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December 1, 2009

2009 FOOTBALL REVIEW

When quarterback Ryan McGinnis lined up in the shotgun for a handful of plays in the 2007 season-opener it began a gradual offensive transition for the Augustana Vikings which was completed this season with the full implementation of the spread offense. Head coach Jim Barnes’ 2009 version of the Vikings ended up 6-4 overall and 4-3 in the College Conference of Illinois & Wisconsin, good for a third-place tie, and in the process began breaking aerial records that had stood for two generations.

The team’s record was achieved despite facing the nation’s second-toughest schedule and included impressive wins over Greenville (42-20), Carthage (42-20) and Millikin (42-13)—three teams that combined for a 20-10 record in 2009. The Vikings suffered tight setbacks to NCAA Division III playoff qualifiers Coe (9-7) and Illinois Wesleyan (7-0) as well as Wheaton (24-17), ranked fourth in the nation at the time. Augustana’s other loss was to 18th-ranked North Central by a 45-26 score.

From the first few glimpses of the new offense in 2007, to last year’s hybrid wing-T/spread combination, the transition was completed this year and in the season’s final two weeks sophomore quarterback David Lee (Springfield HS, Springfield, Ill.) put an exclamation point on that switch. Lee completed a school-record 28 passes in the Vikings’ loss to North Central and came back the following week to break the school record for single-game passing yards (422) despite sitting out almost the entire fourth quarter of the season-ending win over Millikin. Both records had been held by 1981 NFL MVP and four-time Pro Bowler Ken Anderson, the school’s all-time leading passer who starred for the Vikings from 1967-71.

While the offense progressed throughout the season, defensive coordinator Rob Cushman’s unit kept the Vikings in virtually every game. Epitomized by senior middle guard Jeff Daisy (Thornton Fractional South HS, Lansing , Ill.), a 5-9, 245-pound converted fullback, the scrappy, undersized Augustana defense finished second in the league and 52nd nationally in total yards allowed (302.9 yard per game). The Vikings were also 31st nationally against the run, allowing just 95.0 yards per game.

The season opened with a road date at Coe College in Cedar Rapids, Iowa. Still trying to settle on a replacement for 2008 second team All-CCIW quarterback Tim Podulka, the Viking offense struggled all day, but behind a stingy defensive effort, the team still found itself in position to win the game with six seconds left. However, trailing 9-7 the Vikings botched a 23-yard potential game-winning field goal attempt, costing them a win over the Kohawks, a team that would go on to finish 10-2 and reach the second round of the NCAA Division III playoffs.

The team bounced back in week two with a decisive win over Greenville as Lee went 16-for-25 for 161 yards and two touchdown passes in his first collegiate start. He also rushed for 83 yards and a touchdown, earning his first of two CCIW Player of the Week awards this season.

The defense recorded eight takeaways in the next two weeks as the Vikings moved to 3-1 with lopsided wins over Wisconsin-Platteville (31-12) and Elmhurst (21-3). Viking senior defensive back Aaron Setchell (Amboy HS, Amboy, Ill.) earned the first of his two CCIW Defensive Player of the Week awards following the win over UW-Platteville.

A pair of excruciating losses followed as Augustana fell at 4th-ranked Wheaton, 24-17, on a Thunder touchdown with 18 seconds left in the game and then wasted a tremendous defensive effort in a 7-0 homecoming loss to Illinois Wesleyan.

Resilient as ever, the Vikings rebounded with a 42-20 beating of Carthage. The Augustana defense, led by Setchell, kept record-setting Red Men quarterback Evan Jones in check while Viking running backs Robert Wood (Rockford Boylan HS, Loves Park, Ill.) and A.J. Hoger (Cary-Grove HS, Cary, Ill.) each eclipsed the 100-yard mark as the offense compiled a season-high 307 rushing yards. Setchell recorded a season-high 19 tackles and recovered a blocked punt for a touchdown to earn his second CCIW Defensive Player of the Week award.

With several regulars sitting out to nurse minor injuries, Augustana gave North Park a 42-14 pasting in Chicago. Freshman running back Nate Pena (Neuqua Valley HS, Bolingbrook, Ill.) rushed for 88 yards and three touchdowns.

The Vikings closed out the season by splitting a pair of contests with North Central and Millikin. Leading 20-17 with 30 seconds left in the first half, Augustana allowed a North Central touchdown just before intermission and never recovered, falling to the 18th-ranked Cardinals, 45-26.

