Augustana College printing logo

December 1, 2006

2009 Season - 2006 FOOTBALL REVIEW

2006 FOOTBALL REVIEW

 

Vikings overcome slow start to capture 21st CCIW championship in school history; Nine players named to all-conference team; Mike Guzman selected to play in Aztec Bowl; Jon Verhelst named to NCAA Division III All-America team by D3football.com

 

There is no questioning the tradition and legacy of the Augustana College football program. It is one of the most storied and legendary teams in small college football, a name that garners respect nationwide. The 2006 team added its own unique chapter by compiling a 7-3 overall record and capturing the 21st College Conference of Illinois & Wisconsin championship with a 6-1 league mark. The Vikings actually tied for the conference title with North Central and Wheaton but space will still need to be cleared in the trophy case for another championship trophy.

 

No championship goes unearned and this one certainly didn’t. Head coach Jim Barnes’ team fought off a 1-2 non-conference record and won six of its final seven games. Even the game that clinched the title, a 34-23 win over Millikin on November 11 in Decatur, Illinois, was a story in perseverance. In that game the Vikings trailed on three different occasions before scoring two touchdowns in the closing minutes of the first half to take a lead they wouldn’t relinquish.

 

That victory, which gave Augustana its 17th conference crown in the past 26 seasons, was really sort of a microcosm of entire 2006 campaign. It was also the second consecutive championship and that is the first time the Vikings have turned that trick since 1993-94. It was also the 28th straight winning season, dating back to 1979.

 

This team not only had to battle back from the 1-2 start, it also had to overcome a 27-0 loss to North Central in the eighth week of the season. The Vikings bounced back nicely after that to shut out North Park 31-0 on November 4 before clinching the title with that come-from-behind road win at Millikin.

 

Part of the trouble in the early going was a rushing attack that was struggling to find itself. In the losses to Baldwin Wallace (17-7 on September 9) and Wisconsin-Platteville (24-7 on September 23), the normally potent ground game had almost ground to a halt. In those two games Augustana gained a total of just 298 rushing yards on 104 carries, an average of just 149.5 yards per game and 2.9 per rush. By contrast, the Vikings averaged 346.3 yards per game in 2005 and here they had gained nearly 50 yards less than that total in the two defeats.

 

Obviously, if the Blue & Gold was going to defend its conference title, something had to change. The answer came when the CCIW season started on September 30. The Vikings opened defense of their 2005 title with a convincing 24-7 win over Illinois Wesleyan and in the process gained 326 yards on 57 attempts and the train was back on the track.

 

After beating Illinois Wesleyan the task at hand was not going to be any easier. The next foe was an Elmhurst team that not only was undefeated at 4-0, but was chafing at the chance to get a victory over the Vikings. Elmhurst had not beaten Augustana since 1979 and the last time the Vikings had lost a game on the Bluejays’ Langhorst Field was in 1970. Against that backdrop, Augustana scored a 28-14 win to move to 2-0 in the CCIW. The running game, which had seemed so anemic just two weeks earlier, was solid once again for the second straight week. The Vikings gained 271 yards on 63 attempts and quarterback Ryan McGinnis (Rock Island Alleman HS, Moline, Ill.) was named the CCIW’s “Player of the Week” as he gained 97 yards on 18 attempts with one touchdown. He also completed five of six passes for 73 yards and a score.

 

With the 2-0 record in the CCIW, the scene was set for a huge Homecoming battle with Wheaton on October 14. The Thunder was undefeated at 5-0 and ranked 10th in the nation heading into the game. With Mike Guzman (Oregon HS, Oregon, Ill.) gaining 122 yards on 14 carries and McGinnis adding 91 on 23, the Vikings won a hard fought 17-14 victory. After jumping out to a 14-0 halftime lead, Augustana added a third quarter field goal by Josh Patterson (York HS, Elmhurst, Ill.) to build a 17-0 advantage. Wheaton came back with a pair of fourth quarter touchdowns to close the gap to 17-14 and with 4:26 left in the game Augustana got the ball back and needed to hold onto it to preserve the victory. The Vikings did just that with McGinnis picking up a crucial first down on a fourth and inches play from his own 22 yard line that clinched the win.

 

After beating Wheaton, Augustana followed that with a 28-14 win over Carthage and climbed to 29th in the D3football.com national poll. It was the 31st win in the last 32 meetings between the two schools in the CCIW that share ties with the Evangelical Lutheran Church of America.

 

The win over Carthage set up a showdown in Naperville, Illinois with North Central on October 28 and the Vikings fell 27-0, generating just 121 yards of total offense. After that loss, however, they shook that off and defeated North Park at home (31-0) and Millikin on the road (34-23) to put the finishing touches on a 7-3 record and a 6-1 mark in the CCIW.

