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December 1, 2002

2002 FOOTBALL REVIEW

 

2002 AUGUSTANA FOOTBALL REVIEW

VIKINGS FINISH YEAR WITH 7-2 OVERALL RECORD AND RANKED 28th IN FINAL NCAA DIVISION III POLL

Winning seasons, national rankings, all-Americans and academic all-Americans have long been staples of the landscape that is Augustana football. The 2002 season was no different as third year head coach Jim Barnes led his team to a 7-2 overall record and a 6-1 mark in the College Conference of Illinois & Wisconsin, which was good for second place in the league.

The Vikings began their season with a 20-17 loss at Wisconsin-Stevens Point on September 7 and ended it with a 38-14 defeat at Wheaton on November 16. In between were seven victories as Augustana put up its 24th consecutive winning season. One would have to go all the way back to 1978 to find the last time that the Blue and Gold had a losing record. With the 24 straight winning seasons the Vikings rank 12th in the country, regardless of division.

When the season began some preseason polls had Barnes’ club ranked as high as third in the nation. A three point loss to UW-Stevens Point knocked the Vikings out of the top 10 but it didn’t take long for them to make a statement. The very next week Central of Iowa came to newly refurbished Ericson Field, complete with its new artificial surface that had been installed over the summer. In a game that matched two of the most storied programs in NCAA Division III history, Augustana prevailed by a margin of 34-14,

What came next was certainly one of the strangest nights in the College’s football history. After a bye week the Vikings went to Platteville, Wisconsin on September 28 for a night game against the Pioneers. It matched the team that had led the nation in rushing in 2001 (Augustana) with the one that led the country in passing (Wisconsin-Platteville). The game was living up to its billing with the Vikings rolling up 252 yards on the ground and Platteville had piled up 176 yards passing when lightning lit up the Western Wisconsin skies with 5:32 remaining in the third quarter. At the time Augustana led 21-14 but after a 92 minute delay the game was officially declared no-contest.

When the CCIW season opened on October 5 under the lights in Naperville, Illinois against North Central, Barnes was concerned because his team had not had an official game in three weeks. He should not have worried as the Vikings rolled the Cardinals 65-0. Illinois Wesleyan was the next victim and after spotting the Titans a 10-0 the defense made a huge stop inside its own five yard line and an 80 yard touchdown pass from quarterback Brad Wendell (Buffalo Grove HS, Buffalo Grove, IL) to split end Tom Anthony (Pleasant Valley HS, Bettendorf, IA) jump started the offense. Augustana ripped off 27 unanswered points and picked up a 27-10 victory.

After beating North Park 58-8 on October 19 in Chicago, the Vikings rolled over Millikin 41-14 on Homecoming on October 26 to move to 5-1 overall and 4-0 in the CCIW. The next week came an offensive explosion that saw both an individual and a team school record in a 58-0 route over Elmhurst. Kyle Zick (Rochelle HS, Rochelle, IL) scored six touchdowns, four rushing and two receiving, to break the old mark of five that was held jointly by Joe Thompson (vs. North Park on 10/19/74) and Greg Yemm (vs. Elmhurst on 10/15/77). As a team Augustana piled up 652 yards of total offense (478 rushing & 174 passing) to break the old mark of 598 (118 rushing & 410 passing) set against North Park in 1968 by a team that was quarterbacked by future NFL star Ken Anderson.

By this time the Blue & Gold had risen to 10th in the NCAA Division III national polls and in the next game, on November 9 in Kenosha, Wisconsin, that ranking was put to the test. Carthage blew out to a 21-0 lead before Augustana stormed back to tie things at 21-21 early in the fourth quarter. With 3:21 left in the game Redmen linebacker Eric Novak picked up a fumble and returned it 39 yards for a touchdown to give the home team a 28-21 lead. Showing remarkable poise, the Vikings marched down the field and with just :49 left Wendell hit Zick with a scoring pass from 23 yards out and Mike Clark (Pleasant Valley HS, Bettendorf, IA) nailed the game tying extra point. The contest went into overtime and after stopping Carthage on its first possession, Augustana picked up the win when fullback Tukes Ayangbile (Fulton HS, Fulton, IL) rumbled into the end zone from six yards out.

That set up a season ending showdown at Wheaton for the conference title and the subsequent automatic berth into the NCAA Playoffs. The game was tied at half 14-14 but the Thunder scored 24 unanswered and picked up the 38-14 win that clinched both the conference title and the NCAA playoff spot.

