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Missouri Western takes home fifth win

Augustana's Sam Holsen returns a kick in the first quarter as Missouri Western's Jordan Nicholas (62) closes in for the tackle. Click here for additional photos. (Photos by Alisha Jack-Captures)

By Kerry Woods
MWB Correspondent

Augustana gave the ball away five times and Missouri Western turned those mistakes into points as they defeated Augustana 34-21 for their record fifth Mineral Water Bowl win.

The stat sheet was nearly even for the two teams but Missouri Western freshman defensive end, David Bass, was in the middle of two early Augustana turnovers that the Griffons offense quickly turned into points.

Western built a large first half lead after Augustana miscues. Bass intercepted a pass by Viking quarterback Luke Butler at the Augie 9 yard line. Two Michael Hill runs gave Western a 7 point lead early in the first quarter.

On Augustana's next possession Bass recovered a Butler fumble to give the Griffons a short field for another scoring drive. Adam Clausen caught a six yard pass from Drew Newhart making it 14-0 with 3:35 left in the first quarter.

One play after AC punter Isaac Jorgensen shanked a punt out of bounds at the MWSU 45, Newhart hit senior Cedric Houston with a 55 yard touchdown pass. Midway through the second quarter the Griffons held a 21-0 lead.

But the Vikings struck back quickly on their next possession. Butler's third down pass hit sophomore Sam Holsen in stride down the east sideline and 81 yards later the Vikings had their first score. The third longest touchdown pass in MIneral Water Bowl history gave Augie some life.

Western kicker Brad Beckwith made a windblown 40 yard field goal with 29 seconds left to give the Griffons an apparent 24-7 halftime lead. But Holsen came up big again, returning the ensuing kickoff 76 yards to the Western two. Adam Diamond punched it in to cut the lead to 24-14 twelve-seconds before halftime.

The teams traded touchdowns in the third quarter as Clausen caught his second touchdown pass, a terrific grab on a tipped ball for Missouri Western at 8:05. Augustana answered with a 74 yard drive highlighted by another Butler to Holsen reception for 55 yards to the MWSU 19. Butler sneaked in from the one to keep the Vikings in the game 31-21 entering the fourth quarter.

But chances of an Augustana comeback were ruined as Missouri Western kept the ball and chewed up the clock with hard running by sophomore Thomas Hodges. And the defense caused more turnovers. Two interceptions late in the game insured Missouri Western's win as Beckwith added another field goal from 21 yards with 1:27 left.

Missouri Western swept the MVP awards. For his huge day, Bass was defensive MVP with 7 tackles, 1.5 sacks, 3 tackles for loss, an interception and a fumble recovery. Drew Newhart was offensive MVP with 213 passing yards and 3 touchdown passes.

Augustana's Nate Mahone was the game's leading rusher with 88 yards on 14 carries and a long of 35. Holsen led receivers with 144 yards on only 4 catches and added 101 return yards. The Vikings also had the two leading tacklers. Brandon McMichael and Chris Janisch had 13 apiece and McMichael had 1.5 sacks and 3 tackles for loss.

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