USD drops 25-7 decision to Augustana

USD drops 25-7 decision to Augustana Mistakes continue to plague The University of South Dakota football team which dropped a 25-7 decision to the Augustana Vikings on Saturday afternoon, Oct. 6 at Howard Wood Field in Sioux Falls.

South Dakota (1-5, 0-4 in the NCC) had one interception and lost two fumbles against Augustana, including one late in the third quarter that proved very costly. With Augustana clinging to a 10-7 third-quarter lead and punting from deep in their own territory, the Vikings received a big play from their special teams.

Augustana's Eric Haugland stole the ball from the Coyotes' punt returner Grant Brecher and went 68 yards for a touchdown. Then, Augustana added a two-point conversion on a pass from Haugland to Matt Holmlund and led South Dakota, 18-7.

Early on, Augustana was the benefactor of good field position as they grabbed a 10-0 first quarter lead. After the Coyotes were unable to move the ball on their opening possession, a 35-yard punt into a stiff wind set up Augustana at the South Dakota 38-yard line.

Six runs by Augustana running back Ryan Ovenden set up the Vikings' first score. A 38-yard field goal by Adam Brinkman gave Augustana a 3-0 lead at the 9:49 mark of the first quarter.

After the Coyotes again failed to move the ball, Rob Hutchinson had a 25-yard punt return as Augustana began their second offensive possession at the Coyotes' 40-yard line. On third and 11, Mike Herman completed a pass to Matt Holmlund for a first down at the Coyotes' 26-yard line.

On the next play, Ovenden rambled 25 yards for a first and goal at the South Dakota two-yard line. After the Coyotes stopped two rushing attempts, Ovenden scored on a pitch to the outside as Augustana grabbed a 10-0 lead.

Neither team was able to score in the second quarter, although both squads moved the ball.

South Dakota got back into the game early in the second half due to the play of their defense. After Augustana's Hutchinson was tackled at the Vikings' 12-yard line on the second half kickoff, the Coyotes' defense stuffed Augustana on consecutive plays.

On a third down play, sophomore linebacker Josh Gassen intercepted a Mike Herman pass and returned it 19 yards for a touchdown. Filip Filipovic's kick made the score 10-7 with 13:26 to play in the third quarter. Gassen's defensive score gave the Coyotes three interceptions returns for touchdowns this season. Overall, the sophomore linebacker had a solid night with 12 tackles, including two tackles for loss and a quarterback sack.

Unfortunately, the Coyotes were unable to get any closer than 10-7. Haugland's fumble recovery and 2-point conversion gave the Vikings an 18-7 lead and then the Vikings added a score late in the game when South Dakota failed on a fourth down play from their own 12-yard line. Two plays later, Augustana's Nathan Walter scored on a 6-yard run with a 1:20 to play.

Overall, South Dakota had 93 yards rushing and 112 yards passing for 205 total yards. Kayl led South Dakota in rushing with 64 yards on 10 carries. Senior running back Eric Tarasewicz, who played his first game since the Minnesota-Duluth game, had seven carries and 21 yards.

Junior quarterback Justice completed 17 of 32 passes for 112 yards. Sophomore wide receiver Ronnie McDougle led South Dakota receivers with six catches for 62 yards while senior tight end Dustin Sagedahl had five catches for 27 yards and freshman receiver Chris Mikkelsen had three receptions for 27 yards.

Sagedahl's five receptions moved him into first place on the South Dakota all-time charts for career catches by a tight end with 69 catches for 725 yards. He passed former Coyote tight end and current Athletic Director Kelly Higgins, who had 66 catches for 1,104 yards from 1973-75.

South Dakota's Aaron Dietrich had a solid defensive game with 11 tackles, three tackles for loss (-27 yards) and two quarterback sacks. South Dakota picked up two passes and have nine interceptions this season. South Dakota had 12 tackles for loss and three quarterback sacks.

Augustana had 141 yards rushing and 137 yards passing for 278 yards. The Vikings held a 34:38 to 24:52 time of possession advantage over the Coyotes. Herman completed 16 of 30 passes with two interceptions. Holmlund led Augustana with six catches for 56 yards.

South Dakota will host Northern Colorado next weekend on Dakota Days. The game will be the grand re-opening of the DakotaDome and mark the Coyotes' first home game inside the renovated facility. The game begins at 2 p.m.

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