The following week in Decatur, Illinois, the Vikings dismantled Millikin 42-13 behind Lee’s second consecutive record-setting day. His 422-yard effort earned him the conference’s Offensive Player of the Week for the second time this year.

In a year featuring several records and individual accomplishments, easily the most decorated Viking was senior offensive tackle Blaine Westemeyer (Blue Valley Northwest HS, Overland Park, Kansas). The 2009 honors for Westemeyer, a four-year starter, began with first team pre-season All-America recognition from D3Football.com, The Sporting News and Lindy’s Sports. However, that was just the beginning for the biochemistry and pre-med major who carries a 3.94 grade point average.

Westemeyer was one of just 16 players from all NCAA and NAIA divisions, and one of just two NCAA Division III players to earn the prestigious National Football Foundation & College Football Hall of Fame post-graduate scholarship. Winning the scholarship makes him a finalist for the 2009 William V. Campbell Trophy. The Campbell Trophy, which will be awarded on December 8th in New York City, is endowed by HealthSouth and recognizes its winner as “the American college football player with the best combination of academics, community service, and on-field performance.”

The 6-5, 285-pound Westemeyer was also a ESPN the Magazine first team Academic All-American for the second consecutive season and, for good measure, earned his third straight first team All-CCIW honors. Several yet-to-be-named 2009 All-America teams will no doubt include Westemeyer’s name as well.

Wood, a junior, and senior linebacker Eric Meyer (Harlem HS, Machesney Park, Ill.) joined Westemeyer on both the All-CCIW and ESPN the Magazine academic all-district teams. Meyer was a first team All-CCIW honoree and second team academic all-district pick while Wood was a second team selection on both units.

Three other Vikings earned all-conference recognition as well. Setchell was a first team selection while Daisy and senior all-purpose back Jake Parke (St. Joseph-Ogden HS, St. Joseph, Ill.) were second team picks.

Along with Lee and fellow senior wide receiver Matt Downing (Morton HS, Morton, Ill.), Parke also etched his name in the Augustana record book this year. He caught 42 passes, the third highest single-season total in school history and finish third on the school’s career receptions list as well with 97 catches. He already owned the second-best single-season mark with 46 grabs in 2008. Parke also rushed for 1,253 yards during his career. With 21 receptions in the final two games, Downing pushed his season total to 40—fourth best in school history—and his 72 career catches place him eighth on the school’s all-time list. He finished seventh in the CCIW in both receptions and receiving yards.

Lee finished the year with 152 completions in 237 attempts (.641) for 1,714 yards and 10 touchdowns. He was second in the CCIW in completion percentage (.653 in league play), third in passer rating (138.1) and fourth in total offense (211.1 yard per game). His yardage total represents the second-highest single-season mark in school history behind Anderson’s 2,117 in 1968. Despite throwing for just 16 yards in limited playing time as a freshman, Lee now sits ninth on Augustana’s career passing yards list with 1,730.

For the first time in recent memory, the Vikings gained more yards through the air (1,771) than on the ground (1,740), but the team still featured a balanced and efficient rushing attack. Wood led the way with 643 yards and eight touchdowns. He averaged 4.8 yards a carry and was the CCIW’s fourth-leading ground gainer. Lee was second on the team with 310 yards and six touchdowns while Parke (260 yards, 6.3 yards per carry and three touchdowns), Hoger (251-6.0-2) and Pena (149-5.5-4) were all effective in the ground game as well.

In addition to Parke (42 catches for 383 and 0 touchdowns) and Downing (40-595-4), Lee’s corps of receivers included senior Henry Deters (Unity HS, Tolono, Ill.) (23-250-1), sophomore Zachary McCullough (St. Charles North HS, St. Charles, Ill.) (17-244-2) and junior Corbett Ball (10-95-1). Goal-line H-back Jack Gilleland (Marian Central HS, Bull Valley, Ill.) caught just two passes all year, but both went for touchdowns.

