Augsburg Auggies Offense Unstoppable in 55-45 Shootout Win
Last weekend the Auggies produced just three points at home against Wartburg in a 40-3 loss. They generated only 164 yards of offense on the afternoon, and could not get anything going at all. That clearly wasn’t a problem this last Saturday as Augsburg had over 164 yards on offense just five minutes into the second quarter against the Concordia (WI) Falcons. It was like night and day for the Auggies who showed they can be a very dynamic offense.
Ayrton Scott had a huge day for Auggies, completing 22-35 passes for 272 yards and three touchdowns, while also carrying the ball 28 times for 232 yards and four TDs. He accounted for seven scores on the day, and his team would need them all.
Both the Auggies and Concordia (WI) spent much of the first quarter feeling each other out. Each team came away with a touchdown. Augsburg took the opening kick-off and marched 75 yards in nine plays for the score. Scott threw 23 yards to Hunter Friesen for the touchdown and with the extra point it was 7-0. On Augsburg’s third possession, Scott was picked off by Shannon Smith, who returned the ball 58 yards for the score to tie the game at 7. That is how the first quarter would end.
The Auggies got the ball back with 25 seconds left in the first quarter, and began a drive from their own 19 that would result in a touchdown. Scott either ran or threw on all but one of the seven plays in the drive, and it was a 33-yard touchdown pass to Friesen that created the score.
On the Auggies next possession Scott and running back Jerise Washington dominated the drive. Washington carried the ball twice for 41 yards and Scott had three carries for 21 yards, including an eight yard touchdown scamper. It was 20-7 at that point, and the Auggies offense was starting to look unstoppable.
The Falcons offense had been completely stagnant to that point, but they finally began to put it together after the Scott score. Concordia QB Austin Damaschke took over at his own 24, and after completing three short passes, he went deep to Garret Wenzelburger for a 60-yard strike that made the score 20-14.
The Auggies Brandyn Oliver added a 36-yard field goal and then Damaschke took over again at his own 33. He led a methodical drive where he completed four of eight passes for 67 yards, and punched the ball in on a 24-yard strike to Wenzelburger again. That made the score 23-21 heading into half.
While the last quarter of the half had been quite exciting, the fireworks were just getting started. Concordia received the second-half kick-off and moved the ball through the air again to put themselves in position for a 32-yard field goal by David Gonzalez. That put the Falcons in front 24-23.
The Auggies immediately got the lead back. They moved the ball 56 yards in seven plays and Washington punched it home from two yards out to make it 29-24.
Concordia was stopped on their next drive, and Augsburg got the ball back at their own 36. The Auggies then rode the arm of Scott and the legs of Washington down the field for the touchdown on an 11-yard pass from the Augsburg QB to Scott Bossard. Washington had five carries for 21 yards in the series and Scott completed four of five passes for 40 more.
Needing a score, the Falcons got it on their next series when they marched 70 yards in 10 plays for the touchdown. Damaschke capped off the drive with a 20-yard strike to Dylan Krivoshein, the Falcons QB’s fourth touchdown strike of the game to that point. He would add one more.
A thrilling third quarter came to an end with the score 35-31 Auggies. The best part was that the excitement was not going to be coming to an end; at least not right away. The Concordia QB took the ball at the start of the fourth quarter at his own 6-yard line, and marched 94 yards in just seven plays to give the Falcons the lead again. Damaschke completed all six of his passes, including a 25-yard scoring play to Wenzelburger, and he added an 11-yard run.
The Auggies wasted no time in getting back the lead. Starting from their own 10, Scott led an impressive drive of his own. He completed three passes for 49 yards and Washington added three rushes for 28 more, which helped to move the ball to the Falcons nine. There Scott kept the ball on a quarterback keeper and scored to retake the lead 42-38.
Concordia was most certainly not through, as they retook the lead following a six play, 72-yard drive. Riding the arm of their QB again, the Falcons had big pass plays of 19, 20 and 24 yards to grab the lead back. Damaschke was 4-5 on the drive for 78 yards and also added a 15 yard run. His 24-yard scoring play to Derrick Estfan was his fifth touchdown throw of the game.
The Auggies were behind again, but Scott was up to the challenge of putting his team back on top one more time. Starting at the Augsburg 17-yard line, he and Washington methodically moved the ball down the field, eating up 5:25 on the clock. The two combined for nine carries and gained 62 yards, including Scott’s three yard run for the score
It was 49-45 at that point, and fans had to be thinking that Concordia was going to respond. After all, that is what had happened all half. One team scored and the other responded. This time it was not to be the case. The Falcons were moving the ball, but Damaschke was picked off at the Augsburg eight yard line by Felix Coleman ending the drive, and putting the ball back in Scott’s hands. He would make the Falcons pay on the third play of the drive when he broke a few tackles and raced 82 yards for a touchdown, his amazing fourth rushing TD of the game, and making the score 55-45. With just 14 seconds left the game, it was over.
Despite the last interception, Damaschke had a spectacular game through the air, going 33-50 for 450 yards and five TDs. Wenzelburger was his favorite target in the game. He caught 13 passes for 239 and three touchdowns.
This was truly one of the most exciting games that either team will play this season. It had plenty of offense and was a back-and-forth contest that had to bolster both teams’ feelings about their offenses.
Augsburg travels to Carleton next week to face the 1-1 Knights.
By Robert Pannier
Senior Writer Covering the MIAC