 

Over the past two decades, the formula for success at Augustana has been the same and things did not change in 2002. The Vikings once again ran the football with authority and played solid, hard nosed defense. Led by Zick, who gained 853 yards on 113 attempts from his wingback spot, Augustana averaged 301.0 yards per game rushing and scored 38.7 points per contest. Zick led the team in scoring with 16 touchdowns and 96 points, the ninth highest single season total in school history. Anthony moved into sixth place on the single season reception list with 33 catches for 675 yards and six catches. His 33 grabs were the most for a Vikings since Norm Singbush hauled in 31 in 1983.

Defensively the Vikings limited opponents to 14.7 points and 222.0 yards per game of total offense (88.1 rushing and 133.9 passing). Sophomore linebacker Steve Szpejnowski (Glenbard North HS, Carol Stream, IL) led the team in tackles with 66 (36 solos and 30 assists) while Mike Hansen (Downers Grove South HS, Downers Grove, IL) topped the squad in tackles for loss with 11.5 and Tim Williams (Rich South HS, Richton Park, IL) led the way in sacks with eight.

Augustana ranked high in several national statistical categories when the season was completed. The Vikings were sixth in total defense (222.0 yards per game), 17th in rushing defense (88.1 ypg), 21st in pass efficiency defense (88.6), 24th in scoring defense (14.7 ppg) and 20th in turnover margin ( 1.2 topg). They ranked fifth in rushing offense (301.0 ypg), 12th in scoring offense (38.7 ppg) and 29th in total offense (418.2 ypg). In addition Zick was 14th in scoring with an average of 10.7 points per game.

A total of 13 Augustana players were named to the all-conference team in the CCIW, six on the first team and seven on the second team. The headliner as far as the Vikings were concerned was the fact that senior offensive tackle J.D. Sheldon (Marian Central Catholic HS, Harvard, IL) was named to the first team for the fourth consecutive time. He becomes only the fifth player in Augustana history to accomplish that fete, joining linebacker Joe Tomasiewicz (1966-69), defensive end Dennis Koster (1969-72), linebacker Rusty VanWetzinga (1992-95) and runningback Scott Tumilty (1992-95).

Sheldon was the main earthmover in a solid Augustana offensive line that helped the Vikings lead the CCIW in rushing offense with an average of 329.7 yards per game. Augustana finished second in the league in total offense (450.6 yards per game) and scoring offense (42.4 points per game). Sheldon was joined on the first team offense by fellow senior lineman Brian McIntire (Galena HS, Galena, IL), senior tight end Eric Hartwig (Woodstock HS, Woodstock, IL) and junior wingback Kyle Zick (Rochelle HS, Rochelle, IL). McIntire was a two year starter at tackle and along with Sheldon, was a major factor in the Vikings ranking in the top 10 in the nation in rushing, scoring and total offense.

Hartwig caught five passes on the year for 72 yards but three of those catches went for touchdowns and his blocking was another major factor in the running game's success. Zick wound up third in the CCIW in rushing with an average of 100.4 yards per game in league play. He led the conference in scoring with 84 points in seven CCIW contests. Overall, Zick gained 853 yards on 113 attempts and scored 16 touchdowns (12 rushing and four receiving). He also caught 10 passes for 159 yards.

On defense two Vikings made the first team with senior defensive end Tim Williams (Rich South HS, Richton Park, IL) repeating from last year and junior strong safety Matt Furlong (Davenport Assumption HS, Davenport, IA) making it for the first time. Williams finished the year with 35 total tackles (16 solo & 19 assists) with 9.5 tackles for loss, eight quarterback sacks, two quarterback hurries and two fumble recoveries. Furlong was the second leading tackler on the team with 43 (23 solo and 20 assists) with 2.5 tackles for loss, one quarterback sack, two interceptions, one pass deflection and one fumble recovery. Augustana finished the year ranked first in the conference in rushing defense (76.4 yards per game), second in scoring defense (14.0 points per game) and first in total defense (204.0 yards per game).

