SIOUX FALLS, S.D. – Jarod Epperson had touchdowns of 94 and 82 yards as the Augustana football team ran away from Minot State 51-6 Saturday afternoon inside Kirkeby-Over Stadium. The true freshman totaled 238 all-purpose yards as the Vikings improve to 4-0 at home in 2019.
“I thought we played really well in all three phases,” head coach Jerry Olszewski said. “I thought it was a dominating game. The fun thing is that a lot of kids got to play in this game, and defensively, we didn’t give up a third-down conversion.”
The Vikings’ defense stopped Minot State on all 13 third down chances and held the Beavers to 189 total offensive yards.
Augustana (6-2) jumped ahead 23-0 before Minot State (3-5) was able to get its only touchdown on the scoreboard. The Vikings opened the game with a 13-play, 95-yard drive that culminated with a five-yard run from junior Kyle Saddler.
The Vikings then went ahead 13-0 as freshman Jake Polson intercepted his third pass of the season and ran it 19 yards into the end zone for his first-career touchdown.
Junior Rudolh Sinflorant stretched the lead to 23 points on a nine-yard dash midway through the second quarter. Augustana entered halftime ahead 30-6 as Epperson reeled off the second-longest rush in program history with a 94-yard run. The run is the longest in the NSIC this season and second-longest in NCAA Division II in 2019.
On the second play of the third quarter, it was Epperson again with a big play, this time receiving a pass from Saddler and sprinting 82 yards for the touchdown. On the ensuing Vikings’ drive, Saddler connected with senior Anthony Karmazyn for a 65-yard touchdown and a 44-6 lead.
The final score of the game came on a four-yard Zach Masoli run late in the fourth quarter as the Vikings used eight plays to travel 60 yards over 5:43 of game clock.
Augustana, who entered the game leading the nation in turnovers gained, totaled two more defensive turnovers, first the interception then a fumble recovery to make it 24 on the season.
In a balanced defensive effort, Cody Kujawa led Augie with six tackles while Logan Swanson picked up another sack, leading the Vikings with 6.5 for the year. Kenneth Griffin was also credited with a sack.
Saddler threw for 312 yards and two touchdowns while connecting with nine different receivers. Junior Nickel Meyers totaled four receptions while Epperson led the team with 82 yards receiving. Epperson also held the team lead with 156 yards on the ground, his second-straight 100-yard game. Sinflorant totaled 60 yards while sophomore Nick Novak had a career-best 30 yards rushing.
Luis Guarita is inching closer to the school record for field goals made in a season (16) as he connected on a 39-yard attempt. He is now 13-of-14 on the year to lead the NSIC in field goal percentage and total makes.
Augustana, winners of three-in-a-row, looks to continue its momentum on Saturday, Nov. 2, hosting Concordia-St. Paul at 1 p.m. The Golden Bears are coming off a 24-23 overtime victory over Bemidji State.