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#24 Augustana Extends Win Streak, Tops SMSU

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SIOUX FALLS, S.D. – No. 24 Augustana College remained undefeated on the season, outscoring Southwest Minnesota State 39-0 in the second and third quarters to cruise to a 53-21 victory on Saturday in Sioux Falls, S.D.

SMSU (2-2, 1-2 NSIC) led 14-7 midway through the first quarter only to see Augie score 46 unanswered points to earn its 13th straight victory over the Mustangs since 1995.  The 53 points allowed were the most by a Mustang team since a 63-21 loss to Concordia on Oct. 30, 2004.

The Vikings (4-0, 3-0 NSIC) finished with 618 yards of offense with Josh Hanson leading the way completing 18 of 23 passes for 385 yards and four touchdowns.  Hanson also rushed for 65 yards and one touchdown.  Tyler Schulte finished the game with six receptions for 210 yards and three touchdowns, including a 99-yard touchdown reception.

The Augustana defense was dominating as well limiting the SMSU offense to just 220 yards, including just 13 rushing yards.  Following an Augustana touchdown to tie the game at 14-14 midway through the first quarter, the Vikings defense limited SMSU to just two first downs on its next eight possessions.

SMSU quarterback Ryan Ratekin finished the game completing just 16 of 33 pass attempts for 166 yards and two touchdowns.  Lester Lewis led the SMSU offense with four receptions for 59 yards and two touchdowns.

Nick DeCaneva and John Kersbergen each racked up nine tackles to pace the Mustang defense, while Tyree Dickson and Levi Reiff each added eight tackles.

The Vikings opened the game’s scoring on their first play from scrimmage as Hanson connected with Schulte on a school record 99-yard touchdown reception with 12 minutes and 37 seconds left in the opening quarter.

SMSU responded on its next possession to tie the game.  Facing third-and-24 from its own 26-yard line, Ryan Ratekin completed a pass to Nate Finkey for a 23-yard gain.  Ratekin then picked up the first down jumping across the line on fourth-and-1 to keep the drive alive.  Three plays later, Ratekin tossed a perfect pass to Shawn Younger for a 44-yard touchdown pass with 9:12 remaining.  It was the first career touchdown reception for Younger.

The Mustang defense then forced a turnover on Augie’s next possession as Schulte fumbled following a reception with SMSU’s Joe Stupka recovery the ball at the Augie 38-yard line.  Just two plays later SMSU took the lead as Ratekin lofted a pass to Lester Lewis, who caught the jump ball pass at the 3-yard line and walked into the end zone for a 38-yard touchdown to give SMSU a 14-7 lead with 8:13 left in the opening quarter.

Augustana answered again to tie the game with 3:45 left in the quarter as Hanson broke free for a 14-yard touchdown run to tie the game 14-14.

The score remained tied until the Vikings regained the lead with 11:34 left in the second quarter on a 42-yard field goal by Drew Behrens.  The SMSU offense was not able to move the ball on its next four possessions and the Vikings were able to take advantage and build a 13-point lead late in the half as Hanson connected with Schulte for a 39-yard touchdown with 2:32 on the clock to build a 24-14 margin.

The Vikings then finished the half driving from their own 20-yard line down to the SMSU 5-yard line before settling for a 22-yard field goal by Behrens as the half expired to take a 27-14 halftime lead.

Augustana continued its offensive attack to start the second half scoring touchdowns on its first four drives to build a 53-14 lead after three quarters of play.  The Vikings held a 40-14 lead late in the quarter, but forced a pair of SMSU turnovers to set up two short scoring drives of 16 and one yard.

SMSU closed out the scoring in the final quarter as Tyler Peschong tossed his first career touchdown, a 3-yard pass to Lewis with 7:57 left in the game, to make the score 53-21.

SMSU will return home next Saturday to open a two-game homestand hosting Wayne State (3-1, 2-1 NSIC) for Homecoming and Ag Bowl.  Kickoff is slated for 6 p.m. at the Regional Event Center.

Courtesy: Kelly Loft, SMSU Athletics
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