 

Guzman, who gained 180 yards and scored three touchdowns in the CCIW-title clinching win over Millikin, led the rushing attack his year with 749 yards on 127 attempts and six touchdowns. Sophomore Josh Galliart (Orion HS, Orion, Ill.) was the second leading rusher with 506 yards on 100 carries with seven touchdowns.

 

As a team the Vikings averaged 261.8 yards per game rushing and scored 22.9 per contest. Three games into the 2006 season they were averaging just 215.7 yards per game rushing and had been held to just seven points in two of the three. An offensive line that consisted of freshman Blaine Westermeyer (Blue Valley Northwest HS, Overland Park, Kan.) and junior Brian Schoon (Fenton HS, Bensenville, Ill.) at tackles, juniors Jon Verhelst (Soldotna HS, Soldotna, Alaska) and Scott Kretzmann (Naperville North HS, Naperville, Ill.) at guards and sophomore Jim Tongue (Conant HS, Schaumburg, Ill.) at center, got better as the season progressed.

 

The Augustana defense gave up an average of 14.7 points and 272.8 (103.3 rushing and 169.5 passing) yards of total offense per game. Senior linebacker Joe Youngbauer (North Scott HS, Eldridge, Iowa) led the team in total tackles with 61 (32 solo and 29 assists) and he also had three quarterback sacks and nine tackles for loss. Senior defensive end Justin Jacobs (Erie HS, Albany, Ill.) led the Vikings in tackles for loss with 12 and shared the team lead in quarterback sacks with junior defensive tackle Tom Ferguson (New Trier HS, Glencoe, Ill.) as each had five. Junior Jordan Evans (Marian Central Catholic HS, Wonder Lake, Ill.) intercepted five passes to lead the team in that category.

 

The Vikings led the CCIW in five team categories: rushing offense (281.6 yards per game with 1,971 yards in seven games)…kickoff returns (21.2 yards per return with 402 yards on 19 returns)…penalties (28.3 penalty yards per game with 198 yards on 29 penalties)…point-after-touchdown kicking (.952 with 20 of 21) and time of possession (33:31 per game)…They were second in scoring defense (14.1 average with 99 points allowed in seven games)…turnover margin (0.86 per game with 13 takeaways against six giveaways in seven games)…fourth down conversions (.750 on nine of 12)…red zone offense (.895 with 17 scores in 19 trips)…red zone defense (.706 with 12 scores allowed on 17 opponent trips) and third down conversions (.426 on 40 of 94).

 

Tim Podulka (Elk Grove HS, Elk Grove Village, Ill.) led the CCIW in kickoff returns with an average of 22.5 with 16 returns for 360 yards in seven conference games. Patterson finished first in the CCIW in point-after-touchdown kicking with a .952 percentage with 20 of 21. Guzman was third in rushing with an average of 86.7 yards per game with 607 yards on 91 attempts in seven games while Galliart was sixth with a 57.9 per game average with 405 yards on 72 attempts in seven games and McGinnis was eighth with an average of 49.9 yards per game with 349 yards on 105 attempts in seven games. Guzman was fourth in all-purpose yardage with an average of 86.1 yards per game. Evans finished tied for fourth in interceptions with 0.43 per game with three in seven games. Patterson was third in punting with a 35.4 average with 1,169 yards on 33 punts in seven games. Galliart was tied for third in scoring with an average of 6.0 points per game with 42 points in seven games. Galliart was second in touchdowns scored with seven in seven games…Patterson was fourth in kick scoring with an average of 4.6 per game and he was third in field goals with 0.57 per game.

 

After winning the College Conference of Illinois & Wisconsin football championship for the 21st time in school history with a 6-1 league record, the Augustana Vikings were well represented on the all-conference team, which was announced on Tuesday, November 14. A total of nine Augustana players were named to the all-conference team with five winning first team honors.

 

There were two offensive players, two defensive players and one special teams’ performer on the first team. Guzman and Verhelst were picked on offense. Guzman led the Vikings in rushing on the year with 748 yards on 127 attempts and six touchdowns. He wrapped up a fine career with 2,846 yards rushing on 493 attempts and he is sixth on the school’s all-time rushing list. In conference games only he gained 607 yards on 91 attempts with five touchdowns and finished third in the CCIW statistics in rushing. Verhelst was the ringleader of an offensive line that paved the way for the likes of Guzman and his backfield mates to the tune of 261.8 yards per game rushing in 10 games. In CCIW action, the Vikings led the league in rushing with 1,971 yards on 392 attempts in seven games for an average of 281.6 yards per game, nearly 70 yards per game ahead of second place Wheaton’s average of 212.9.

 

Youngbauer and senior safety David Winston (Westmont HS, Westmont, Ill.) were the defensive players on the first team. Youngbauer led Augustana in tackles with 61 (32 solo and 29 assists) with nine tackles for loss, three quarterback sacks, two quarterback hurries, one pass deflection, one fumble recovery and one forced fumble. He was ninth in the conference in tackles with 49 (24 solo and 25 assists) in seven CCIW contests. Winston, who missed the final two games of the year due to a knee injury, was second on the team in tackles with 58 (39 solo and 19 assists) with one interception and one pass deflection.