Besides Setchell (a team-high 72 tackles, five for loss, two interceptions, three passes broken up, two fumble recoveries and two touchdowns), Meyer (55 tackles and one interception) and Daisy (23 tackles, 11 for loss and six sacks), the Viking defense featured several other standouts as well. Senior linebacker Andrew Rosset (Maine West HS, Des Plaines, Ill.) was a constant playmaker all season. He was third on the team with 58 tackles including 10 for loss (2nd on the team) and three sacks (tied for second). He also tied with junior Alex Schroeder (Batavia HS, Batavia, Ill.) for the team lead in interceptions with four, recovered one fumble and blocked a pair of punts, both of which were recovered for touchdowns including one by Rosset himself.

Junior linebacker John Mago (Cary-Grove HS, Cary, Ill.) was also a mainstay on defense, with 59 tackles, eight of which went for lost yardage, and one sack. He was the fourth leading tackler in the CCIW with an average of 7.43 per game.

2009 COLLEGE CONFERENCE OF ILLINOIS & WISCONSIN STANDINGS

 

 

CCIW

 

 

 

 

ALL

 

 

 

 

TEAM

W

L

FOR

OPP

.PCT

W

L

FOR

OPP

.PCT

Illinois Wesleyan

6

1

179

81

.857

10

2

350

199

.833

North Central

6

1

347

140

.857

8

2

490

186

.800

AUGUSTANA

4

3

190

126

.571

6

4

270

167

.600

Wheaton

4

3

198

119

.571

7

3

313

168

.700

Carthage

4

3

260

267

.571

7

3

370

344

.700

Millikin

3

4

138

236

.429

6

4

254

284

.600

Elmhurst

1

6

160

219

.143

4

6

232

248

.400

North Park

0

7

68

352

.000

1

9

119

437

.100

 

2009 AUGUSTANA FOOTBALL SUPERLATIVES   

INDIVIDUAL AWARD WINNERS

AMERICAN FOOTBALL COACHES ASSOCIATION (AFCA) ALL-AMERICAN – Blaine Westemeyer, OT

PRE-SEASON DIVISION III ALL-AMERICA – Blaine Westemeyer, OT, D3Football.com (first team), The Sporting News (first team), and Lindy’s Sports (first team)

GAGLIARDI AWARD FINALIST – Blaine Westemeyer, OT (One of 10)

WILLIAM V. CAMPBELL TROPHY FINALST – Blaine Westemeyer, OT (One of 16 in all NCAA and NAIA divisions).

NATIONAL FOOTBALL FOUNDATION POST-GRADUATE SCHOLAR – Blaine Westemeyer, OT

CCIW ALL-CONFERENCE SELECTIONS – First team: Blaine Westemeyer, OT, Aaron Setchell, DB, Eric Meyer, LB…Second team: Jake Parke, WR, Jeff Daisy, DL, Robert Wood, RB

CCIW PLAYERS OF THE WEEK – 9/14/09 – David Lee, QB vs. Greenville…9/21/09 – Aaron Setchell, DB vs. UW-Platteville...10/26/09 – Aaron Setchell, DB vs. Carthage...11/16/09 – David Lee, QB vs. Millikin

CoSIDA ACADEMIC ALL-AMERICA – Blaine Westemeyer, OT, first team

Co SIDA ACADEMIC ALL-DISTRICT – Blaine Westemeyer, OT, first team… Eric Meyer, LB, & Robert Wood, RB, second team

CCIW JACK SWARTZ AWARD – Blaine Westemeyer

CCIW ACADEMIC ALL-CONFERENCE – Brock Alekna, Michael Anderson, Corbett Ball, Ben Carter, Chad Collins, Ray Fiedler, Brandon Holl, Kyle Hundman, Andrew Klink, Jack Madden, John Mago, Brandan McAtee, Zachary McCullough, Mitch McGilliard, Eric Meyer, Andrew O’Reilly, Jake Parke, Peter Rasmussen, Andrew Rosset, Pete Schimeck, Alex Schroeder, David Venegoni, Jason Wagner, Blaine Westemeyer, Cody Wickenhauser, Robert Wood.

