SMSU FOOTBALL: Mustangs close season with loss at Augustana
SIOUX FALLS, S.D. — The Southwest Minnesota State football team closed its season on Saturday suffering a 45-21 loss to regionally ranked Augustana University at Kirkeby-Over Stadium.
The Vikings, ranked No. 5 in this week’s NCAA Super Region 4 rankings, close the regular season 9-2 overall and more than likely will earn a bid into the NCAA playoffs announced on Sunday.
SMSU closed the season with four straight losses and ends the season with an overall record of 3-8, 1-6 NSIC South.
SMSU senior Daniel Davis ended his career with another monster game and closed his two-year career as one of the most potent wide receivers in program history. He caught a career-high 17 passes today for 171 yards and finished the season with 104 receptions for 1,337 yards and 10 touchdowns. Davis’ single-season yardage total ranks as the fourth highest in team history, while his reception total is third all-time.
In just two seasons and 22 career games, Davis finishes his career ranking first in team history in receptions per game (8.32), sixth in receptions (183), fifth in all-purpose yards per game (123.1), eighth in receiving yards (2,450) and 11th in touchdown receptions (19).
Senior quarterback Boyer Bouman completed 33 of 46 pass attempts for 377 yards with one touchdown and one interception. He also had one rushing touchdown. Senior running back Max Simmons rushed for a team-high 34 yards on 12 carries, while also catching two passes for 22 yards and one touchdown.
Simmons finished his career ranking fifth all-time with 2,390 rushing yards, while 35 career touchdowns is tied for fifth all-time.
SMSU closed the game with 419 yards of total offense and 23 first downs, while AU finished with 395 yards and 20 first downs.
AU quarterback Zach Masoli completed 14 of 20 passes for 232 yards and a career-high four touchdowns. Rudolh Sinflorant scored a rushing touchdown and amassed a team-high 59 yards on the ground to pace the Vikings rushing attack.
SMSU sophomore linebacker Onte Burn scored a team-high eight tackles and led the team with 108 tackles this season. Senior Brad Bahlmann and junior Gage Roberson both registered six tackles for SMSU, while Roberson and junior Adihia Bell both notched sacks in the game.
The Vikings defense was the difference in the first half coming through with several big defensive stands to help set-up the Vikings offense. AU stopped SMSU three times on fourth-and-short near midfield in the opening half.
The Vikings scored four touchdowns in the first half in building a 28-0 halftime lead with scoring drives of 44, 45, 56 and 51 yards. Two of the scoring drives took just one play, while another was just two plays.
Both teams punted to begin the game, but the Vikings scored on the first play of their second drive as Masoli fired a 44-yard touchdown pass to Sean Engel.
SMSU turned the ball over on downs at the AU 35-yard on its next drive before the SMSU defense forced AU into its second punt of the game on its next drive.
SMSU closed the first quarter with Trey Sachs losing a yard on fourth-and-1 from the SMSU 46-yard line. Following an SMSU penalty and big run by Sinflorant down to the SMSU 30-yard line, Masoli and Engel connected again on a 30-yard touchdown pass to push the lead to 14-0.
The Mustangs would move the ball to the AU 43-yard line on the ensuing drive, but once again SMSU was stopped on fourth-and-one as Duce Reynolds lost a yard. One play later, Masoli lofted a 56-yard pass to Nickel Myers for a touchdown and extend the lead to 21-0 at the 10:31 mark.
SMSU picked up one first down on its next drive and moved the ball to midfield, but Simmons was stopped for no game on fourth-and-1, setting up AU with great field position. The Vikings made it 28-0 as Masoli closed an 11-play drive with a 6-yard scoring pass to Devon Jones.
SMSU punted on its first drive of the second half and AU quickly added to the lead two a two-yard touchdown to make the score 35-0.
Both teams exchanged punts before SMSU was finally able to break through on the scoreboard. Started for its own 2-yard line, SMSU moved 98 yards in just four plays with the highlight of the drive coming on a 67-yard pass from Bouman to Davis. The drive was capped with a Bouman 15-yard touchdown pass to Simmons with just over six minutes left in the third quarter to make the score 35-7 following a Skyler Crew PAT.
Luis Guarita would answer with a 41-yard field late in the quarter to push the AU lead to 38-7 after three quarters.
Bouman would use another big pass play on the ensuing Mustang drive to setup the next SMSU touchdown as the senior found Bailey Olson open for a 51-yard gain. Moments later Bouman scored on a 3-yard run to cut the lead to 38-14.
The SMSU special teams came through on the next AU drive as the Mustangs’ Chris Bain blocked a punt and teammate Nathan Hill scooped and scored from two yards out to make the deficit 38-21 with 12:34 remaining. It was SMSU’s first blocked punt for a touchdown since Oct. 10, 2015.
AU answered on it next drive, using a personal foul on SMSU to extend the drive from deep in their own end. Masoli would eventually score on a 5-yard run for the final points of the game and give AU its 21st win over SMSU in 24 games dating back to 1990.
Olson had five receptions for 94 yards to help the SMSU while, while teammate Dakota Jaeschke added three catches for 28 yards.
Saturday’s game was the final in the brown and gold for 17 Mustang seniors.
— Content courtesy
of SMSU Athletic