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October 14, 2009

2009 Season - Vikings prepare for homecoming date with IWU

After suffering yet another last-minute defeat at the hands of 4th-ranked Wheaton Saturday, Augustana will be looking to rebound in this week’s homecoming contest against 4-1 Illinois Wesleyan. Only a 19-13 homecoming loss by the Titans to Millikin Saturday prevents the Vikings from facing an undefeated opponent for the sixth consecutive game.

In Saturday’s game at Wheaton, the Thunder used a touchdown pass with 18 seconds left to pull out a 24-17 win and continue an amazing string of close wins over the Vikings. Wheaton has won eight of the last 10 meetings between the teams and in five of those contests the winning score has come in the game’s final minute or in overtime. In addition, the Thunder won 28-24 in 2007 on a touchdown at the 5:19 mark of the fourth quarter. Wheaton won this year’s game using a balanced offensive attack that produced 462 totals yards and defensive effort that saw them hold the Viking ground game to just 32 yards on 29 carries.

IWU, ranked 24th in the nation at the time, suffered the upset Saturday despite outgaining Millikin by a margin of 415 total yards to 158. The Titans also held a 27-8 edge in first downs and 34-to-26 minute edge in time of possession. Defense and special teams put up a pair of scores for Millikin on a 73-yard interception return and a blocked Titan extra point which the Big Blue brought back for two points.

Despite the disappointing loss last Saturday, IWU will be coming into Ericson Field with a 4-1 overall record (1-1 in the CCIW) and a gaudy set of statistics. The Titans average 479.2 yards of total offense and 35.6 points per game. Their attack has been well-balanced, using a 56/44 run/pass mix to produce 290.8 yards per game through the air and 188.4 on the ground. Defensively, IWU has allowed an average of just 210.4 yards of total offense and 14.6 points per game. Titan opponents have averaged just 2.2 yards per rushing attempt.

Individually, junior running back Eli Williams paces the Titan ground game with 432 yards and four touchdowns on 82 carries. Senior Travis Brubaker has added 118 yards and one score on 35 carries. Senior tackle Travis Boothe, a first team All-CCIW performer a year ago, and senior center Keely Flood, a second team selection, help pave the way.

Senior starter Kraig Ladd and his back-up, junior Brien Rooney, have each seen plenty of action at quarterback. Ladd has been the more efficient passer, having completed 75-of-110 passes (.682) for 1065 yards and 13 touchdowns against just three interceptions. Rooney has done more damage with his legs, rushing for 276 yards (5.3 yards per carry) which is second on the team behind Williams. He’s been no slouch through the air either, connecting on 63.3% of his passing attempts for 389 yards and four touchdowns while throwing two interceptions.

Ladd and Rooney have spread their throws evenly among the Titan receiving corps. Wide receivers Jack Scalcucci and Chris Messina, both seniors, and sophomore Joey Driver have been the favorite targets. Scalcucci leads the team with 29 catches for 424 yards and six touchdowns. Driver’s 16.9 yards per catch (405 yards on 24 receptions) leads the Titans and he has caught four touchdown passes. Messina has 22 catches for 266 yards and has matched Scalcucci’s team-high six TD receptions. Williams has been an effective receiver out of the backfield as well with 13 catches for 106 yards and one touchdown.

On the defensive side of the ball, senior linebacker Nick Nikolich, who earned second team All-CCIW recognition a year ago, leads the way with a team-high 30 tackles. He also leads the Titans with 6½ tackles for loss and 2½ sacks. Fifth-year senior free safety Robert Beauchamp, a first team all-conference pick last year, leads the team with four pass breakups. Another All-CCIW returnee, senior cornerback Roman Hunter, who earned second team honors, has a pair of interceptions and leads the team with five passes defended. Junior nose guard Max Brooks also earned second team All-CCIW recognition last year.

Despite the yardage surrendered to Wheaton this week, the Augustana defense has continued to play well, allowing an average of 13.6 points and 293.6 yards per game on the year. Opponents have averaged just 99.6 yards a game and 3.1 yards a carry on the ground. Through the air the Vikings have allowed just a 54.7% completion rate and 194.0 yards per game while intercepting 10 opposition passes and allowing just five touchdown passes. The defense’s biggest strength, thus far, has been its ability to force turnovers. Augustana has recorded 15 takeaways and is currently plus-nine in turnover margin.

