ROCK ISLAND, Ill. – It wasn't always pretty but in the end the Adrian Bulldog football team improved to 3-0 after a 17-14 win at Augustana College on Saturday (Sept. 17). The Bulldogs took over the ball with 11.8 seconds left on their own 36-yard line with the game tied at 14-14. Junior Brandon Miller connected with junior Justin Hemm on a 36-yard pass down to the Augie 28-yard line with four seconds left. Senior Logan Mitseff then trotted on the field and made the biggest kick of his career with a 45-yarder as time expired to give the Bulldogs a 17-14 win improving Adrian to 3-0 this season.
"That was one of the most exciting endings I've ever seen," said head coach Jim Deere. "We kept our heads in the game and Logan did a great job of forgetting about his miss earlier in the fourth quarter and making a huge kick. I'm proud of the way we have played on the road starting 3-0 and now a much needed home game coming up next Saturday against Concordia (Ill.)."
Augustana jumped out to a 7-0 lead on their first drive of the game after an Adrian punt. The Vikings drove 73 yards in nine plays and were aided by a pass interference call on third and 12 to continue their drive. Brett McWilliams rushed six yards on a touchdown on the scoring play with 8:05 left in the first quarter.
Adrian answered the score on their next possession and did so on a fourth-and-four opportunity. Miller found Hemm behind the coverage for a 30-yard touchdown with 4:27 left in the first to tie the game at 7-7. Adrian outgained Augustana, 98-78, in the opening quarter and threw for 85 yards.
In the second and third quarters, the game turned into a defensive battle as both teams were kept off the scoreboard. The third quarter was particularly tough on both offenses. Adrian managed just five total yards and one first down while the Vikings gained 23 yards and did not have a first down.
Augustana caught a break on Adrian's second drive of the fourth quarter. Miller went back to pass and was sacked and fumbled at their own one-yard line. Pete Schimeck caused the fumble and Joe Weber recovered at the one to setup a McWilliams touchdown to give Augie a 14-7 lead with 9:06 remaining. On the ensuing kickoff, sophomore Danny Cobb took away all momentum with a 73-yard kickoff return for a touchdown after Augustana had a 15-yard penalty which made them kickoff from their 15-yard line. Cobb initially bobbled the kick, but then recovered nicely and got a few blocks down the visitor sideline to race to the end zone.
Adrian regained possession with 6:32 left and drove the ball down to the Augustana two-yard line in nine plays primarily on the ground. Mitseff missed a 19-yard field goal wide right and the Vikings took over with 2:35 left on their own 20-yard line. Both teams then went three-and-out giving the ball back to Augustana at their own 25-yard line with 41 seconds to play.
The Vikings drove into apparent field goal range but coughed up the ball as Nate Pena took a screen pass and ran to the Adrian 25-yard line. Chris Cook jarred the ball loose and Blake Shotwell recovered at the 36-yard line setting up the final heroics. The Bulldogs outgained the Vikings, 289-252, and threw for 242 yards. Augustana did their damage on the ground with 152 rushing yards on 43 carries (3.5 ypr). Cobb led Adrian with 74 yards on 17 carries (4.4 ypr). Miller finished 21-of-38 for 242 yards and a touchdown. Hemm caught seven passes for 108 yards and a score.
Sophomore linebackers Deontae Bridgeman and Hunter Juntunen led the defensive effort. Bridgeman led the team with 11 tackles and two tackles for loss. Juntunen recorded 10 tackles and one and a half tackles for loss. Adrian had nine tackles for loss and two sacks. Bryan Garbarino and Darren Walter each had two tackles for loss and a sack. After three straight road games to start the season, the Bulldogs will have their home opener next Saturday at 4:00 PM against Concordia (Ill.) as part of homecoming festivities.