Augustana Observer

Augustana Observer

Augustana Observer

Power outage rocks campus
Power outage rocks campus
Jack BrandtSeptember 13, 2023

Football 2-0 for first time in 10 years

Augustana’s football team begins their season 2-0 for the first time in 10 years. After taking down Coe College on Saturday, Sept. 8th, they routed the Elmhurst Bluejays 35-0 in their first conference game of the year.
With this year’s record, the football team has already surpassed the win total of last year when they ended the season 1-9.
Senior captain Ryan Pitra talked about the preparations and actions taken this past summer to get ready for the upcoming season.
“Heading into the season, we knew we had to focus on finishing. Whether it was a drill, in the weight room, or during spring ball (spring practice), finishing was something we harped on. As far as last year went, we really weren’t in the mindset of focusing on that. We knew people were going to focus on the wins and losses, but moving forward, we really are just focusing on the ‘now,'” said Pitra.
Senior captain Zach Fuller had similar things to say about the upcoming year.
“We got a new strength and conditioning coach, which has really helped us in the weight room getting stronger and faster. Spring ball was also very important, and we worked hard to prepare ourselves for this season,” Fuller said.
As the quarterback, Fuller has put on a show through the first two games, totaling four touchdowns, no interceptions and almost 600 passing yards. Against Elmhurst alone, he had 256 passing yards and three touchdowns.
Along with Fuller, Pitra has also led the Augustana offense. Coming out of the backfield, Pitra had 151 rushing yards and a touchdown against Coe and added 69 more yards and another touchdown against Elmhurst.
The Vikings’ defense is doing their part too, holding both opponents to a combined seven points and forcing nine turnovers already in the season.
After last year not going how the team wanted, Fuller talked about his personal motivation and one key game he has circled on the schedule.
“I’m excited to play Carroll because that’s where I got hurt last year, but as a team we need to take it one game at a time. We got complacent last year and we need to make sure that doesn’t happen again,” Fuller said.
Pitra agreed with Fuller’s mindset heading into this year.
“We really aren’t looking ahead to anyone. We go in each week with the mindset that we’re 0-0 and focus on the current opponent. I’m confident that with our work ethic and focus, we can show everyone how good of a team we are,” Pitra said.
Coming back after being hurt last season, Fuller talked about the pressures of being the quarterback and goals for the upcoming year.
“When things aren’t going right on the field, your teammates look to you. I have eight years of experience at quarterback, so I’ve gotten pretty used to this role,” Fuller said. “First and foremost, I want to stay healthy this year. When that happens, I can be the best captain and best leader I can be.”
Come support your Vikings next Saturday, Sept. 22nd, when they take on Illinois Wesleyan in their first home game of the season. Kickoff is set for 6:00 P.M.

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Football 2-0 for first time in 10 years