‘Key to the City’ Game

back to the 4-yard line.  Again USF tried to go to the air, but this time Augie’s defensive lineman Jake Lee barreled through the offensive line and sacked Perkins for a safety.

With Augustana still down by a dozen, they  needed a touchdown before the half.  Taking advantage of Sioux Falls’ mistake, the Vikings drove 55 yards for a Josh Hanson to wide receiver Ben Parsley touchdown, 14-8 Augustana with 30 seconds left in the opening half.

The point-after attempt from Albrecht was blocked; the first of three to come.

Then, just under five minutes into the third quarter, USF’s Braden Wieking knocked through a 22-yard field goal to lead Augie by nine.

Augustana answered the USF score with a 6-yard touchdown carry from redshirt-freshman running back CJ Ham.  The extra point from Albrecht was good; Augie was still down, now 17-15.

Albrecht was injured on the point after touchdown, making Behrens the all-purpose kicker.  The injury meant even more with the Vikings a field goal away from taking the lead.

USF went three-and-out on their next drive, punting to the Augie 28.  It was the third failed third down conversion for the Cougars.

Augie marched to the USF 20-yard line.  Behrens made a 38-yard field goal to give Augustana its first lead.

With 7:41 remaining in the fourth quarter, USF started a drive that took back the lead.  After five first downs and 73 yards, Jordan Taylor ran in for a Cougar touchdown from 12 yards out.  The touchdown and point after put USF up 25-18.

Augustana had 3:59 to recover from the USF touchdown, starting at the Augie 25.  Hanson threw an incomplete pass to Parsley on first down.  On second down, after a 5-yard false start penalty, Hanson fired to tight end Isaac Jorgensen, bringing up a third down.  Again, Augie went to the air and Hanson found wide receiver Darren Niklason for a 12-yard first down.

Niklason did not catch a pass before the fourth quarter, although he helped offensively by moving the chains all three times on the game-tying drive.

Hanson rolled to his right before finding a wide-open Jorgensen to put the Vikings down by one.  The point-after cleared the uprights, tying the game at 25.

With 23 seconds left in regulation, the Cougars attempted a pass that fell incomplete.  On second down, USF elected to take a knee, ending the fourth quarter with USF and Augustana deadlocked at 25 apiece.

Augustana won the toss and elected to defend the north goal.

USF’s Perkins completed a 23-yard pass for an opening first down to the 2-yard line.  Augustana started to lose hope quickly, but pulled it together soon enough.

Perkins dropped back to pass again, but instead of landing a pass to his receiver, the ball found its way into the hands of Augie’s linebacker Austin Luecke.

Ham ran a two yard play, followed by two incomplete passes. Behrens attempted a 40-yard field goal on fourth down, but it was blocked by USF’s Michael Tolkamp.  The blocked kick was the second of three.

The first overtime came to an end with a winner yet to be determined.

Augustana started with the ball in the second overtime. Running back Dajon Newell ran the first two plays for 6 and 15 yards, respectively.

On the third play of the drive, Hanson ran in a 4-yard touchdown.  As for the extra point: same song, different verse.  USF’s Tolkamp blocked the kick that would ultimately win the game for USF.  The block was Tolkamp’s second for the day, the team’s third.

After the six points by Augie, USF had their turn at a possession.

The first play resulted in an incomplete pass.  On second down, Perkins threw another incomplete pass, but a defensive pass interference was called, resulting in a Cougar first down.

Perkins then threw a 5-yard pass to Jeremiah Oates.  The second down play was a game-tying Perkins to Carrington Hanna 9-yard touchdown.

The game-deciding extra point was kicked after head coach Mike Aldrich called a timeout; however, “icing the kicker” did not affect USF’s Braden Wieking as his kick sailed through the goal post for the USF win.

University of Sioux Falls defeated Augustana College 32-31 for the Mayor’s “Key to the City”.

The double-overtime thriller didn’t end the way Augie fans, players or coaches would have liked, but that’s not to say the support wasn’t there as senior quarterback and captain Hanson pointed out.

“The atmosphere was unbelievable and the support from the Augustana community was something special,” Hanson said. “It was a game that will be remembered for a long time.”

Not playing each other for 26 years, the rivalry yielded a lot of talked-up hype, but the game proved that the battle will be something players continue to look forward to in coming years.

True freshman defensive back Adam Juhl said after the game, “It’s over with for this year, and all we can do is move on and correct the mistakes we made on Saturday and prepare for the last three games of the season.  But when next year’s game rolls around, the memory of this loss will only make us prepare harder and propel us to take that key from USF.”

Juhl led the Augustana defense in tackles in Saturday’s game with 11.  Luecke and Nate Kirby were the next closest with seven each.  Justin Brown was the only other true freshman to record a tackle.

“It’s obviously a great feeling to be able to perform like that in such a huge game,” Juhl said afterward.

“But don’t get me wrong, there are plenty of plays I want back.  But I give most of the credit to the coaches because of how well they have prepared us for games like that.  I also give a huge amount of credit to every other player on the field with me, especially the leaders of the defense.  Being a freshman out there with players who are four and five years older than me can be kind of intimidating but I know the rest of the defense has my back which makes it way easier.”

The devastating loss may be best summed up by a tweet from Jorgensen that read, “I prob will not ever be able to swallow that game but we have three games left that are ours to win.”

With the loss, Augustana’s record falls to 3-5 on the season.  They will face Concordia-St. Paul (2-6) on Saturday in St. Paul.

The conference win for University of Sioux Falls improves their record to 7-1.  On Saturday the Cougars will play Upper Iowa (2-6).