Vikings look to make a rebound during homecoming game

Alek+Jacobs%2C+the+quarterback+for+the+Augustana+Vikings%2C+runs+the+ball+towards+the+end-zone%2C+as+his+teammates+help+keep+the+Wesleyan+Titans+from+tackling+him.+The+Vikings+lost+28-10.+Photo+by+Brady+Johnson

Alek Jacobs, the quarterback for the Augustana Vikings, runs the ball towards the end-zone, as his teammates help keep the Wesleyan Titans from tackling him. The Vikings lost 28-10. Photo by Brady Johnson

After picking up their first win of the season against Elmhurst last weekend, the Augustana Vikings welcomed the Illinois Wesleyan Titans to Lindberg Stadium on Saturday afternoon.
The game started off on a promising note for the Vikings with a 65-yard touchdown drive and an early 7-0 lead, which was capped off with a one-yard touchdown by senior running back Austin Chausse.
However, the offense struggled to find a groove the remainder of the game, and the Vikings were unable to hold off the 12th-ranked team in the nation, falling by a score of 28-10.
“We had opportunities, and I don’t think we were outmatched physically or talent-wise,” senior captain Riley Donald said after the game. “We banged heads with the number 12-ranked team in the country for 60 minutes. But, we got in our own way and need to clean up the mistakes to finish the season the right way.”
The Vikings only accumulated an additional 97 yards of offense after the opening drive, finishing with a total of 162 yards on 63 plays.
Donald believed the opportunities were there for him and his teammates, but they were unable to take advantage of what they were given.
“After our first drive where we marched down the field, we struggled to pick it up,” he said. “I would say the largest issue wasn’t anything that Illinois Wesleyan threw at us. It wasn’t anything special. We just missed assignments and shot ourselves in the foot with penalties.”
With the loss, Augustana fell to 1-5 on the year and 1-3 in conference play.
Donald tried not to dwell on the negatives and pointed to the positives he sees with the direction of the program right now.
“We are infusing young talent into the offense and defense, and they are getting more reps that are extremely valuable opportunities for them,” he said. “This allows them to experience the faster speed of the game, get comfortable playing, and see what teams are going to throw at them.”
Augie will now turn its focus to Millikin, who is coming off a big win against 13th-ranked Wheaton.
It will be another tough challenge for the Vikings, but the team feels very optimistic about its chances, according to junior captain Ryan Pitra.
“It’s definitely a winnable game,” he said. “We know they are going to be mentally tough and play a 60-minute game. With that in mind, we will have to be physical and eliminate mental mistakes and penalties. We will also need to put together a game where the offense and defense play complementary football, and I think that is possible.”
Augustana will also be celebrating Homecoming this upcoming week as the Vikings take on Millikin. The game is scheduled for a 1:00 pm start on Saturday, October 14 at Lindberg Stadium.