November 6, 2010

Elmhurst Topples Augustana For First Time in 31 Years

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ELMHURST, Ill. - Thirty-one years is a long time to wait. 

That's how long the Elmhurst College football team had been waiting to hand Augustana College a defeat. In front of a senior-day crowd at Langhorst Field, the Bluejays' wait came to an end as Elmhurst handed Augustana a 35-21 defeat. The win was the Bluejays first victory over the Vikings since the 1979 season. Augustana (5-4, 3-3 CCIW) had its 23-game series winning streak snapped in the loss. (The two teams had played to a scoreless 0-0 tie during the 1986 season). 

Elmhurst (6-3, 3-3 CCIW) scored the game's first 21 points and never looked back, leading by 21 points on three occasions. Augustana couldn't contain Bluejay running back Scottie Williams as the sophomore rushed for 175 yards and three touchdowns on 30 carries. The Vikings also struggled to hold on to the football, turning the ball over on six occasions, including four unforced fumbles.

The Bluejays took the opening kickoff and drove 62 yards to the end zone with Williams capping the drive with an eight-yard touchdown run. 

Elmhurst grabbed a 14-0 lead early in the second quarter after Augustana muffed a fair catch on a punt. Rich Dastice pounced on the loose ball at the Augustana 13-yard line. Three-plays later, Williams found the end zone on a four-yard touchdown run. 

After the Elmhurst defense forced Augustana to punt, the Bluejays went to work from their own 20-yard line. Elmhurst QB Joe Furco engineered an eight-play, 80-yard scoring drive capped by a 13-yard touchdown pass to Rodney Payton to put the Bluejays up 21-0. 

Augustana got on the scoreboard with less than 30 seconds in the opening half. The Vikings finished off a 10-play, 80-yard drive with a three yard touchdown pass from David Lee to Nick Krantz. 

Elmhurst led 21-7 at halftime and the Bluejays' defense limited the Vikings to only 81 yards of total offense in the opening half.

The Bluejays capitalized on an Augustana mistake on the opening drive of the second half. A botched hand-off results in an Augustana fumble and Wayne Tuckson recovered the loose ball at the Vikings' 32-yard line. On the very next play, Furco threw a backward pass to Chase Hamby. Hamby pulled up behind the line of scrimmage and tossed a 32-yard touchdown pass to a wide-open Brian LeSeur, giving Elmhurst a 28-7 lead. 

The Vikings looked like they had an answer,driving down to the Elmhurst eight-yard line, but Lee fumbled the exchange from center, and the Bluejays recovered the ball ending the scoring threat.

Midway through the third quarter, Elmhurst drove to the Vikings' five-yard line, but Furco was picked off by John Mago. Augustana took advantage of the turnover, moving 91 yards in six plays with Lee ending the march on a two-yard touchdown plunge.

Elmhurst quickly reestablished the three-touchdown lead, as Furco pushed the Bluejays 64 yards to the end zone. A costly personal foul penalty on Augustana kept Elmhurst's drive going after the Bluejays were stopped on third down. Williams scored his third touchdown of the game on the next play, racing into the end zone from six yards out to give Elmhurst a 35-14 lead. 

Augustana answered right back, however, scoring just four plays later as Lee sneaked into the end zone on a one-yard quarterback keeper. The drive was keyed by a 53-yard completion from Lee to Corbett Ball.

After three straight punts, Augustana got the ball back with seven minutes left to play. The Vikings quickly moved down field to the Elmhurst 25-yard line, but Kyle DeMus picked off Lee to end the scoring threat. 

The Bluejays ate up over three minutes of clock on their next possession before punting the ball away. Elmhurst's defense stopped Augustana on a fourth down to wrap up the ball game. 

The Bluejays totaled 422 yards of total offense in the win. Elmhurst rushed for 172 yards and passed for 250. Augustana was limited to  369 yards of offense, with 272 yards coming through the air attack. The Bluejays were able to overcome 18 penalties that resulted in 165 yards and eight Augustana first downs. 

With his 175-yard rushing output, Williams moved up to third-place on Elmhurst's single-season rushing yardage list. He now stands at 1,108 yards this season, and needs just 58 yards to surpass the 32-year old record held by George Donald. Williams' 14 rushing touchdowns now stands just two behind Donald's single-season 1978 record of 16. 

Furco finished 18-of-25 for 218 yards and a touchdown. Payton was the Bluejays' top receiver, catching four passes for 40 yards. 

Lee led Augustana's offense with 72 rushing yards on 12 carries. He also finished 27-of-42 for 272 yards through the air. He was picked off twice and also lost three fumbles. Ball was the Vikings' top target, catching 12 passes for 103 yards. 

Randy Wright led Elmhurst's defense with nine tackles and in interception. Jon Janus added eight tackles while DeMus finished with six stops and a pick.

John Mago totaled 13 tackles and an interception to lead the Vikings' defense. Joe Weber added nine tackles for Augustana. 

Elmhurst wraps up the 2010 season by traveling to Carthage College next Saturday (November 13).

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