The new season always brings hope for a new run of success, but if the first game is any indication this may be a long year for the Auggies. The Knights held Augsburg to just 164 yards of total offense, including just five yards rushing. It was a decisive win on both sides of the ball, and left the team with many questions heading into next season.
Wartburg scored on the first four times they had the ball. The Knights took their first possession of the game and moved down the field on nine plays for the touchdown. Brandon Domeyer had four carries on the series, gaining 29 yards, including a 3-yard touchdown run just four minutes into the game.
Their next possession began at the Augsburg 48-yard line, and the Knights stayed on the ground the entire possession, rushing 12 times for 48 total yards. Domeyer punched it in from 3-yards out for the second time in the game, and it was quickly 14-0.
After the Auggies were forced to punt again, Wartburg got the ball at the Augsburg 37-yard line with just six seconds left in the quarter. The Knights decided to go with a trick play as Taylor Jacobsme hit Robbie Anstoett for the 37 yard gain and 20-0 lead. The point after attempt was blocked, but the rout was clearly on.
On their next possession the Knights took the ball at their 21 and marched the length of the field on 10 plays. QB Logan Schrader led the drive, completing five of six passes for 73 yards, including a 30-yard touchdown pass to Will Ebert. It was a decisive set of series that showed how good this Wartburg offense and defense can be.
The Auggies finally got on the scoreboard just before the end of the half, when Brandyn Oliver hit a 39-yard field goal with 9 ticks left on the clock. It gave the team at least a little momentum heading into the half, but they were still trailing 27-3.
The second half saw much of the same as the Knights added two more touchdowns. On their first possession of the half they began at their own 40-yard line. Schrader was 3-4 on the series for 43 yards, which concluded with a 7-yard pass to Robbie Anstoett for the touchdown and a 33-3 lead.
On their last possession of the game they moved 31 yards on 10 plays, exclusively moving the ball on the ground. Jake Haberman had six carries on the possession, including a 6-yard touchdown run to close out the scoring.
For the Knights it was a completely dominating performance. They converted 80 percent of their third-down conversions, and rolled up 486 yards of total offense. It was a well-balanced attack that gained 252 yards through the air and 234 on the ground. Schrader was 14-20 passing for 215 yards and 2 TDs, and eight different players caught passes, including seven who caught two each.
Meanwhile, the Auggies offense was having real trouble getting started. Ayrton Scott was sacked five times in the game, and he threw an interception. The Auggies also lost a fumble, and were forced to punt five times. On the other side the Knights did not punt once.
Augsburg travels to Concordia College (WI) next Saturday looking to rebound. The game will be at 1:00 PM.
By Robert Pannier
Associate Senior Managing Editor
Senior Writer Covering the MIAC