Senior defensive back/linebacker Aaron Setchell (Amboy HS, Amboy, Ill.) continues to pace the Vikings in tackles with 36 and leads in interceptions (tied with two) and fumble recoveries with two as well. Senior linebacker Eric Meyer (Harlem HS, Machesney Park, Ill.), coming off a 14-tackle performance at Wheaton, is second on the team in stops with 32, including a team-high 20 of the solo variety. Senior nose guard Jeff Daisy (Thornton Fractional South HS, Lansing, Ill.) leads in tackles for loss with seven as well as sacks with five. Junior corner Alex Schroeder (Batavia HS, Batavia, Ill.) is tied with Setchell for the team lead with two interceptions.

Offensively, Augustana comes into this week’s game averaging 166.8 yards per game on the ground and 4.1 yards a carry. Both of those figures dropped significantly after being stymied by Wheaton. Junior Robert Wood (Rockford Boylan HS, Loves Park, Ill.) still leads the way with 391 yards and seven touchdowns on 80 carries (4.9 yards per carry). Senior Jake Parke (St. Joseph-Ogden HS, St. Joseph, Ill.), with 111 yards and two touchdowns on 23 carries, and sophomore A.J. Hoger (Cary-Grove HS, Cary, Ill.), with 109 yards on 23 carries, have spelled Wood effectively.

Parke is also the Vikings leading receiver with 26 catches for 215 yards. He caught eight passes for 107 yards against Wheaton. Senior Matt Downing (Morton HS, Morton, Ill.) has 13 receptions for 209 yards on the year.

Sophomore quarterback David Lee (Springfield HS, Springfield, Ill.) is coming off a career-high 249-yard effort Saturday. On the year he’s completed 60-of-113 passes (.611) for 732 and four touchdowns against three interceptions.

2009 AUGUSTANA VIKINGS FOOTBALL SCHEDULE

DATE

OPPONENT

SITE

TIME

September 5

Coe

Cedar Rapids, Iowa

L, 9-7

September 12

Greenville

HOME

W, 42-20

September 19

Wisconsin-Platteville

HOME

W, 31-12

October 3

*Elmhurst

HOME

W, 21-3

 

Family Weekend

 

 

October 10

*Wheaton

Wheaton, Illinois

L, 17-24

October 17

*Illinois Wesleyan

HOME

1:00 p.m.

 

Homecoming

 

 

October 24

*Carthage

HOME

6:00 p.m.

October 31

*North Park

Chicago, Illinois

1:00 p.m.

November 7

*North Central

HOME

1:00 p.m.

November 14

*Millikin

Decatur, Illinois

1:00 p.m.

  • - College Conference of Illinois & Wisconsin game

LAST WEEK…..10/20/09 – WHEATON 24, AUGUSTANA 17

Augustana drops 24-17 heartbreaker to Wheaton

WHEATON, Illinois – The 4th-ranked Wheaton Thunder football team scored in the game’s final minute Saturday to hand Augustana a 24-17 defeat. When Sean Norris connected with Andy McClain on a 26-yard scoring strike with 0:18 left, it marked the fifth time in the last ten years that the Thunder beat the Vikings by putting the winning score on the board with under a minute left in the game.

Key for the Thunder in the win was the job its defense did against Augustana’s ground game. The Vikings came in averaging a shade over 200 rushing yards a contest, but could manage just 32 net yards on 29 carries Saturday. Leading rushing Robert Wood (Rockford Boylan HS, Loves Park, Ill.), who came in with 373 yards on the season and an average of 5.7 per carry, was held to 18 yards on 15 carries by the stingy Wheaton defense. Quarterback David Lee (Springfield HS, Springfield, Ill.) threw for a career-high 249 yards, completing 18-of-31 pass attempts, but the Vikings missed on three scoring opportunities that would prove costly.

Augustana took the opening kickoff and quickly forged a 3-0 lead. On the first play from scrimmage, Lee connected with Jake Parke (St. Joseph-Ogden HS, St. Joseph, Ill.) for a 55-yard gain to the Wheaton 26. The Vikings then hurt themselves with a delay-of-game penalty and, despite a 13-yard completion from Lee to Parke, were unable to convert another first down. Ryan Gibbons (Richwoods HS, Peoria, Ill.) banged in a 36-yard field goal through a stiff wind to give Augustana the lead.

