Augustana Blanks Bemidji State
SIOUX FALLS, SD — Augustana bounced back from a week two loss in a big way shutting out Bemidji State 24-0 on Saturday afternoon in Sioux Falls. The Vikings (2-1) held the Beavers (1-2) to just 94 yards of total offense in the first half and 208 for the game.
The shutout for Augustana is the first since the Vikings defeated Minnesota-Crookston 61-0 on Sept. 15, 2012. The Vikings have shutout Bemidji State twice in the last three meetings, the last coming in a 10-0 win on Sept. 11, 2010 in Bemidji, Minn.
Special teams and defense helped the Vikings get on track in today’s game. Steven Miller swung the momentum in Augustana’s favor on Bemidji State’s second possession of the game when he disrupted a pitch and recovered the fumble. The recover set up the Vikings on Bemidji State’s 22-yard line and led to Lucas Wainman’s 30-yard field goal to open the scoring.
Later in the first half, Miller broke through the line and blocked a Bemidji State punt that was recovered by Teagan Brown and returned 18 yards for a touchdown. Miller finished the game with five tackles, including three solo stops.
Augustana accounted for 265 yards of total offense in the game, including 106 rushing yards and 159 passing yards.
Heid finished the game 15 of 28 through the air with two touchdowns, despite being sacked five times in the game.
Noah Huisman grabbed six passes for 60 yards and a touchdown while Matt Gerry hauled in three passes for 26 yards. Nick Lee caught the other touchdown pass, a 26-yarder for his first touchdown catch of the season.
Brandon Mohr led Augustana defensively with nine tackles, including a half a sack. Nate Kirby added six tackles and 1.5 sacks. The Viking defense finished the game with 4.0 sacks and four pass breakups.
Both teams went three-and-out on their first possessions but the Viking defense forced a big turnover on Bemidji State’s second possession to set up the game’s first score, a 30-yard field goal by Wainman, to give Augustana a 3-0 lead.
Miller made a big hit on Bemidji State running back Brady Schmidt, who was attempting to catch a tough pitch from quarterback Alex Hass, and recovered the ball to give Augustana great field position on BSU’s 22-yard line.
Augustana went on a 13-play 50-yard drive that took up eight minutes off clock at the end of the first quarter but was unable to put any points on the board after getting to Bemidji State’s 20-yard line. The Beavers picked up back-to-back sacks pushing Augustana back to mid-field and forced punt as the Vikings faced fourth and 29-yards to go from the 47-yard line.
Miller made another big play towards the end of the first half blocking a Bemidji State punt that was recovered by Brown and returned for an 18-yard touchdown to give the Vikings a 10-0 lead.
Brown has now returned two blocked punts for touchdowns this season. In Augustana’s season opener against MSU Moorhead, Brown blocked a punt and recovered it in the end zone for his first career touchdown.
On Bemidji State’s next possession, Augustana forced its second three-and-out of the first half to force a punt. The Vikings then went on a five-play 58-yard drive that ended with Heid finding Nick Lee in the end zone for a 26-yard touchdown pass. The score gave Augustana 17-0 lead with 2:04 left in the half.
Augustana would take the 17-0 lead into halftime. The Vikings finished the first half with 68 passing yards and 72 rushing yards. Augustana held Bemidji State to 94 yards of total offense in the first half, including just 36 rushing yards.
The Vikings got the ball first to start the second half but were forced to punt for the fifth time of the game. On BSU’s first possession, Brandon Mohr and Nate Kirby combined for a sack on third and long to force Bemidji State to punt.
Heid then led Augustana on a 12-play 66-yard scoring drive to give Augustana a 24-0 lead. Heid completed six passes on the drive, including a 26-yard touchdown pass to Nick Lee. Wainman missed the extra point but the Beavers jumped early and gave him a second chance, one he put through the uprights.
Bemidji State sustained its longest drive of the game on its next possession before turning the ball over on downs at Augustana’s seven yard line.
There were 19 total punts in today’s game, 10 for Bemidji State and nine for Augustana.
Augustana returns to action next Saturday traveling to St. Cloud, Minn. to take on St. Cloud State at 6 p.m. at Husky Stadium.
Courtesy: Augustana College