SIOUX FALLS, South Dakota (Courtesy wscwildcats.com) – Augustana scored 26 unanswered points (23 in the second half) to overcome a dominant first half performance by Wayne State as the host Vikings rallied for a 26-13 Northern Sun Conference South Division football win Saturday afternoon at Kirkeby-Over Stadium in Sioux Falls. Augustana is now 2-1 and 2-1 in divisional play while WSC drops to 1-2 on the season and in the NSIC South Division.
Wayne State took the opening drive of the game and marched 77 yards on 16 plays, capped by a 12-yard scoring pass from quarterback Andy McCance to junior wide receiver Taurean Grady for a 7-0 Wildcat lead.
After forcing an Augustana punt, the ‘Cats scored again on their next possession as WSC drove to the Augustana 5 before settling for an Ethan Knudson 22-yard field goal, putting Wayne State in front 10-0 with 4:55 remaining in the first quarter.
WSC was marching again on their third series of the quarter inside the Viking 5 until a fumble was recovered by the Vikings at the one. Wayne State finished the opening stanza with a 194-19 advantage in total offense over the Vikings.
The Wildcats forced a punt and WSC scored again, using a Knudson 23-yard field goal with 13:03 to play in the second quarter that gave Wayne State a 13-0 advantage.
Augustana was able to get on the scoreboard with just seven seconds remaining before halftime as Luis Guarita booted a 30-yard field goal to make the score 13-3 at intermission.
Wayne State doubled Augustana in total offense in the first half – 235-117 – while holding the Vikings to just four yards rushing.
The first three combined possessions of the second half resulted in punts, but Augustana started to move the ball late third quarter while WSC had a disastrous fourth quarter with three turnovers on their final four possessions as Augustana gained momentum and scored on five straight series to rally for the win. Guarita connected on his second field goal of the game – a 34-yarder – with 2:53 to play third quarter cutting the Wayne State advantage to 13-6.
The Vikings then knotted the score with 55 seconds to play third quarter on a four-yard pass from quarterback Kyle Saddler to Brett Shepley making the score 13-13.
WSC then fumbled the ensuing kickoff, giving the Vikings the ball at the WSC 11. The Wildcat defense was able to hold Augustana to a 21-yard field goal from Guarita that gave the Vikings their first lead of the game at 16-13 with 14:57 to play.
Following a WSC punt, the Vikings needed just four plays and 50 yards to score again as Saddler connected with Jake Welsheimer for a 23-yard pass giving Augustana a 23-13 lead.
The Vikings closed their scoring following a WSC interception as Guarita made a 25-yard field goal with 3:58 to play making the final score 26-13. After being out-yarded 235-117 in the first half, Augustana finished the game with a 399-296 advantage in total offense. (WSC had just 61 yards in the second half).
The Wildcats had 50 yards rushing and 246 passing. Redshirt freshman quarterback Andy McCance was 21 of 42 passing for 246 yards with one touchdown and three interceptions.
Sophomore wide receiver Mason Lee hauled in eight receptions for 54 yards followed by Jason Hawkins with four grabs and 52 yards. Taurean Grady ended with three catches for 70 yards and one TD.