After forcing a Wheaton punt, the Vikings put together an impressive drive, using a pair of 14-yard bursts by Henry Deters (Unity HS, Tolono, Ill.) and a Lee to Matt Downing (Morton HS, Morton, Ill.) completion of 13 yards to move from their own 12 to the Wheaton 31. However, when Lee’s next pass was deflected, Wheaton’s Jon Sesso was able to come up with the interception to end the Augustana threat. Norris made the Vikings pay by hooking up with Teddy Watkins for a 71-yard touchdown pass as Wheaton faced a 3rd-and-12 at its own 29 yard line. Scott Roche’s point after gave the Thunder its first lead at the 5:19 mark of the first quarter.

Augustana regained the lead just before the end of the first period when Wood pushed in from two yards out. That score was set up when the Vikings' Shane Holl (Batavia HS, Batavia, Ill.) picked off a deflected Norris pass and returned it to the Wheaton 25. It took the Vikings just four plays to reach the end zone. Gibbons’ kick made the score 10-7 after one.

The Thunder evened the score less than four minutes into the second quarter when a 30-yard field goal from Roche capped a nine-play, 40-yard drive. Augustana put together the only other scoring threat in the first half when they went 38 yards in seven plays. However, facing fourth-and-two from the Thunder 22-yard line, the Vikings decided on a field goal try. Gibbons, kicking with the wind this time, pushed the 39-yard attempt wide right and the teams went to halftime tied 10-10.

The Vikings missed another golden opportunity early in the second half. Sesso fumbled the opening kickoff and Augustana recovered at the Wheaton 30. However, after driving to the eight-yard line, Gibbons’ hooked a 25- field goal attempt wide left on fourth down and the Vikings came away empty.

Wheaton then went on a seven-play, 80-yard drive which culminated with a 38-yard touchdown pass from freshman Jordan Roberts—Norris’ back-up—to Watkins, giving the Thunder a 17-10 lead with 9:04 left in the third quarter. The teams traded punts for the rest of the period and the next scoring opportunity came early in the fourth quarter when Wheaton drove to the Augustana seven, but a pair of penalties pushed the Thunder back and on fourth-and-19, Roche’s 37-yard field goal attempt went wide left.

After the teams again traded punts, Lee took the Vikings 74 yards, connecting on passes of 44 yards to Downing and 30 yards to Zach McCullough (St. Charles North HS, St. Charles, Ill.). McCullough’s catch went for a touchdown and Gibbons’ kick evened the score 17-17 with just over eight minutes left.

Neither team could string together string together more than five plays on each of its next two drives and Wheaton eventually took over at its own 14 with 2:43 remaining. Norris skillfully guided the Thunder 86 yards, completing five of six passes for 63 yards on the drive with the final completion going to McClain for the game- winner with 18 seconds left.

Augustana was unable to put anything together after the ensuing kickoff and Wheaton came away with the 24-17 win.

Norris threw for 280 yards in the game and the Thunder running back combination of Rocky Gingg and Charlie Velling helped Wheaton rush for 144 yards on the day. Deters led the Augustana ground game with just 30 yards on three carries. Parke was Lee’s favorite target, catching eight passes for 107 yards. A couple of Vikings had big days defensively as linebacker Eric Meyer (Harlem HS, Machesney Park, Ill.) recorded 14 tackles, including 10 solo, and nose guard Jeff Daisy (Thornton Fractional South HS, Lansing, Ill.) had 3½ sacks for 21 yards in losses.

The Vikings return home next Saturday, October 17 to face Illinois Wesleyan on homecoming. Game time for that contest is 1:00 p.m.

LAST YEAR…..10/18/08 – AUGUSTANA 21, ILLINOIS WESLEYAN 13

BLOOMINGTON, Ill. – An inspired Augustana defense came up big in the second half and Josh Galliart (Orion HS, Orion, Ill.) scored a clinching touchdown in the fourth quarter as the Vikings defeated Illinois Wesleyan 21-13 on Saturday night, October 18 in Bloomington, Illinois.

After trailing 10-7 at halftime, Augustana’s defense kept a potent Illinois Wesleyan offense at bay for most of the second half, allowing just one field goal on a 15 play, 60 yard drive. Besides that scoring drive, the Titans had the ball for just 17 plays and could generate just 18 yards of total offense in the third and fourth quarters.

