Sports

Football Finishes Best Season in Years

Kevin Sethre, staff writer

The Augsburg football team lost to St. Olaf 35-28 in their season finale after a furious second-half comeback by the Auggies fell just short. The team finished the season with a 4-6 record overall, and they were 4-4 in conference matchups.

St. Olaf started out hot, with two touchdowns in the first quarter to take an early 14-0 lead. DJ Monroe scored for Augsburg on a two-yard run early in the second quarter to cap off a 14 play, 75-yard drive by Augsburg and cut the deficit in half, but St. Olaf scored two touchdowns in rapid succession at the end of the half to take a 28-7 lead into the locker room.

Braden Tretter caught a nine-yard pass from Cade Sheehan to make it 28-14 halfway through the third quarter. Monroe brought the Auggies within a touchdown after he scored again from one yard out after a 51-yard punt return from Tretter put the team in prime scoring position, and Dominic Smith caught a nine-yard touchdown pass to tie the game with 8:12 left. A long drive resulted in an Ole touchdown with 1:22 left in the fourth, and Augsburg didn’t have enough time to respond. 

While the final game ended in disappointment, this season marked a significant step forward for the Auggies. The team finished with a 2-8 record in their last full season in 2019 and only won one of their eight conference games during that season. This season, Augsburg got big wins over St. Scholastica (54-14) and St. Olaf (56-28) early in the year, and they were able to pull out closer wins against Macalester (37-29) and Hamline (38-30) in October. Their four wins marked the most that they had won since 2017, and it could have been more. Their losses against Ripon, Nebraska Wesleyan, and St. Olaf were all by one possession and could have easily gone the other way

There are also plenty of reasons to be optimistic for the future. Sheehan finished second in the MIAC with 241.2 passing yards per game and led the conference with 29 passing touchdowns, and it was only his sophomore season. Dom Smith was his top target, and he finished second in the conference with 100 receiving yards per game and led with 14 touchdowns on the season. Another sophomore, Isaiah Thompson, led the team in rushing yards with 423. They helped lead an offense that averaged 30.5 points and 305 total yards per game.

On the defensive side of the ball, junior defensive back Lionel Gates led the team with 59 total tackles, and first-year defensive back Hamsa Kahnin had a team-high 9.5 tackles for loss.

Of the 90 players on the roster this season, only 28 are upperclassmen, making the team set up well for the future.