Augustana grinds out victory over Northern State

Vikings defeat Wolves 21-13 to head to Key To The City game against Sioux Falls unbeaten
Vikings beat Wolves 21-13
Published: Sep. 24, 2022 at 11:37 PM CDT
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SIOUX FALLS, S.D. (Dakota News Now) - A defensive touchdown from Grayson Diepenbrock proved to be the difference in the No. 13 Augustana win over Northern State Saturday afternoon in Kirkeby-Over Stadium.

On the first play of the fourth quarter, the Wolves quarterback dropped back to pass but had Ben Kemp strip-sack him at the five-yard line where Diepenbrock then scooped up the ball and rumbled into the end zone to create a 21-10 separation.

A field goal from NSU made the final score 21-13 as Augustana moves to 4-0 in 2022 while Northern State falls to 2-2. The contest concludes four-straight NSIC North Division foes to open the season for AU.

The defensive touchdown was a sign of the game as Augustana scored its first touchdown of the game because of a turnover. Pushing the early portion of the first quarter and the Wolves threatening, Peyton Buckley intercepted the Northern State quarterback at the one-yard line of Augustana. He returned 19 yards to set up a Vikings drive that would span 11-plays over 5:35 of game clock.

The scoring play was a David Addo 32-yard rush into the right corner of the end zone. When paired with Brady Pfeifer’s point-after, Augustana led 7-0 with 3:39 remaining in the first quarter.

Northern State scored its first points of the game on a 44-yard field goal with 4:32 remaining in the first half, proving to be the halftime score with AU leading 7-3.

The Wolves took a 10-7 lead on their opening drive of the third quarter, traveling 69 yards over eight plays as Will Madler hit Kaleb Skelly for the 10-yard touchdown.

Augustana answered back on the ensuing drive with an eight-play drive of its own. Thomas Scholten sealed the drive with a five-yard touchdown pass to Matt Francis. After Pfeifer’s PAT, the Vikings led 14-10 with 6:09 remaining in the third quarter.

After the defenses of each team stalled out the opposing offenses, it was the defensive play by Kemp and Diepenbrock that helped create the separation the Vikings had been looking for. Diepenbrock’s fumble recovery touchdown was the second touchdown of his career. The first was in the 2018 season as a redshirt freshman.

Northern State had a final drive in which it attempted to tie the score after its field goal with 3:22 remaining in the game. The Wolves took over at the Augustana 47-yard line with 2:54 on the clock. After an initial first down, the Vikings’ defense stopped a short pass with a breakup from Jayvian Farr. On second down, the Vikings pushed a reception for a loss of a yard. On 3rd-and-11, Will Davis forced a hurried pass to force fourth down. That’s where Diepenbrock, the reigning NSIC Defensive Player of the Week, picked up his sixth sack of the season and 19th of his career.

Augustana took over on downs and ran out the clock to move to 4-0.

Scholten threw for 133 yards while the rushing attack ran for 97 yards led by Addo with 60. Augustana held NSU’s rushing attack to 85 yards while Madler threw for 205 yards on 48 pass attempts with a pair of interceptions and the fumble.

After Buckley’s interception, Kade Lynott picked off his first-career pass while he totaled five tackles including a tackle for loss. T.J. Liggett recorded seven tackles to lead AU while Diepenbrock had a team-high two tackles for loss.

Augustana, winners of 13-straight regular season games on the turf of Jim Heinitz Field, hosts Sioux Falls on Saturday in the ‘Key to the City’ contest for the first time since 2018. Kickoff is slated for 1 p.m. It is highly encouraged to purchase tickets ahead of time at //GoAugie.com/Tickets.