SIOUX FALLS, S.D. – The No. 13 Augustana football team is on the road for the second time in three weeks as it travels to Moorhead, Minnesota, to face the MSU Moorhead Dragons. Kickoff from Scheels Field at Nemzek Stadium is set for noon.
Complete action can be followed on GoAugie.com/Live and the GoAugie app. The app can be downloaded in the app store or Google Play.
About the Game
Augustana is 2-0, one of five undefeated teams in the NSIC. Looking to go 3-0, the Vikings started 3-0 in 2021 but hadn’t done so since 2016 previously. In addition, Augustana is 5-2 all-time against the Dragons with a 2-1 mark in Moorhead. The last win in Moorhead was a 48-3 drubbing in 2019.
About the Dragons
MSU Moorhead is 1-1 to open the season against NSIC South Division opponents. The Dragons opened the year at home against USF, falling 27-14. A week later, they traveled the many hours to Fayette, Iowa, to top the Peacocks 24-21. In what could probably go down (even just two weeks into the season) as the longest regulation game of the year, the contest lasted 4:05.
Upper Iowa jumped out to a 14-0 lead, but Moorhead reeled off 24-straight points before withstanding a final quarter comeback attempt. Neither team had a steady ground game as MSUM rattled off 91 yards and tossed for 180. UIU tossed for 213 and ran for 86.
For the year, MSU Moorhead relies on the passing game of Tommy Falk as he averages 193.5 yards per outing, finding Gage Florence the most as he averages 68.5 yards per outing. Carter Birrenkott is just behind with nine receptions and 121 total receiving yards. The rushing attack is led by Luke Imdieke and his 37 yards per game average.
Defensively, Josiah Behm is averaging just under 10 tackles per outing while the two sacks on the MSUM ledger come from Marcus Gulley and Hayden Carr. Gulley is also credited with an interception, pass breakup and quarterback hurry.
About the Vikings
Augustana continued its winning ways inside Kirkeby-Over Stadium with the 30-29 win over Bemidji State. The Vikings have now won 12-straight regular season contests in K-O. Thomas Scholten came on in relief of injured quarterback Casey Bauman in the second quarter of the win and threw for over 200 yards and two touchdowns as the Vikings held off the Beavers.
Peyton Buckley intercepted a Beaver pass and returned it 21 yards for a touchdown as Augustana’s defense forced two interceptions and two fumbles, recovering one. A strong part of the Augustana defense from 2021 was the ability to limit the run game and that has continued in 2022 as Bemidji State mustered just 40 yards on the ground.
The Vikings rank seventh in NCAA Division II with four interceptions on the season while Eli Weber is sixth in the country with his two interceptions.
Jarod Epperson has continued his strong running performance with another 85 yards in the win against BSU. For his career, he averages 79.3 yards per game and has totaled 2,062 yards in 26 games. He’ll be chasing CJ Ham to break into the top-five all-time in Augustana history as Ham recorded 2,662 yards from 2011-15. Joe Clark is the program’s all-time leading rusher with 3,623 yards from 2006-10.
Who to Watch For
Jack Fisher is the NSIC leader in touchdown receptions after two weeks of action. Fisher hauled in two touchdowns against Bemidji State to go with his reception against Concordia-St. Paul in Week one. His three touchdowns also place him fourth in all of NCAA Division II.
Year 100 Tidbit
After a dominant decade in the 1930s, the Vikings forged ahead in the 1940s and won its final SDIC title in 1941. The following year, Augustana joined the North Central Conference. The athletics department would call the NCC home until 2007-08.
As the Vikings made the move to the NCC, they kept their winning ways with an NCC Championship in 1942 thanks to an 8-0 record. The season included a 19-0 win over South Dakota and a similar 19-0 score over North Dakota. Augustana then did not field a team in 1943 or 1944 due to World War II.
One Last Thing
Following the contest at MSU Moorhead, Augustana returns home to Kirkeby-Over Stadium for two-straight games. Augustana welcomes Northern State on Sept. 24 in the Hall of Fame Game while the ‘Key to the City’ will be battled for on Oct. 1 against Sioux Falls.