Augsburg Auggies Slay Carleton Knights 42-14
The Augsburg Auggies rode into Northfield on Saturday ready to do battle with the Carleton Knights. By day’s end it was clear that the Auggies were a little more ready to play than their counterparts were. Riding the wave of a crushing defense and a blistering offensive display led by Ayrton Scott, Augsburg dominated the contest 42-14, sending the Carleton crowd home wondering what just happened.
The afternoon looked like it was going to be a great day for Carleton. Augsburg’s initial drive was stopped, forcing a Connor Helgeson punt. As he attempted to make the kick, Mitch Heflin came through virtually untouched and made a great block, giving the Knights the ball at the Auggies 16 yard-line. From their Carleton QB Zach Creighton kept the ball and took it to the house for the 7-0 lead. It all went downhill after that.
Augsburg was forced to punt on their next drive, but the following three series saw them score touchdowns each time. On the first scoring drive the Auggies were forced to punt, but using a little trickery linebacker Chris DeVet kept the ball and ran 53-yards for the touchdown. The extra-point attempt was no good and the score was 7-6.
The Auggies next possession was a 10-play, 70-yard drive led by Scott and running back Jerise Washington. Washington carried the ball four times for 16 yards on the possession, and Scott completed two passes for 20 yards and had a carry for 24 more. The two biggest plays of the drive were the last two. On fourth and 10 at the Carleton 20, Scott hit Hunter Friesen for a 15-yard gain down to the five yard line. From there he threw to Joey Sonnenfeld for the touchdown and after a successful two point conversion, Augsburg had their first lead of the game, 14-7.
Completing his last two passes of the drive seemed to get Scott back into a rhythm for the next drive. His previous five attempts had missed their mark, but now he was back in sync, and it showed on the team’s next possession. The Augsburg QB led a five play, 67-yard drive, completing two of three passes and rushing for 12 more yards. His final pass of the drive was a well-designed catch-n-run by Washington that made the score 21-7.
The game was definitely tilting toward the Auggies, but a defensive stop buoyed the Knights defense, and when punter Eric Williams laid a 34-yard punt at the Augsburg eight yard line with 2:43 left in the half, things were looking up a little. That feeling would not last for long.
On the first play from scrimmage, Scott found Friesen on a beautifully designed play that sent the wide receiver to the house. The 92-yard pass play set an Auggies record, breaking a 22-year-old mark. The extra-point was no good, but that clearly depleted the wind from the Knights sails, as they headed into the locker room trailing 27-7.
If the Knights were going to get back into the game they were going to have to mount a drive and do it expeditiously. Five plays into their first drive of the second half things went terribly awry when Creighton was picked-off by Isiah Malone, putting the ball at the Carleton 40-yardline. From there Scott completed all four of his pass attempts, with the last hitting Sonnenfeld for another five yard touchdown to make the score 33-7.
Two possessions later Augsburg turned to the ground to add another score. Scott did have a pass completion of 15 yards, but his two carries for 27 yards resulted in his first rushing touchdown of the day to go along with his four touchdown passes, and it was 39-7.
A Brandyn Oliver 25-yard field goal early in the fourth quarter completed the scoring for the Auggies. Carleton’s final score came on a one yard burst form running back Tyler O’Keefe to close the scoring at 42-14. After allowing 42 unanswered points the Knights finally responded, but it was by far too late by that point.
The offense rolled up some large numbers on the day, generating 483 total yards of offense, including 290 through the air. Scott finished 19-31 for 290 yards and four passing TDs, and he led the team with 94 yards on 13 carries, with a rushing touchdown. Friesen was the recipient of eight of Scott’s passes, bringing in 175 yards, including that record-breaking touchdown catch.
The defense’s efforts cannot be ignored. The Auggies allowed 137 total yards of offense to Carleton on 50 plays for 2.7 yards per play average. Penz finished with a 5-12 day for 35 yards and two interceptions and O’Keefe had nine carries for 28 yards and a score. The Auggies also had three sacks and a fumble recovery to go with the two interceptions. Alan Medina-Gonzalez had a sack and an interception on the day for the victors.
Most teams seek to dominate a game from start to finish. For this one, the Auggies will gladly dominate every other portion of the game as they move to 2-1 on the season. Next weekend Augsburg hosts the 3-0 Gustavus Adolphus Gusties. Carleton welcomes the 1-1 Bethel Royals to town.
By Robert Pannier
Senior Writer Covering the MIAC