 

Patterson was the first team kicker. He led the Vikings in scoring with 45 points on six of nine field goals and 27 of 28 extra points. He also averaged 37.0 yards per punt on 49 kicks. In conference play he led the league in point after touchdown percentage with a mark of .952 with 20 makes on 21 attempts. He was third in field goals per game with an average of 0.57 per game (four in seven) and was fourth in kick scoring with an average of 4.6 points per game (32 points in seven games). He was also third in punting with an average of 35.4 with 33 punts for a total of 1,169 yards.

 

The second team selections were Galliart, Tongue (Conant HS, Schaumburg, Ill.) on offense and senior cornerback Kyle Simpsen (Ridgeview HS, Colfax, Ill.) and senior defensive end Justin Jacobs (Erie HS, Albany, Ill.) on defense.

 

Guzman was a repeat selection on the first team while Youngbauer moved up from being a second team pick a year ago. This was the initial all-conference honor for Verhelst, Winston, Patterson, Galliart, Jacobs, Tongue and Simpsen.

 

Guzman was further honored by being picked to play in the Aztec Bowl on December 16 in Aguascalientes, Mexico where the NCAA Division III all-star team will play against a team made up of top Mexican collegiate players. Guzman is the 10th consecutive Augustana player to be selected for this prestigious honor by the American Football Coaches Association. At the Aztec Bowl he scored a touchdown as the Team USA scored a 28-7 victory.

 

He was also honored as the initial winner of the Ron Schipper Award, which was created by the American Football Coaches Association and the Team USA Aztec Bowl coaching staff in memory of former AFCA President and Team USA head coach Ron Schipper, who passed away earlier this year. The award recognizes the player who best embodies the leadership qualities Schipper looked for when he was selecting Team USA each year.

 

Verhelst was named to the NCAA Division III All-America team by D3football.com. He was a third team All-America selection after making second team all-North Region earlier in the year.

 

 

2006 CCIW FINAL FOOTBALL STANDINGS
 
 
CCIW
 
 
 
 
ALL
 
 
 
 
TEAM
W
L
FOR
OPP
.PCT
W
L
FOR
OPP
.PCT
AUGUSTANA
6
1
162
99
.857
7
3
229
147
.700
Wheaton
6
1
273
86
.857
10
2
430
184
.833
North Central
6
1
237
124
.857
9
3
381
216
.750
Carthage
3
4
153
176
.429
6
4
215
198
.600
Elmhurst
3
4
116
147
.429
6
4
206
173
.600
Millikin
2
5
119
127
.286
3
7
188
213
.300
Illinois Wesleyan
2
5
139
182
.286
3
7
188
250
.300
North Park
0
7
60
318
.000
1
9
101
371
.100
 

2006 AUGUSTANA FOOTBALL SUPERLATIVES

CCIW TEAM CHAMPIONS: Vikings won CCIW title for 21st time in school history with 6-1 league record…Other conference championship seasons are as follows: 1949 – 1966 – 1968 – 1975 – 1981 – 1982 – 1983 – 1984 – 1985 – 1986 – 1987 – 1988 – 1990 – 1991 – 1993 – 1994 – 1997 – 1999 – 2001 – 2005 – 2006

WINNING SEASON FOR 28TH CONSECUTIVE SEASON – Streak started in 1979 with 6-3 record under head coach Bob Reade

NCAA DIVISION III ALL-AMERICA: Jon Verhelst, OG (third team by D3football.com)

CCIW ALL-CONFERENCE SELECTIONS (FIRST TEAM): Mike Guzman, FB; Jon Verhelst, OG; Joe Youngbauer, LB; David Winston, S; Josh Patterson, K.

CCIW ALL-CONFERENCE SELECTIONS (SECOND TEAM): Josh Galliart, RB; Jim Tongue, OC; Kyle Simpsen, CB; Justin Jacobs, DE.

CCIW ACADEMIC ALL-CONFERENCE: Augie Anderson, Joel Campbell, Jim Clinton, Pat Edwards, Mike Guignon, Danny Hilby, John Irish, Greg Knapp, Adam Krejci, Ryan McGinnis, Jake Parke, Josh Patterson, Casey Russell, Brian Schoon, Eric Smith, Blaine Westemeyer, Joe Youngbauer

NCAA DIVISION III ALL-NORTH REGION (as selected by D3football.com): Jon Verhelst, OG – second team…Josh Patterson, K – third team.

NCAA DIVISION III ALL-NORTH REGION (as selected by Football Gazette): Jon Verhelst, OG – third team…Jim Tongue, OC – third team…Josh Patterson, PK – third team.

AZTEC BOWL SELECTION: Mike Guzman, FB

RON SCHIPPER AWARD AT AZTEC BOWL: Mike Guzman, FB