Wayne State Picks Off Augustana
Seven Interceptions Doom Vikings In 16-13 Loss
SIOUX FALLS, S.D. – Redshirt freshman Ryan Bradberry posted a career-high 144 yards rushing and Augustana outgained Wayne State 436 to 222, but the Wildcats won the turnover battle, and used that to their advantage in a 16-13 win over the Vikings on Saturday at Kirkeby-Over Stadium.
The loss drops the Vikings to 2-3, while the Wildcats improve to 3-2.
Both teams began the game with their regular starting quarterbacks on the bench due to injury, and both of the backups needed a quarter to warm up. Wayne State’s Aaron Bleil warmed up enough in the second quarter to lead the Wildcats on a 10 play, 66-yard drive that culminated with a 26-yard Ethan Knudson field goal that gave them a 3-0 lead midway through the frame. Knudson added a 33-yard field goal as time expired in the first half to give the Wildcats a 6-0 lead at the break.
Still leading 6-0 in the third, Wayne State’s Randy Bryan picked off a Kyle Saddler pass, and returned it 44-yards for a touchdown, which put the Wildcats up 13-0 with 9 minutes, 30 seconds left in the third quarter.
Down 16-0 in the third quarter after another Knudson field goal, the Vikings drove down the field before the drive stalled, forcing the Vikings to try a 35-yard field goal, but Xavier Graham blocked the attempt, and the Wildcats took over at their own 14-yard line with 1:10 left in the third quarter.
The ensuing Wayne State drive stalled, and this time the Vikings responded with a 7 play, 39-yard drive, capped by a Saddler to Trevor DeSchepper 15-yard touchdown to get Augustana on the board, but the two-point conversion failed, leaving the Vikings down 16-6 with 12:41 remaining.
Late in the fourth quarter, the Vikings mounted one final drive, highlighted by a 45-yard Saddler to Drew Reinschmidt completion to the Wayne State 13-yard line, and capped by a 13-yard Saddler to Welscheimer touchdown that cut the Wildcats lead to 16-13 with 1:31 on the clock.
The Vikings followed-up the touchdown with an onside kick attempt, but the Wildcats recovered to seal the victory.
The Vikings return to the road next week, when they travel to Mankato to take on No. 6 ranked Minnesota State. That game kicks off at 1:30 p.m.
Notes: Augustana leads the all-time series 10-9-1 … the Vikings own a 33-16 all-time record at Kirkeby-Over Stadium, where the teams played in front of 4,428 fans … the Vikings defense recorded at least one interception in four of the five games this season … the teams combined for 10 turnovers in the game … a true freshman, Saddler made his first-career start in the game … along with his career-high 144 rush yards, Bradberry set a new career-high with a 31-yard rush … Bradberry also topped his previous career-high of 76-yards, set vs. Bemidji State on Sept. 16, and became the first Viking to rush for 100 yards in a game this season, and the first since Trey Heid rushed for 136 yards at Minnesota State on Oct. 15, 2016 … Jake Welsheimer finished with a career-high five receptions … Drew Reinschmidt caught a career-long 45-yard pass
-Recap Courtesy AU Athletics