The Augustana Vikings defeated the University of Sioux Falls Cougars on Sept. 30 with a score of 49-29 in a battle for the “Key to the City.” Keeping their undefeated streak, the Vikings continue with a 5-0 season.
“It’s a special game, no question about it,” head coach Jerry Olszewski said. “We need to continue to get better, and when you look at the game as it is, we take the situations there are and improve within. But overall, at the end of the day, I’m really pleased with the win, and I’m happy for our kids and our program.”
After the Cougars kicked off the game with a touchdown and a 2-point conversion, the Vikings secured two touchdown passes thrown by graduate student quarterback Casey Bauman to senior tight end Mitchell Goodbary and junior wide receiver Canyon Bauer.
“Those guys make my job really easy and are unbelievable,” Bauman said. “It makes playing quarterback really fun and those are my guys. I couldn’t be more happy for them.”
Bauman earned 21 completions out of 30 attempts with no interceptions.
In the second quarter, junior linebacker Haden Wallace picked an interception thrown by the Cougar’s sophomore quarterback Camden Dean.
The Vikings then scored three more touchdown passes before halftime: senior wide receiver Devon Jones caught a 13-yard pass and a 73-yard pass, and senior wide receiver Logan Uttecht caught a 17-yard pass. The Cougars scored twice during the second quarter with a 59-yard rush and a 17-yard pass.
“Any time you get to come into a game like this, one of the biggest games we have, it’s a great feeling to contribute,” Devon said. “The key belongs to Augie.”
Halftime started with a score of 35-22.
“One of our core principals is finish. Finish in your life. Finish in your relationships. Finish at work. Finish at everything you do,” Olszewski said. “At halftime, I told them to finish what you started. Whatever it takes to make sure that’s not because of a lack of effort. Execution we can deal with, but effort — make sure it’s there. And I think our kids did that.”
Bauman completed the only touchdown of the third quarter, completing a 2-yard rush with a 12-play, 80-yard drive.
In the final quarter, both teams scored once again. After securing his sixth touchdown of the game, Bauman tied a school record with the completion of a 21-yard touchdown pass to Bauer. Senior linebacker Brayden Hoops also caught another interception for the Vikings.
The Cougars ended the game by scoring a 2-yard rush.
“I just kept telling the guys that this is a big game because it's this week’s game, and that was our mentality,” Bauer said. “We don’t need to do special stuff. If we just show up and be ourselves, then that will be enough.”
The Vikings’ win commemorates Olszewski’s 100th win as a coach for Augustana.
“This means that I’ve been doing it for a while,” Olszewski said. “What was really special for me is all the alumni that were here and a part of these wins. The brotherhood and the relationships that they have all together, watching them be successful husbands, fathers, professionals — that’s what the 100 is all about: the people that I’ve been able to be around and do it with because it’s certainly not mine. It’s ours.”
The Vikings will continue their season on Oct. 7 at 1 p.m. against Southwest Minnesota State University at the Kirkeby-Over Stadium.