Augustana held SMSU to 397 yards of total offense, which is a season-low for the Mustangs.

Kern passed for 233 yards and four touchdowns for SMSU, including passes of 52 and 46 yards. Tyler Tonderum rushed for 115 yards on 31 carries and was held out of the end zone for just the second time this season.

Trey Heid finished the game with a career-high 31 completions for 300 yards and a touchdown. Heid also ran 12 times for 43 yards. Noah Huisman led the Vikings receivers with 75 yards on seven receptions with a touchdown.

Dajon Newell led Augustana on the ground with 53 yards on 14 carries while CJ Ham finished with 16 yards on six carries, while scoring a career-high two touchdowns. Ham also caught four passes and tied his career-high with 43 receiving yards.

Ross Peterson led the Vikings defensively with a career-high 15 tackles, including seven solo stops. Nate Kirby also had a career-high in tackles for Augustana, finishing with 12.

Southwest Minnesota State converted three fourth down conversions on its first drive of the game and went 65 yards on 15 plays ending with a 16-yard touchdown pass from Kern to Dean to give the Mustangs a 7-0 lead just over five minutes into the game.

Augustana answered with a long drive of its own but stalled inside the 25-yard line and had to settle for a 42-yard field goal by Ben Albrecht to make the score 7-3 with 3:30 to play in the first quarter.

After the Vikings forced SMSU to go three-and-out, Augustana went on an 81-yard drive that once again stalled inside the 20-yard line. Albrecht came on to make it a one-point game with a 33-yard field goal attempt, but SMSU’s AJ Page blocked the kick and the Mustangs took over at their own eight yard line.

The Vikings had another chance to get within one point on its next possession but Page blocked his second field goal attempt of the game, a 38-yard attempt by Albrecht, and the Mustangs were able to go down the field on its next drive and extend their lead to 10-3 on a 25-yard field goal by Lance Schuveiller.

Augustana held SMSU to 151 yards of total offense in the first half, including just 64 rushing yards. The Vikings finished with 161 yards of offense, including 125 passing yards.

Heid finished the first half 14 of 20 passing for 125 yards. Grant Gebhardt caught three passes for 31 yards while CJ Ham hauled in two passes for 26 yards and Noah Huisman caught two passes for 24 yards.

Tonderum finished the first half with 42 rushing yards on 15 attempts. Kern was 12 of 16 passing for 87 yards and a touchdown in the half. Dean caught three passes for 34 yards for SMSU, including a 16-yard touchdown catch in the first quarter.

Augustana went three-and-out on its first possession of the second half and SMSU set up with the ball at its own 45. The Mustangs went 55 yards on five plays, helped by a 27-yard run by Tonderum, setting up Dean’s second touchdown of the game. Dean caught a Kern pass in the corner of the end zone to give SMSU a 17-3 lead with 9:40 left in the third quarter.

The Vikings got within a score on the first play of the first quarter when CJ Ham ran it in from one-yard out to make it a 17-10 game with 14:58 to play in the game. Augustana got its longest play of the game on the drive on a 42-yard completion from Heid to Darren Niklason bringing the Vikings into SMSU territory.

SMSU was forced to punt on their next drive and on the first play from scrimmage for Augustana, Heid threw an interception to Donovan Woods and the Mustangs took over at Augustana’s 27-yard line. Augustana looked to return the favor when Thomas Vanasek picked off a pass but the Vikings were called for three penalties, including pass interference, holding and a personal foul, giving the ball back to the Mustangs.

SMSU had to settle for a 22-yard field goal by Schuveiller to take a 20-10 lead with 10:07 remaining in the game.

The Vikings responded by going 70 yards on 10 plays to make it a three point game at 20-17 with 6:34 to play in the game. Augustana moved the ball efficiently and got a big play on a 17 yard run by Heid to get inside the 20 yard line. Two plays later, SMSU was called for pass interference to give the Vikings a first down at the two yard line and Ham was able to punch it in from one yard out for his second touchdown of the game.

After a 37-yard kick return by Jay Schneider, Kern found Britt Wickett for a 52-yard touchdown pass to put the Mustangs back in front by 10 at 27-17 with 5:16 to play. The Vikings needed just six plays for an answer as Heid picked up two big completions, including a 19-yard touchdown pass to Huisman to bring the Vikings back within three, at 27-24, with 3:43 left in the game.

Augustana used all its timeouts and SMSU lined up to go for it on fourth down and two at Augustana’s 46-yard line. Kern dropped back and hit Wickett for a 46-yard touchdown pass to give SMSU a 34-24 lead with 1:51 to go.

Augustana finishes the season at 4-7 overall, 2-5 in the NSIC South, marking its lowest win total since the 2007 season.

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Courtesy:  Augustana College

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