The Viking offense did its part, coming up with one touchdown each in the third and fourth quarters. Down 10-7, Augustana began its second drive of the third quarter on its own 34. Pay dirt was reached when senior quarterback Tim Podulka (Elk Grove HS, Elk Grove Village, Ill.) connected with senior tight end Matt Feece (Naperville North HS, Naperville, Ill.) on a 23 yard scoring toss midway through the third quarter. That made it 14-10 after the second of three successful extra points on the night by Phil Prosia (Mountain Vista HS,Littleton, Colo.) and capped a nine play, 66 yard drive.

After that score Illinois Wesleyan came back and got its only second half points when Joe Duffy connected on a 25 yard field goal to make it 14-13 with just :19 left in the third quarter. Heading into the fourth quarter the game began to parallel the 2007 contest when the Titans came from behind in the fourth quarter thanks to lengthy, time consuming drive. Augustana got the ball back after Duffy’s field goal and generated one first down and was forced to punt from the Titan 45 yard line. Punter Andy Klink (McHenry East HS, McHenry,Ill.) did his job, dropping the punt on the Wesleyan five yard line.

With 12:04 in the game the Titans were looking at situation that was eerily similar to 2007 when they drive 99 yards to take the lead late in the fourth quarter. This time, however, the Augustana defense made it simple. First, Eric Meyer (Harlem HS, Machesney Park, Ill.) smothered Wesleyan running back Bo Lanter for no gain on first down and then Billy Lynch (Loyola Academy,Chicago, Ill.) cut down Lanter after a five yard gain to set up a third and five from Titan 10. The Vikings forced an incompletion and a short IWU punt on fourth down set Augustana up in good shape just 40 yards from the end zone.

Thanks to the field position gift from the defense, the Viking offense did not squander the opportunity. A penalty forced a critical third and eight situation and Podulka completed a 20 yard pass to Jason Kwasigroch (Carmel HS,Wauconda, Ill.) down to the 18. From there it took five plays and with 5:17 left to play in the game Galliart banged in from four yards out to make it 21-13.

Now it was up to the defense to preserve the victory. After Galliart’s touchdown run to make it 21-13, Illinois Wesleyan took 11 more offensive snaps for the remainder of the game. Of those 11 plays, 10 resulted in two yards or less. The only significant yardage gained was on a fourth and eight situation when quarterback Kraig Ladd hit Martin Ceisel with a 15 yard pass to keep a last ditch drive alive. That play put the ball on the Augustana 30 but four straight incompletions and the ball was back in the hands of the Viking offense.

Illinois Wesleyan took a 7-0 lead when Ladd hit Tom Almanzo with a six yard scoring toss on the opening drive of the game. That capped a seven play, 65 yard drive. Augustana answered in a hurry with Podulka finding Kwasigroch from 21 yards out with 8:06 left in the first quarter. Prosia’s kick made it 7-7 after the seven play, 60 yard drive.

Podulka was once again his efficient self, completing 15 of 23 passes for 155 yards with two touchdowns. Kwasigroch had five catches for 60 yards and Jake Parke (St. Joseph-Ogden HS, St. Joseph, Ill.) had five receptions for 25 yards. Matt Downing (Morton HS, Morton, Ill.) hauled in four for 47. Galliart led the rushing attack with 63 yards on 14 attempts while Podulka chipped in with 53 yards on nine carries.

The Vikings generated 328 yards of total offense (173 rushing and 155 passing) and in the crucial fourth quarter had a mammoth 10:22 to 4:38 advantage in time of possession. Illinois Wesleyan had 293 yards of total offense but 237 of that came through the air as a pair of Titan quarterbacks combined to complete 23 of 42 passes. The Augustana defense allowed just 56 yards rushing on 28 attempts.

AUGUSTANA-ILLINOIS WESLEYAN SERIES RECORD:

Illinois Wesleyan leads this series by a margin of 39-34-1...At one time Illinois Wesleyan led this series by a whopping 32-13-1 margin but 11 straight victories by Augustana trimmed the lead to 32-24-1 heading into the 1992 season...Since 1981 the Vikings have won 21 of the last 28 contests.

