The Hamline Pipers created a huge turnover late in the fourth quarter as the Augsburg Auggies were close to grabbing the lead, then got a big special team’s block in overtime to take home the 28-27 win. The win moved the Pipers to 4-5 and they can reach .500 with a win over Carleton (1-8) at home next weekend.
The Auggies got on the scoreboard first. They took the opening kickoff and moved down the field in 7-plays, going 92-yards. The drive was capped off by a 28-yard touchdown pass from QB Ayrton Scott to Joey Sonnenfeld for the 7-0 lead. Scott completed all three of his passes on the drive, including a 25-yard strike to Hunter Friesen on third and two to keep the drive going.
The score remained 7-0 heading into the second quarter, and the Auggies would add to their lead with 3:34 left in the half when Jerise Washington scored from two-yards out to make it 14-0. Washington was the star of the drive, carrying the ball five times for 25 yards. The touchdown was the running back’s third of the season.
Down by 14, the Pipers responded immediately. Following the touchdown, Hamline QB Tim Bona began at his own 16. Moving methodically down the field the Pipers reached the end zone after a 10-play, 84-yard drive. Bona scored from one-yard out to cut the deficit to eight. The point after attempt was blocked following a false start penalty that moved the kick back five yards and the score remained 14-6. Bona completed 6 of his 7 passes on the drive for 85 yards.
On the Auggies first possession of the second half Scott led his team on another scoring drive. Completing 2 of his 3 passes and rushing twice more for 12-yards, Scott maneuvered the team down the field where he scored on a first and goal from the seven to extend the lead to 21-6.
The Pipers were down by 15 and needed a response from their offense, which they got right away. Hamline moved 73-yards on 13-plays to get to the Augsburg six. On second and goal Bona passed to Phillip Sherman for the touchdown. The two-point attempt was successful and the Pipers were within seven.
The score remained that way until late into the fourth quarter. Hamline got the ball at their own 21-yard line with 4:39 left in the game. Bona moved the Pipers down the field, completing 3 of 5 passes, with the last being a 17-yard pass to Sherman that put the visitors at the Augsburg one. On the next play Brendan Nachtrieb ran up the middle for the touchdown and the score was tied.
There was 2:02 left, which was plenty of time for Augsburg and their dynamic quarterback to still win in regulation. Beginning at his own 19, Scott completed an 8-yard pass on the first play of the possession, but then he was sacked for an 11-yard loss. That set up third and 13. The Auggies QB remained poised and found his favorite target, Joey Sonnenfeld, for a 14-yard play and a first down. Two more huge completions went for 48 yards total, and moved the Auggies to the Hamline 22. Two incomplete passes set up third and 10, but Scott then found Sonnenfeld for a first down completion, however, in trying to gain the yardage the ball was knocked free and recovered by Zach Schwalbach to end the drive. Dodging a bullet, the Pipers took a knee and the game went into overtime.
Augsburg had the ball first in OT, and Scott did the work. He rushed twice on their first two plays, gaining 11 yards. After an incompletion, he gained 10 more on the ground down to the 4-yard line. On the next play he went in on the quarterback keeper and the Auggies had the lead. On the extra point attempt the Pipers Anthony Hill blocked the kick to keep it a 6-point lead.
Now it was the Pipers turn with the football, and it would not take long for them to answer. On the first play Nachtrieb broke a series of tackles and raced for the end zone and the touchdown. Now all they needed was the extra point, which Forrest Coughlin nailed and the Pipers were the victors.
The win was Hamline’s second in a row. They had struggled for most of the afternoon on the ground until that big walk-off touchdown run. Bona had a fine day for Hamline, going 27-40 for 230 yards and a score. Sherman had 9-catches for 98-yards and a touchdown.
Scott had a very impressive day, completing 19 of 31 passes for an outstanding 353 yards. He also had 158 more on the ground on 23 carries and two scores.
For Hamline, Corey Touchette had two sacks and recovered a fumble. Anthony Hill had 10 tackles and two forced fumbles to go along with his blocked kick.
The Pipers will be home against Carleton next weekend. Augsburg travels to Bethel to close out their season.
By Robert Pannier