Sunday, September 08, 2013
Host Augustana College jumped out to a 13-7 lead at the half, thanks to a efficient offense and oportunistic defense, and added a late fourth quarter score to defeat the Mount, 20-10, on Saturday in the season opener for both teams. The Lions will have the next weekend off - Sept. 14 - and then play their 2013 home and HCAC opener against Hanover College. The Panthers dropped their first game of the season to Illinois College, 49-13. The game between the Mount and Augustana was the inaugural match-up in a four-game series between the two schools.
After a stalled drive by both teams to start the game, the Auggies took possession of the ball at their own 28-yard-line, and behind the accurate passing and strong running of quarterback Samuel Frasco, punched in the first score of the game when Kyle Snow scored from 10 yards out. Augustana added the PAT kick at the 5:30 mark to take a 7-0 lead. Starting at the Mount 20-yard line after a kickoff, first-year Mount quarterback Caleb Watkins (Middletown, OH/Middletown) moved the Mount down the field with his arm and legs, before the Lions turned the ball over on a fumble into the end zone.
A 60-yard run by Augustana moved the ball down to the Lions five-yard line, but the Auggies drived stalled their, just after the start of the second half, as they settled for a 23-yard field goal, making the score 10-0. Watkins and the Lions' offense had some measure of success throughout the second half, but could never put together a substantial drive to challenge the Augustana total. The Mount would end two offensive series in the first half on fumbles, and two others would end with a punt. The Lions broke through on the scoreboard with 8:54 to play when Watkins took over control of the offense following a Mount interception by Josh Frakes (Columbus, OH/Hamilton Township). Watkins found John Peters (West Chester, OH/Lakota West) for a five-yard scoring strike - and Shane Kelly (Cincinnati, OH/Turpin) connected on the PAT kick - to cut the deficit to 10-7. On their last possession of the first half, Augustana moved 41 yards in seven plays as they converted a 22-yard field goal attempt to take a 13-7 lead into the locker room.
The Lions could never seem to get untracked offensively in the second half, but held tough on the defensive end as well to shut down the Auggies. The Mount's first two possessions ended in punts, but on the third, Kelly booted a 27-yard field goal to cut the Augustana lead to, 13-10. The Lions, however, would get no closer on the scoreboard, as four of their final five possessions ended in a punt, and the final drive ended in an interception at the Augustana goal line on a desperation toss. Augustana scored the final points of the game with 2:47 left on the clock when they capped a 16-play, 84-yard drive with a one-yard TD run.
Watkins completed 15-of-33 passes for 132 yards, one TD and two interceptions, while also adding 55 yards rushing on 11 carries. Leonard Riston (Cincinnati, OH/Withrow) and Denzel Norvell (Dayton, OH/Thurgood Marshall) each collected four receptions. Frakes, and teammates Konnor Blevins (Cincinnati, OH/Lakota West) and Garrett Breiner (Louisville, KY/Male) each had eight tackles. Breiner also had a fumble recovery while Brent McCleerey (Mooresville, IN/Monrovia) collected an interception.
Augustana held a 23-12 advantage in first downs and a 399-238 lead in total offensive yards. The Auggies also won the battle of the clock, and was four-of-14 on third down while holding the Lions to one-of-12 on third down conversions.