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September 19, 2009

2009 Season - Scoring burst paves way to victory

Augustana scored all 31 of its points in just over one quarter of play and cruised to a 31-12 win over the University of Wisconsin-Platteville Pioneers Saturday night at Ericson field. Seventeen of those points came in a crucial three minute and 35 second stretch at the end of the first half and beginning of the second half.

After forcing an Augustana punt on its opening possession, the Pioneers went to work on offense from their own 42-yard line. They painstakingly marched 51 yards in 18 plays, taking 8:39 off the clock before settling for a 24-yard Tony Smidl field goal. The Pioneers successfully converted three fourth-and-one situations on the drive before deciding on the field goal when confronted with a fourth-and-three at the Augustana seven. The Vikings were forced to punt and lost a fumble on their next two possessions, respectively, and the first quarter ended 3-0, Pioneers.

After forcing a Platteville punt early in the second period, Augustana took over on its own 11 and proceeded to march 89 yards in 15 plays for the go-ahead touchdown. Quarterback David Lee (Springfield HS, Springfield, Ill.) completed four passes on the drive and had a key 12-yard keeper as well. Jake Parke (St. Joseph-Ogden HS, St. Joseph, Ill.) capped the drive with a 2-yard run and the Vikings led 7-3 with 7:11 left in the half.

Each team was forced to punt on its next possession and UW-Platteville took over at its own 18 with two minutes left. On the second play of the drive, Augustana’s Aaron Setchell (Amboy HS, Amboy, Ill.) made a diving interception of a Nick Anderson pass setting the Vikings up with great field possession at the Pioneer 30. Augustana made them pay when Lee connected with Henry Deters (Unity HS, Tolono, Ill.) for a 30-yard touchdown pass on the next play, giving the Vikings a 14-3 lead. Platteville then took over at its own 32 with 1:18 left in the half and on the very first play the Vikings came up with another interception. This time it was Mack Gray (Simeon HS, Chicago, Ill.) with the pick, setting the Vikings up at the Platteville 40 with 1:13 left in the half. Eight plays later, Augustana faced a 4th-and goal at the Pioneer two and decided to take the field goal. Ryan Gibbons (Richwoods HS, Peoria, Ill.) 20-yard kick gave the Vikings a 17-3 halftime lead.

Platteville managed just a negative two yards on its first possession of the second half and were forced to punt from deep in its own territory. The Vikings’ Andrew Rosset (Maine West HS, Des Plaines, Ill.) came around the right end on the play and blocked Zak Brinkman’s punt into the end zone where he was able to fall on it for another Augustana touchdown and a 24-3 lead.

After forcing another Platteville thee-and-out, the Vikings scored on their fourth consecutive possession when Robert Wood (Rockford Boylan HS, Loves Park, Ill.) went 10 yards around left end for a touchdown, capping an eight-play, 57 yard drive and pushing the score to 31-3 with 8:40 left in the third quarter. That score completed a stretch that saw the Vikings score 31 points in 15 minutes and 51 seconds.

Mitch Shadley replaced Anderson at quarterback for the Pioneers and led the team on a scoring drive that culminated with a 19-yard Shadley to Jimmy Spehn touchdown pass on the first play of the fourth quarter. The final score of the night came when Viking punter Alex Schroeder (Batavia HS, Batavia, Ill.) took an intentional safety with 1:08 left to make the final Augustana 31, UW-Platteville 12.

The Vikings were solid in all three phases. They used a balanced offensive attack with 180 yards rushing and 144 passing. Defensively, they allowed just 29 rushing yards to the Pioneers on 21 carries. While Platteville did manage 290 yards through the air, many of those came late with the outcome already decided and Augustana picked off five Pioneer passes. Rosset’s blocked punt highlighted a fine performance by the Viking special teams as well.

Individually, Lee completed 17-of-26 passes for 144 yards and one touchdown. Wood was the leading ground gainer with 78 yards on 18 carries while A.J. Hoger (Cary-Grove HS, Cary, Ill.) added 68 yards on 10 carries. Parke had five catches for 21 yards and Deters had 73 yards on four catches. Defensively, Setchell recorded a team-high 10 tackles in addition to his interception. In addition to Setchell and Gray, Schroeder, Andrew Schweitzer (Wheaton North HS, Wheaton, Ill.) and Aaron Kwasigroch (Carmel HS, Wauconda, Ill.) each had interceptions as well.

The Vikings are off next week and return to action on October 3 when they will host the Elmhurst Bluejays at 1:00 p.m. The weekend of the third will also be “Family Weekend” at Augustana.