 

NCAA STATISTICAL RANKINGS – TOP 10

TURNOVER MARGIN – 7th @ +1.60 topg (27 takeaways and 11 turnovers in 10 games)

CCIW STATISTICAL LEADERS – TEAM

TURNOVER MARGIN – 1st @ +1.57 topg (18 takeaways and 7 turnovers in 7 games)

FEWEST YARDS PENALIZED – 1st @ 29.9 ypg (25 penalties for 209 yards in 7 games)

PAT KICKING – 1st @ .958 (23 of 24)

TIME OF POSSESSION – 1st @ 32:08 per game (225:00 in 7 games)

CCIW STATISTICAL TOP TEN RANKINGS – INDIVIDUAL

RUSHING – 4th, Robert Wood @ 69.3 ypg (416 yards in 6 games)

PASSING YARDAGE – 4th, David Lee @ 188.3 ypg (1,318 yards in 7 games)

TOTAL OFFENSE – 4th, David Lee @ 211.1 ypg (1,478 yards in 7 games)

RECEPTIONS – 7th, Matt Downing @ 4.57 rpg (32 receptions in 7 games)

RECEIVING YARDS – 7th, Matt Downing @ 66.3 ypg (464 yards in 7 games)

INTERCEPTIONS – 4th, Andrew Rosset & Alex Schroeder @ 0.43 ipg (3 interceptions in 7 games)

PASS EFFICIENCY – 3rd, David Lee @ 138.1 efficiency rating

PUNTING – 6th, Alex Schroeder @ 35.6 ypp (890 yards on 25 punts)

SCORING – 10th, Robert Wood @ 5.0 ppg (30 points in 6 games)

SCORING TD’S – 7th, Robert Wood @ 5.0 ppg (5 TD’s in 6 games)...9th, David Lee @ 4.6 ppg (5 TD’s and 1 2-pt conversion in 7 games)

KICKING SCORING – 5th, Ryan Gibbons @ 4.3 ppg (17-18 PAT’s & 3-6 FG’s in 6 games)

FIELD GOALS – 4th, Ryan Gibbons @ 0.50 fgpg (3-6 in 6 games)

PAT KICKING – 3rd, Ryan Gibbons @ .944 (17-18)

TACKLES – 4th, John Mago @ 7.4 tpg (52 tackles in 7 games)...7th, Aaron Setchell @ 7.0 tpg (49 tackles in 7 games)

SACKS – 5th, Jeff Daisy @ 0.50 spg (3½ sacks in 7 games)...7th, Andrew Rosset @ 0.43 spg (3 sacks in 7 games)

TACKLES FOR LOSS – 9th, Jeff Daisy @ 0.93 tflpg (6½ tackles for loss in 7 games)

FUMBLES FORCED – 1st, Shane Holl @ 2...2nd, Ben Hall & Aaron Setchell @ 1

FUMBLE RECOVERIES – 1st, Shane Holl @ 2...6th, Corbett Ball & Andrew Rosset @ 1

SCHOOL RECORDS

INDIVIDUAL SINGLE GAME PASS COMPLETIONS – 28, David Lee vs. North Central, 11/7/09 (Breaks previous record of 25 by Ken Anderson vs. Carroll, 10/10/70)

INDIVIDUAL SINGLE GAME PASSING YARDS – 422, David Lee vs. Millikin, 11/14/09 (Breaks previous record of 410 by Ken Anderson vs. North Park, 11/2/68)

TEAM SINGLE GAME PASSING YARDS – 445 vs. Millikin, 11/14/09 (Breaks previous record of 410 vs. North Park, 11/2/68)

 

ADDITIONS TO AUGUSTANA’S TOP TEN LISTS

SINGLE SEASON PASSING YARDS – 1,714 (David Lee – 2nd place)

SINGLE SEASON PASS RECEPTIONS – 42 (Jake Parke – 3rd place)...40 (Matt Downing – 4th place)

CAREER PASSING YARDS – 1,730 (David Lee – 9th place)

CAREER PASS RECEPTIONS – 97 (Jake Parke – 3rd place)...72 (Matt Downing – 8th place)

TEAM AWARDS

MOST VALUABLE OFFENSIVE PLAYER – David Lee & Blaine Westemeyer

MOST VALUABLE DEFENSIVE PLAYER – Aaron Setchell

MOST VALUABLE SPECIAL TEAMS PLAYER -Andrew Rosset

JERRY FRECK AWARD – Eric Meyer

MOST VALUABLE FIRST YEAR DEFENSIVE PLAYER – Rob Mago

MOST VALUABLE FIRST YEAR OFFENSIVE PLAYER – Nate Pena

SCOUT TEAM OFFENSIVE MVP – John Porter

SCOUT TEAM DEFENSIVE MVP – Jack Madden