YEAR

SCORING (Running Record)

SITE

1917

IWU 12, AUG 3 (0-1)

Away

1919

AUG 6, IWU 6 - tie (0-1-1)

Away

1920

AUG 28, IWU 10 (1-1-1)

Home

1921

AUG 14, IWU 0 (2-1-1)

Away

1922

IWU 3, AUG 0 (2-2-1)

Home

1923

IWU 24, AUG 0 (2-3-1)

Away

1924

IWU 6, AUG 0 (2-4-1)

Home

1925

IWU 13, AUG 0 (2-5-1)

Away

1926

AUG 7, IWU 6 (3-5-1)

Away

1927

IWU 19, AUG 0 (3-6-1)

Away

1928

AUG 6, IWU 0 (4-6-1)

NA

1929

IWU 39, AUG 0 (4-7-1)

NA

1946

IWU 25, AUG 13 (4-8-1)

Away

1947

IWU 9, AUG 0 (4-9-1)

Away

1949

AUG 15, IWU 6 (5-9-1)

Home

1950

IWU 20, AUG 0 (5-10-1)

Away

1951

IWU 13, AUG 12 (5-11-1)

Home

1952

IWU 13, AUG 7 (5-12-1)

Away

1953

IWU 19, AUG 13 (5-13-1)

Home

1954

IWU 46, AUG 6 (5-14-1)

Away

1955

IWU 14, AUG 0 (5-15-1)

Away

1956

IWU 34, AUG 25 (5-16-1)

Home

1957

AUG 27, IWU 20 (6-16-1)

Home

1958

IWU 8, AUG 6 (6-17-1)

Home

1959

IWU 6, AUG 2 (6-18-1)

Away

1960

IWU 9, AUG 7 (6-19-1)

Home

1961

AUG 21, IWU 13 (7-19-1)

Away

1962

IWU 10, AUG 7 (7-20-1)

Home

1963

IWU 21, AUG 10 (7-21-1)

Away

1964

IWU 20, AUG 16 (7-22-1)

Home

1965

IWU 20, AUG 7 (7-23-1)

Away

1966

IWU 14, AUG 7 (7-24-1)

Home

1967

IWU 17, AUG 3 (7-25-1)

Away

1968

AUG 28, IWU 20 (8-25-1)

Home

1969

AUG 35, IWU 34 (9-25-1)

Away

1970

IWU 30, AUG 0 (9-26-1)

Away

1971

AUG 14, IWU 7 (10-26-1)

Home

1972

IWU 48, AUG 20 (10-27-1)

Away

1973

AUG 13, IWU 6 (11-27-1)

Home

1974

IWU 35, AUG 6 (11-28-1)

Away

1975

AUG 14, IWU 13 (12-28-1)

Home

1976

AUG 16, IWU 13 (13-28-1)

Away

1977

IWU 12, AUG 3 (13-29-1)

Home

1978

IWU 10, AUG 0 (13-30-1)

Away

1979

IWU 20, AUG 12 (13-31-1)

Home

1980

IWU 15, AUG 0 (13-32-1)

Away

1981

AUG 25, IWU 3 (14-32-1)

Home

1982

AUG 34, IWU 6 (15-32-1)

Away

1983

AUG 21, IWU 16 (16-32-1)

Home

1984

AUG 35, IWU 21 (17-32-1)

Away

1985

AUG 30, IWU 7 (18-32-1)

Home

1986

AUG 44, IWU 7 (19-32-1)

Away

1987

AUG 53, IWU 0 (20-32-1)

Home

1988

AUG 28, IWU 6 (21-32-1)

Away

1989

AUG 10, IWU 7 (22-32-1)

Home

1990

AUG 21, IWU 0 (23-32-1)

Away

1991

AUG 38, IWU 35 (24-32-1)

Home

1992

IWU 21, AUG 0 (24-33-1)

Away

1993

AUG 10, IWU 7 (25-33-1)

Home

1994

AUG 9, IWU 7 (26-33-1)

Away

1995

IWU 28, AUG 12 (26-34-1)

Home

1996

IWU 24, AUG 7 (26-35-1)

Away

1997

IWU 28, AUG 2 (26-36-1)

Home

1998

IWU 42, AUG 6 (26-37-1)

Away

1999

AUG 41, IWU 0 (27-37-1)

Home

2000

IWU 20, AUG 16 (27-38-1)

Home

2001

AUG 14, IWU 7 (28-38-1)

Away

2002

AUG 27, IWU 10 (29-38-1)

Home

2003

AUG 20, IWU 17 (30-38-1)

Away

2004

AUG 30, IWU 28 (31-38-1)

Away

2005

AUG 41, IWU 15 (32-38-1)

Home

2006

AUG 24, IWU 7 (33-38-1)

Home

2007

IWU 22, AUG 19 (33-39-1)

Away

2008

AUG 21, IWU 13 (34-39-1)

Away