Augustana Football Claims Northern Sun Intercollegiate Conference Champions
SIOUX FALLS, S.D. – The Augustana football team is the Northern Sun Intercollegiate Conference Champion. The Vikings topped No. 12 Bemidji State, 38-19, to claim their second conference championship in three years. The outright championship is the first for AU since 1959.
Augustana, ranked No. 20 in the AFCA poll, finishes the regular season 10-1 with a 9-1 mark in the NSIC. The 10 wins are the second-most wins in program history. Bemidji State finishes the regular season at 8-2.
The only score of the opening half came on the Vikings’ opening drive as Casey Bauman rushed in for 10 yards to cap a 12-play, 75-yard drive covering 6:01 of game clock.
The 7-0 lead was the halftime score, which then saw the script flip in the second half with a scoring outburst.
After receiving the second-half kickoff, the Beavers scored on their first play of the half on a 75-yard touchdown pass. After the missed point-after attempt, AU continued to lead 7-6.
Not to be outdone, the Vikings responded with a two-play drive of their own. Isaiah Huber set up the drive with a 35-yard kickoff return. After a Jarod Epperson one-yard rush, Bauman found Devon Jones for a 48-yard touchdown to regain the momentum.
After the Vikings’ defense made a stop, AU took over on the Bemidji State 36-yard line. After a series of plays and unfortunate penalties, Jake Pecina split the uprights on a 52-yard field goal.
To keep the offense flowing for both teams, Bemidji State pieced together a six-play, 75-yard drive to pull within five points at 17-12.
Augustana again answered, this time with a drive stretching eight plays and 65 yards capped by a 20-yard touchdown reception by Epperson.
With the Viking leading 24-12, BSU scored its final points of the game on a 12-play drive as Brandon Alt threw a five-yard pass to Brice Peters to make the score 24-19.
That’s when the Vikings really took form as Jarod Epperson rushed for a 54-yard touchdown. Holding the momentum and the clock not in BSU’s favor, Alt was pressured by Matt Chitty and threw a pass that was intercepted by JayVian Farr at the AU 39-yard line. Farr went from the home sideline, crossed the field to the opponent’s sideline, and ran into the end zone for his first-career touchdown to seal the game at 38-19.
Epperson concluded the game with 121 yards rushing and a touchdown. He also received for 32 yards and a touchdown. Bauman ended his day with a pair of passing touchdowns and 53 yards rushing.
The Augustana defense held BSU to 57 yards rushing while Peyton Buckley, who should find himself firmly in the discussion for the league’s defensive player of the year, recorded eight tackles and two pass breakups. Seth Baker totaled six tackles.
To go along with Farr’s interception, he also recovered a fumble and totaled two pass breakups.
Augie will find out its NCAA Division II Playoff opponent on Sunday when selections are announced at 5:00 PM on NCAA.com.