Courtesy of St. Cloud State Athletics
SIOUX FALLS, S.D. â€“ Augustana College scored 18 points in the final 7:41 of the game to capture a 32-23 season opening non-conference win over St. Cloud State University Saturday afternoon at Kirkeby-Over Stadium on the Augustana campus in Sioux Falls, S.D.
The loss spoiled an impressive debut by Husky first year quarterback Phillip Klaphake (Princeton) and a record setting performance by veteran wide receiver Fred Williams (Milwaukee, Wis.)
Klaphake threw for 319 yards on 24 of 38 passing, one touchdown and one interception. He is the first Husky quarterback since Mike Hammerseng to throw for over 300 yards in a game. Hammerseng threw for 302 yards on Nov. 11, 2006 at Minnesota Duluth.
Williams made 12 catches for a single game school record 236 yards and one touchdown. He broke the old record of 228 yards held by Mike McKinney, set during the 1998 season. Williams previous high of 171 yards was achieved against Maine in the second game of the 2009 season.
"Two good teams fought it out today," said third-year SCSU head coach Scott Underwood. "We just made too many mistakes today,"
St. Cloud State 0-1, had taken a 23-14 lead over the Vikings (0-1) on a 60-yard touchdown play from Klaphake to Williams culminating a three play, 67 yard scoring drive with 9:43 left in the fourth quarter.
Augustana answered on the next drive with a 38-yard field goal by Drew Behrens with 7:41 to go. On the Huskies next series, a bad snap over junior punter Tyler Adridgesâ€™ (Woodbury) head was recovered by the Vikings on the two-yard line. Two runs later Joe Clark ran it in and Augustana led 24-23. With 5:18 left in the game, the Huskies were forced to punt and Augustana took over again. This time the Husky defense held as Augie, faced with a fourth and one at midfield was flagged for a false start and forced to punt. St. Cloud State started the drive on the 20 but on the first play from scrimmage Klaphake was intercepted by Dan Oâ€™Keefe who returned it to the two yard line. Clark ran it in and the Vikings scored on an unintended two-point conversion. The Huskies got the ball back and drove the field to the Augie 23 yard line before running out of plays with :04 seconds left.
The Huskies finished the game with 387 yards of total offense and Augustana finished with 353. In addition to passing for 319 yards, Klaphake ran for a team high 41 yards followed by junior running back Brandon Geiss (Shorewood, Ill.) who rushed for two touchdowns and 31 yards. Defensively, sophomore Wade Williams (Waupan, Wis.) led the team with 5.5 tackles. The Husky defense accounted for four quarterback sacks and seven tackles for loss.
Augustana wide receiver Tyler Schulte caught six passes for 196 yards and two touchdowns, including an 87-yard touchdown reception. This is the third straight year that the Huskies have opened against Augustana and the third straight loss in season openers for the Huskies who have posted 7-4 overall records in each of the last two seasons.
St. Cloud State took the opening drive 80-yards and Brandon Geiss ran it in from two yards out to score the first touchdown of the season for the Huskies. The drive started with a 62-yard pass play from Klaphake to Williams to set up a first and ten on the Augustana 18-yard line.
The Augustana offense of quarterback Josh Hanson and receiver Tyler Schulte commanded the attention of the Husky defense in the second quarter. At the 10:39 mark, Hanson found Schulte on a 34-yard touchdown reception to tie the game at 7-7. With :45 seconds left in the half on a second down and five play from their own 13, Hanson found Schulte for an 87-yard touchdown play and the Vikings took a 14-7 lead into half-time.
The Husky defense held Augustana to 13 yards in the first quarter. By half-time St. Cloud State accumulated 151 yards of offense, including 120 in the air. Augustana gathered 181 yards, 156 in the air to hold the edge. Schulte had four first half catches for 43 yards and two touchdowns. Williams made seven catches for 100 yards. Klaphake completed 11 of 18 passes for 120 yards.
A one-yard touchdown plunge by Brandon Geiss followed by a missed extra point attempt brought the Huskies to within one of the Vikings, 14-13 with 5:50 left in the third quarter. That would be the only score of the third frame. A Klaphake pass to Williams for a gain of 45-yards helped move the Huskies down the field in the touchdown drive.
St. Cloud State will head to St. Paul next Saturday to open Northern Sun Intercollegiate Conference (NSIC) play against Concordia University, St. Paul. The kick-off is scheduled for 6:00 p.m.