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September 5, 2009

2009 Season - Tough loss at Coe in opener

What could have been a storybook ending for the Augustana Vikings instead turned into a nightmare and the result was a 9-7 loss to Coe in the season opener for both teams at Clark Field in Cedar Rapids, Iowa on Saturday, September 5. An offense that had struggled most of the afternoon had finally put itself into position to win the game on what could have been the final snap of a stinging defensive contest.

The Vikings had driven down to the Kohawk six yard line and had a second and goal situation with just six seconds left in the game and had a 23 yard field goal attempt for the game winner. Instead, a fumble ensued and Coe’s Seth Johnson recovered at the 16 yard line and the game ended in heartbreak for head coach Jim Barnes’ team.

Augustana’s Alex Schroeder’s (Batavia HS, Batavia, Ill.) punt was downed at the Coe two yard line with 4:29 left in the game and the Viking defense responded by holding the Kohawks. A punt by Chase Cooling from the 10 only went 28 yards and Augustana took over at the Coe 38 with 2:55 remaining. Facing a fourth and six situation from the Kohawk 34, Viking quarterback David Lee (Springfield HS, Springfield, Ill.) hit senior wide receiver Matt Downing (Morton HS, Morton, Ill.) for a 23 yard gain that put the ball on the Coe 11 yard line. Senior running back Jake Parke (St. Joseph-Ogden HS, St. Joseph, Ill.) ran the ball to the six yard line to set up the last snap of the game for the Vikings.

This was a game for the defense as neither team was able to move the ball much. Augustana generated just 237 yards in total offense (135 rushing and 102 passing) while Coe put up 275 yards (68 rushing and 207 passing).

The Kohawks got on the board first with 1:41 left in the first quarter when Nick Ratchford latched onto a one yard scoring toss from quarterback Brad Boyle. That capped a 10 play, 77 yard drive. The extra point was botched and that would be the only score in the first half as Coe took a 6-0 lead into the locker room at intermission.

On their third drive of the third quarter the Vikings finally hit pay dirt. Parke scored from seven yards out and Ryan Gibbons (Peoria Richwoods HS, Peoria, Ill.) nailed the extra point to give Augustana a 7-6 with 2:06 left to play in the third quarter.

Coe answered with a 65 yard, 11 play drive that ended with a 26 yard field goal from Elliot Rausa to put the home team back in front 9-7.

Following Coe’s score, Augustana ended one drive on downs at midfield and then got Schroeder’s punt to drop at the two before setting up the final, climatic finish.

Lee, who did not start the game, completed eight of 16 passes for 91 yards. He added 37 yards on 10 rushing attempts. Downing caught four passes for 71 yards while Corbett Ball (Buffalo Grove HS, Arlington Heights, Ill.) had three receptions for 16 yards. Robert Wood (Rockford Boylan HS, Rockford, Ill.) led the Vikings rushing game with 44 yards on 11 attempts.

Coe quarterback Brad Boyle completed 25 of 32 pass attempts for 207 yards with two touchdowns and he was sacked twice. He top receiver was Tyler Takes with five catches for 38 yards. The Augustana defense made it tough going on the ground as the Kohawks leading rusher was Sam Hammes with 39 yards on 10 carries.

Junior linebacker Brandon Holl (Batavia HS, Batavia, Ill.) led the Vikings in tackles with 12 (four solo and eight assists). He also shared a quarterback sack and had a tackle for loss. Eric Meyer (Harlem HS, Machesney Park, Ill.) and Andrew Rosset (Maine West HS, Des Plaines, Ill.) each had eight total tackles with four solos and four assists. Curt Perschnick (Dwight HS, Dwight, Ill.) had eight tackles (two solo and six assists) with one quarterback sack and three tackles for loss.