Augustana Observer

Augustana Observer

Augustana Observer

Vikings defense not enough to overcome Elmhurst, fall 14-3

Vikings fight for the ball during their game against Elmhurst College on Saturday. The Vikings lost 14-3 and fell to 2-1 in the CCIW. They will play Illinois Wesleyan University this weekend. Photo by: Tawanda Mberikwazvo


After a first half of primarily defense, the Vikings offense wasn’t enough to break through Elmhurst College’s defensive line, ending in a loss for the Vikings, 14-3.

The Vikings are now 1-2 in their CCIW games.

The first half of the game saw a battle of defenses as the Vikings did well on stopping the Elmhurst rushing game, while the Bluejays were able to force the Vikings to punt on all three of their drives and force a fumble.

The Bluejays almost scored first off a field goal, but the attempt fell short of the goal.

The stalemate continued into the second half until Elmhurst broke through the Viking defense as the Bluejay’s Daniel Bourgault rushed into the end zone on an eleven-yard run. The Bluejays made the point after attempt and led the Vikings 7-0 for the rest of the first half.

As the third period began, the Vikings came out of the locker room hopeful to make a comeback. Head coach Stephen Bell said they talked about fixing up the momentum of the team and focusing on some of the inconsistencies the offense was having during the first half while the team was in the locker room.

The Vikings were able to get on the scoreboard with about six minutes left in the third after junior Jacob Stytz scored on a 42-yard field goal.

Nearing their opponent, the Vikings tried to break through the Elmhurst defense and had a strong chance to score on a long pass from Fuller to senior Danny Lattner, but the ball was dropped. Elmhurst later scored with about eight and half minutes left off a 30-yard pass.

As for the progression of the Vikings, this game was a chance to shore up and fix some of the things that were hurting the team during their game against Carthage last week. Bell said there were aspects the Vikings were lacking this week.

“Just a lack of energy, there were so many missed opportunities in the first half,” Bell said. “Why is this the result we are getting after we lose to Carthage? We have to figure out which button we need to push because this was the fifth game of the year so these guys aren’t young anymore.”

But Bell thought the team did well on the defensive end as the defense “definitely played good enough to win the game,” but, as Bell also pointed out, the team’s offense, while it did a bit better, needed some improvement.

“I thought we came out better offensively in the second half. It didn’t produce tons of points, moving the ball a little bit, and then we shot ourselves a bit in the foot,” Bell said.

While the Vikings led the total net passing yards for the game, 217 yards to Elmhurst’s 174, the Bluejays almost tripled what the Vikings had as Elmhurst had 148 net rushing yards to Augustana’s 50.

Looking towards next weekend for the Vikings’ game against Illinois Wesleyan University, Bell said they’ll be a strong opponent.

“They’ll be tough,” Bell said. “They’re gonna be really good defensively. Their front four is very good and we have to figure it (ourselves) out.”

Both sophomore Ryan Pitra and Bell talked about how the team has to focus on themselves to be ready for the rest of their season.

“The last couple of games we’ve focused a little bit on other teams, but now we really need to focus on us,” Pitra said. “We have to focus on doing little things to make sure everyone around you is doing good things.”

The Vikings’ game next weekend against Illinois Wesleyan will be at Illinois Wesleyan on Saturday at 1 p.m.

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Vikings defense not enough to overcome Elmhurst, fall 14-3