Mon, Sep. 17, 2012 - [Football]
The Duhawks controlled the football, the clock, and much of the line of scrimmage during the first half on Saturday night in Rock Island, Illinois. After 30 minutes, they found themselves down 17-0 after ending offensive drives at the Augustana 20-, 1-, and 16-yard lines. The hosts had the ball for 8 minutes to the Duhawks' 22.
"It is definitely a unique situation, to go into the locker room at halftime with that scenario," head coach Paul Mierkiewicz said after the game on AM-1490 WDBQ. "We moved the ball and left some points out there for sure, but to look up and see their time of possession and a three-score deficit was tough."
After the opening drive of the game went down to the Augustana 30-yard line, the Duhawks elected to try a 4th-and-long and keep the chains moving after over five minutes and thirty seconds of possession. Dylan Jones' completion to Nate Even came up two yards short and the Duhawks turned the ball over on downs.
The Vikings' triple-option rushing offense was on display for the opening play of the Vikings' home season before a play-action heave led to an early lead. Quarterback Nick Welch ran for two yards on first down and then threw to Nick Krantz near midfield on second down – where Krantz took care of the rest to make it 7-0.
Loras answered with another long drive, this time extended by two key flags against Augustana. The first quarter ended on a Jones third down pass to Brady Williams at the goal line, where the freshman dropped down after hauling in the toss and appeared to have the Duhawks' first six points of the game. The ball was spotted inches from the goal line and the teams switched ends to start the second quarter.
Nate Carrier took the ball from Jones on the second drive for 38 yards and was called upon in the goal line scenario to start the second quarter. His leaping attempt for six points was halted by the Vikings and the score remained 7-0.
The Vikings hit another homerun on a 46-yard touchdown run from Brett McWilliams out of the triple option to make it 14-0.
The teams then traded 3-and-outs before Loras' fourth drive ended in a missed 33-yard field goal from Tyler Wilker. The Vikings would close this half with a field goal of their own to make it 17-0.
Wilker was called upon to stop the second half kickoff from going for six points with a tackle near midfield and the Vikings extended their lead with a 24-yard pass on the opening possession of the second half.
Another big pass later in the third quarter from Welch to Krantz would set up a shorter touchdown throw to Kyle Snow.
Loras' first points of the game would come off the foot of Tyler Wilker on a 28-yard field goal early in the fourth quarter. A 51-yard run by Carrier helped setup those points.
Loras' one forced turnover on defense would setup the visitor's only touchdown of the night. Sam Burds recovered a Ben Hodges fumble to set the plate for a five play, 25 yard drive that ended with a Nate Carrier 2-yard touchdown run 94 seconds from the conclusion of the game.
The 34-10 final moved both teams' records to 1-2.
Carrier and Baez combined for 207 yards on the ground (172 from Carrier, 35 from Baez) on 39 carries. Dylan Jones logged season highs in both completions and yards, going 12-for-25 for 164 yards and no interceptions. Nate Even had the best day at wide receiver by any Duhawk so far in 2012, bringing down six balls for 81 yards.
Defensively, Dan Badovinac had a team high six tackles. Brandon Ronan had five, including one sack for 12 yards. Chris Loeffl forced the fumble Burds recovered.
Joe Walker logged 153 yards in kickoff returns.
"I think we needed to get off the bus more fired up to play than we did tonight," Mierkiewicz said after the game.
"We're going to maximize these next two weeks ahead of the Iowa Conference opener and be more ready to play against Luther than we were tonight."
The Duhawks are off this week ahead of the Homecoming tilt with Luther College (0-3) set for 1:00 PM on September 29.