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October 31, 2009

2009 Season - Augustana wins 38th straight over North Park

CHICAGO, Ill. – A three-touchdown performance by Augustana freshman running back Nate Pena (Neuqua Valley HS, Bolingbrook, Ill.) keyed a 42-14 road win over North Park Saturday. Augustana has now won 47 of 49 meetings between the teams all-time, including the last 38 in a row.

Playing without first and second team running backs Robert Wood (Rockford Boylan HS, Loves Park, Ill.) and A.J. Hoger (Cary-Grove HS, Cary, Ill.), Coach Jim Barnes had the opportunity to get Pena his first significant playing time of the year. Senior Jake Parke (St. Joseph-Ogden HS, St. Joseph, Ill.), used primarily as a slot receiver for the last two seasons, saw action at running back as well. Both were very productive in the contest. Parke ran for 100 yards on nine carries and opened the scoring with a 49-yard touchdown run on Augustana’s second play from scrimmage. Pena added 88 yards on 11 carries and touchdown runs of 10, 4 and 43 yards.

An Eric Meyer (Harlem HS, Machesney Park, Ill.) interception of North Park quarterback Shelby Wood on the game’s opening possession set Augustana up at its own 45-yard line and one play later Parke’s burst made it 7-0 Augustana. A Shane Holl (Batavia HS, North Aurora, Ill.) recovery of a Wood fumble at midfield set up Augustana’s next score and Pena’s 10-yard run capped a six-play, 50-yard drive. Arnie Fitzwater’s (Waterford Union HS, Waterford, Wis.) point after made the score 14-0.

North Park answered with a 9-play, 66-yard drive that took 5:08 off the clock. Wood capped it off with a 16-yard pass to Sam Lialios and North Park was within 14-7 with 1:05 left in the first quarter. Pena’s second and third touchdowns of the half pushed Augustana’s lead to 28-7 at the break. North Park missed an opportunity to score just before the half when Aidan Howarth’s 22-yard field goal attempt was wide left.

Viking quarterback David Lee (Springfield HS, Springfield, Ill.) started the scoring in the second half with a 52-yard touchdown run with 10:23 left in the third quarter. Just before the end of the quarter, senior Henry Deters (Unity HS, Tolono, Ill.) closed out the Augustana scoring with an eight-yard touchdown run on his only carry of the day.

Wood connected with Sam Cochiaro for a 22-yard touchdown pass early in the fourth quarter to account for the final score of 42-14.

Despite playing without several key performers, Augustana’s offense was efficient if not spectacular. The Vikings scored on every possession of the first half except their last, when they took a knee. The ground game produced 303 net yards on 42 carries, an average of 7.2 yards per tote. Through the air, Lee connected on 9-of-14 for 135 yards and freshman Nick Welch (Oswego HS, Oswego, Ill.) went 3-for-3 for 19 yards in his first action of the year. Lee added 72 rushing yards on six carries as well. Zach McCullough (St. Charles North HS, St. Charles, Ill.) lead Augustana with five catches for 65 yards.

Defensively, Augustana allowed just 103 rushing yards on 35 North Park carries. Wood completed 10-of-17 passes for 129 yards and the Vikings intercepted him once. John Mago (Cary-Grove HS, Cary, Ill.) was the leading Augustana tackler with eight. Aaron Setchell (Amboy HS, Amboy, Ill.) had three tackles for loss and forced a fumble.

Augustana is in action next on Saturday, November 7, when they host CCIW co-leader North Central in a 1:00 p.m. contest at Rock Island’s Ericson Field.