SIOUX FALLS, S.D.
- No. 15 Augustana got a 106-yard rushing effort from Joe Clark and a two-touchdown game from Ben Parsley to stay undefeated with a 31-15 Northern Sun Intercollegiate Conference victory over Northern State Saturday afternoon in Sioux Falls, S.D., in front of a crowd of more than 6,000 on Viking Days.
The win moves the Vikings to 6-0 (5-0 NSIC); NSU stays winless and drops to 0-6 (0-5 NSIC).
The Vikings racked up 441 yards of total offense--with 263 of it coming on the ground. Clark's 106-yard performance was his second consecutive 100-yard game; he also added a touchdown.
Josh Hanson rushed 17 times for 87 yards and a touchdown. The sophomore quarterback also completed 18 of 30 passes for 174 yards and two touchdowns. Both of those touchdowns went to his tight end Parsley.
The Augustana receiving nucleus was anchored by Eric Ellingworth and Sam Holsen, who each caught five passes for 64 yards. Tyler Schulte saw limited action, catching one pass for 3 yards.
The Viking defense sacked NSU four times on the afternoon. Ryan Isaacson paced Augustana with nine tackles.
The Vikings had little trouble moving the ball on their opening possession, covering the bulk of their 14-play, 85-yard drive on the ground. Clark accounted for 37 yards before Hanson dove in from yards out for the game’s first score.
The Wolves got in the act on their ensuing possession when Joei Fiegler connected with Mark Hanley for a 73-yard touchdown that knotted the contest at 7-7. The long-yardage score came on third down.
Drew Behrens served as the catalyst for a sputtering Augustana offense in the second quarter. The Vikings were forced to punt the ball away on back-to-back two possessions, and it looked like the they were about to make it three in a row on a fourth-and-nine situation at their own 30. Behrens, though, took a fake punt 42 yards to energize Augustana. From there, 14 yards on the ground from Clark keyed the remainder of the drive that was finished when Parsley hauled in a 5-yard touchdown pass to double up the Wolves 14-7.
NSU looked to run out the remainder of the first half on its ensuing drive. After picking up one first down, the Wolves nearly lost a fumble and were rocked by a Ben Ordorff sack that forced an NSU punt with 1:28 left.
A pair of Eric Ellingworth catches quickly moved the Vikings into striking distance. Parsley again found paydirt from 5-yards, snagging Hanson’s shallow toss to the left side to put his squad up 21-7.
Hanson accumulated 155 yards through the air with two touchdowns in the first half.
Augustana stumbled to open the second half after Zac Kallas fumbled the opening kickoff, giving the Wolves the ball at the Augustana 35-yard line. NSU, however, quickly turned the ball over on downs.
The Vikings took the turnover and found the endzone on a 10-play, 68-yard drive capped by a Clark 8-yard strike.
Augustana almost immediately regained possession after Jake Lee forced an NSU fumble that Andrew Keel jumped on at the Wolf 23-yard line. Behrens turned that into three points with a 38-yard field goal.
NSU did not score until late in the fourth quarter—this touchdown coming via a 41-yard pass from Wanner to Mark Hanley. The duo teamed up for the two-point conversion to make it a 31-15 contest.
The Wolves resulting onside kick was pounced on by the Vikings. Augustana held up NSU’s offense on a pair of possessions to close the game.
The Vikings held the Wolves to just 7 yards on the ground, marking the lowest output by an opposing team this season.
Fiegler's 164 yards passing and Hanley's 126 yards receiving with two touchdowns paced the Wolves. Mike Bogdanovich finished with a game-high 10 tackles for NSU.
The Vikings are on the road next weekend, traveling to Winona State on Saturday. Kickoff is set for 1 p.m.