On second team senior center Bob Paulin (Naperville Central HS, Naperville, IL) repeated his second team performance of a year ago as did quarterback Brad Wendell (Buffalo Grove HS, Buffalo Grove, IL). Freshman wide receiver Tom Anthony (Pleasant Valley HS, Bettendorf, IA) was also a second team selection. Paulin was a four year starter at center while Anthony caught a team high 33 passes for 675 yards and six touchdowns. Wendell threw for 836 yards on 51 of 111 with 11 touchdowns and just five interceptions and he rushed for 263 yards.

The Vikings had four second teamers on defense with junior tackles Mike Brasile (Woodstock HS, Woodstock, IL) and Mike Hansen (Downers Grove South HS, Downers Grove, IL) anchoring things up front. Junior linebacker Steve Szpejnowski (Glenbard North HS, Carol Stream, IL) and senior defensive back Todd Baldwin (Aledo HS, Aledo, IL) were also named to the second team.

 

 

Brasile had 21 total tackles (15 solo and six assists) with 7.5 tackles for loss and two quarterback sacks while Hansen had 32 total tackles (17 solo & 15 assists). Hansen was second in the CCIW in tackles for losses with 10 in league play. Szpejnowski led Augustana in tackles with 66 936 solo and 30 assists) with four tackles for loss and one quarterback sack. Baldwin, a first team Verizon Academic All-America selection, posted 24 total tackles and two interceptions.

Augustana has a rich tradition of excellence when it comes to the Verizon Academic All-American team but 2002 will go down in the history books as a special year. For the first time the Vikings have three players selected to the Academic All-American team in the same season.

The illustrious trio is senior cornerback Todd Baldwin (Aledo HS, Aledo, IL), junior free safety Adam Guy (Muscatine HS, Muscatine, IA) and senior offensive center Bob Paulin (Naperville Central HS, Naperville, IL). Baldwin made the first team while Guy and Paulin were both second team selections.

Baldwin was a first team Academic All-American last year in two sports, winning honors in football in the fall and again in track & field in the spring. Earlier this fall he was one of just three NCAA Division III athletes to earn an $18,000.00 National Football Foundation PostGraduate Scholarship. He was a starter in all nine games for the 7-2 Vikings and had 17 solo tackles, seven assists, one tackle for loss, two interceptions, one fumble caused and one fumble recovery. He has also caught four passes for 85 yards and one touchdown. He carries a 3.97 grade point average in Finance and Economics and has been team captain each of the last two years. He was a second team all-conference selection this past year.

Guy was a first team All-District selection a year ago and like Baldwin, was a starter in all nine games. He was third on the team in tackles with 39 (20 solos and 19 assists) with three interceptions, one pass deflection, and one blocked kick. He and Baldwin were instrumental parts of a defense that ranked first in the conference in eight team categories. Guy carries a 3.91 grade point average with a major in Physics.

Paulin started nine games this year at center and accumulated 42 straight starts in his career, helping Augustana to a 33-9 record during that time span. The Vikings averaged 301.0 yards per game rushing and wound up ranked fifth in NCAA Division III in that category. Augustana averaged 38.7 points per game, seventh nationally. Earlier this year the team set a new school record with 652 yards of total offense in a 58-0 win over Elmhurst. The Vikings led the CCIW in six offensive categories. Last year Paulin was instrumental in helping Augustana lead the nation in rushing offense with an average of 370.4 yards per game. Every year during his tenure the Vikings have averaged over 300 yards per game. He was a second team all-conference selection in 2001 and 2002 and was named to the Football Gazette NCAA Division III All-American team as a junior. This summer he was named to the first team All-American unit by Street & Smith magazine. He has a 3.49 grade point average with majors in Accounting and Computer Science.

Augustana has now had 21 players make the Academic All-American football team, which is selected by the College Sports Information Directors of America, since 1975. The College ranks sixth in the country (all divisions) in terms of total number of Academic All-Americans produced in all sports.

Baldwin was also honored as the winner of an $18,000 National Football Foundation Scholarship, one of just three NCAA Division III players in the country to receive the award. He is the third Augustana player in the last five years to earn the prestigious honor, joining Chris Meskan in 1998 and Mackenzie Hay in 2000.

Sheldon gained All-American honors from the American Football Coaches Association and was also selected to play in the Aztec Bowl against the Mexican all-stars. One of the coaches of the American team is former Augustana head man Bob Reade. Sheldon is the fifth straight Viking to be selected to play in the Aztec Bowl, following in the footsteps of Meskan (1998), Ben Nelson (1999), Hay (2000) and David Chorney (2001).

