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Augustana College breaks Missouri Western's winning streak
Vikings take home 43rd Mineral Water Bowl title

Bradley Davidson of Missouri Western leaps to block a second quarter field goal attempt by Augustana's Ryan Grossman.

By Kerry Woods
Game Correspondent

Augustana College defeated Missouri Western 37-16 with a dominant second half in the 43rd Mineral Water Bowl Saturday afternoon at windy Tiger Stadium. Sophomore Joe Clark ran for 122 of Augustana's 281 rushing yards and had two touchdown runs for the Vikings. Clark was named offensive MVP of the game.

It was tied 16-16 at halftime as holder Eric Anderson threw a 14 yard touchdown pass to Alvaro Prado on a fake field goal attempt with 4 seconds remaining.

Augustana's aggressive, hard hitting defense sacked Griffon quarterbacks three times and had three interceptions, all in the second half. Missouri Western converted only 1 of 6 third downs after halftime and were shut down by the Vikings defense. Missouri Western controlled the ball for only 11 minutes while the Vikings rushing attack rolled to three second half touchdowns.

The Vikings won the opening toss and elected to take a wind that was roaring out of the north at over 20 mph. Missouri Western's first series went 3 and out and Jamie Hanson's punt was blocked, rolling out of bounds at the MWSU 37.  Tyler Schulte opened the scoring six plays later with a six yard run at 11:17 of the first quarter.

A long Missouri Western drive was stopped on downs at the Augustana six. After the Vikings were unable to move the ball, Cedric Houston of the Griffons made a spectacular 54 yard punt return for a touchdown. Dustin Strickler's extra point attempt was blocked and the Vikings held a 7-6 lead after a quarter.

Ryan Grossman of Augustana and Strickler from Western traded field goals in the second quarter. Clark scored on a 1 yard run to end an 8 play, 76 yard drive that gave the Vikings a 16-9 advantage until the Griffons scored on the late fake field goal.

A two yard quarterback sneak by Luke Butler with 8:16 left in the third quarter broke the tie and put Augustana in the lead 23-16. After Butler was injured early in the fourth quarter, Schulte replaced him at quarterback and provided a spark. His elusive running and a 38 yard screen pass to fullback Jeremy Huber led to Schulte's 1 yard touchdown run and a 30-16 Viking lead. Clark scored his second touchdown on an eight yard run with 6:23 remaining for the game's final score.

Augustana's sophomore linebacker Andrew Keel was named defensive MVP of the game on the strength of his 11 tackles, a sack and a tackle for loss. Both starting quarterbacks had difficulty throwing in the windy conditions. Butler was 6 of 14 for 62 yards and Missouri Western's Drew Newhart was 11 of 31 for 151 yards and two interceptions.

The win by the NSIC representative broke a 7 game MIAA winning streak in the bowl. The previous NSIC win was in 2000 when Winona State beat Missouri Western in triple overtime.

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Missouri Western quarterback Drew Newhart attempts a pass under heavy pressure from Augustana defensive end Brady MacIver.

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