Barnes wrapped up his third season at the helm of his alma mater and he has a record of 24-7 during that time frame with a mark of 16-5 in the CCIW. Counting his five years as the head coach at Wooster, Barnes is 61-20 overall.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

2002 COLLEGE CONFERENCE OF ILLINOIS & WISCONSIN STANDINGS

Conference Points Overall Points

Team W L T For Opp Pct W L T For Opp Pct

Wheaton 7 0 0 319 87 1.000 10 2 0 496 196 .833

Augustana Vikings 6 1 0 297 98 .857 7 2 0 348 132 .778

Millikin 4 3 0 208 153 .571 7 3 0 381 194 .700

North Central 4 3 0 125 202 .571 6 4 0 225 281 .600

Illinois Wesleyan 3 4 0 213 172 .429 6 4 0 313 243 .600

Carthage 3 4 0 181 162 .429 4 6 0 288 247 .400

Elmhurst College 1 6 0 112 305 .143 3 7 0 204 377 .300

North Park 0 7 0 93 369 .000 1 9 0 136 444 .100

2002 AUGUSTANA FOOTBALL SUPERALATIVES

Verizon Academic All-American – Todd Baldwin, DB, 1st team; Adam Guy, DB, 2nd team; Bob Paulin, OC, 2nd team

National Football Foundation Post Graduate Scholarship – Todd Baldwin

Aztec Bowl Participant – J.D. Sheldon

American Football Coaches Association All-American – J.D. Sheldon, 1st team

Associated Press Little All-American – J.D. Sheldon, 1st team

Hewlett Packard All-American – J.D. Sheldon, 2nd team; Bob Paulin, honorable mention

Football Gazette All-American – J.D. Sheldon, 1st team; Bob Paulin, 2nd team

D3football.com All-American – J.D. Sheldon, 1st team

Most Valuable Offensive Player – Kyle Zick

Most Valuable Defensive Player – Tim Williams

Jerry Freck Inspirational Award – Drew Long

Special Team Player of the Year – Craig Wojtkiewicz

Freshman Offensive Player of the Year – Tom Anthony

Freshman Defensive Player of the Year – Clayton McLaughlin

Offensive Scout Team Player of the Year – Greg Cozzi

Defensive Scout Team Player of the Year - Jeremy Hall & Travis Shea

First Team All-Conference – J.D. Sheldon, OT; Brian McIntire, OT; Eric Hartwig, TE; Kyle Zick, RB; Tim Williams, DE; Matt Furlong, DB

Second Team All-Conference – Bob Paulin, OC; Tom Anthony, WR; Brad Wendell, QB; Mike Hansen, DT; Mike Brasile, DT; Steve Szpejnowski, LB; Todd Baldwin, CB

CCIW Player of the Week – Kyle Zick, November 2 vs. Elmhurst

Individual School Record – Most Points in Single Game: 36, Kyle Zick vs. Elmhurst on November 2 (breaks old record of 30 held by Joe Thompson vs. North Park on 10/19/74 and Greg Yemm vs. Elmhurst on 10/15/77

Individual School Record – Most Touchdowns in Single Game: 6, Kyle Zick vs. Elmhurst on November 2 (breaks old record of 5 held by Joe Thompson vs. North Park on 10/19/74 and Greg Yemm vs. Elmhurst on 10/15/77

Team School Record – Most Total Yards in Single Game: 652yards (478 rushing and 174 passing) vs. Elmhurst on November 2 - breaks old record of 598 (118 rushing and 410 passing) against North Park in 1968

NCAA DIVISION III FINAL STATISTICAL RANKINGS

Individual Scoring – 14th, Kyle Zick with 96 points in nine games for 10.7 average

Team Total Offense – 29th, 3,764 yards in nine games for 418.2 per game average

Team Total Defense – 6th, 1,998 yards in nine games for 222.0 per game average

Team Rushing Offense – 5th, 2709 yards in nine games for 301.0 per game average

Team Rushing Defense – 17th, 793 yards in nine games for 88.1 per game average

Team Pass Efficiency Defense – 22nd, 88.6 rating

Scoring Offense – 9th, 348 points in nine games for 38.7 per game average

Scoring Defense – 23rd, 132 points in nine games for 14.7 per game average

Turnover Ratio – 18th, +1.2 turnovers per game