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Football Drops 34-31 Thriller to Augsburg

Football Drops 34-31 Thriller to Augsburg

Box Score: AC 34, CUW 31

Mequon, Wis. -- After a two-hour lightning delay at the outset, Concordia University Wisconsin and Augsburg College put together a three-hour offensive fireworks display of their own with the Auggies eventually coming back from an 11-point second half deficit to record a 34-31 win in the non-conference opener for both schools at Century Stadium on Saturday afternoon.

The back-and-forth affair featured eight lead changes and nearly 600 yards of offense. Falcon junior quarterback Patrick Czerwiec (Norridge, Ill.) connected on 12-of-25 passes for two TDs, and junior running back Carlton Austin (Kingsford Heights, Ind.) led the CUW offense with 99 yards rushing on 13 carries. CUW rushed for 153 yards as a team and two TDs.

Junior defensive lineman Carlton Nolen (Milwaukee, Wis.) seemed to be everywhere, recording two pass deflections and a 15-yard interception return that set the tone for the Falcon defense. As a unit CUW held Augsburg quarterback Marcus Brumm to 17-of-38 passing for 167 yards, one touchdown, and an interception after he threw for over 400 yards in last year's one-sided 62-10 contest.

The visitors controlled field position for the entire first quarter, but managed only three points on a 33-yard Wade Waytashek field goal despite starting a trio of drives inside the CUW 40-yard line. A stalwart Falcon defense gave up yards grudgingly while the CUW offense struggled to get on track.

CUW's ensuing drive began at the 30-yard line and Czerwiec connected with junior Alex Verboncouer (De Pere, Wis.) for 13 yards to get things started. From that point on it was the Austin show as he rushed four-consecutive times for 49 yards down to the Auggie 8-yard line. When the drive stalled, freshman David Gonzalez (Pembroke Pines, Fla.) booted a 23-yard field goal to tie the contest at 3-3 with 25 second left on the first quarter clock.

Augsburg drove to the Falcons 11 on their next possesion before settling for a 28-yard field goal by Waytashek to regain the lead at 6-3.

Senior Vincent Greefkes (West Bend, Wis.) returned the ensuing kickoff to the 45-yard line and CUW found the end zone in nine plays, helped along by a 15-yard face mask penalty that negated a fourth-down stop and set up Head Coach Greg Etter's team at the Augsburg 16. From there sophomore Joseph Paul (West Bend, Wis.) scooted in. Gonzalez' kick made it 10-6 CUW.

The potent Auggie offense came right back, regaining the lead after a sustained eight-play drive that ended with James Washington barreling in from two-yards out. After the kick it was 13-10 Augsburg.

Not to be outdone, CUW used most of the remainder of the half time clock to march 73 yards in eight plays. Austin finished the drive with a 31-yard touchdown dash on a 4th-and-1 play.

It looked momentarily as if CUW had taken control when it upped its margin to 24-13 after recovering a fumble at the Augsburg 24. Sophomore Ryan Zaporski (Jackson, Wis.) hauled in a four-yard scoring strike from Czerwiec for the score.

Brumm engineered a much too quick eight-play drive to cut the margin to 24-19 and the visitors also got a two-point conversion to make it 24-21.

One of the game's crucial plays came just a minute later when Czerwiec was picked off by Felix Coleman who returned the errant toss 24 yards for a touchdown to give the lead back to Augsburg, 28-24.

The momentum never stayed in one corner long in this game, however, CUW countered. The Falcon offense went three-and-out, but the defense subsequently got a huge interception by Nolen who returned the pick to Augsburg's 15-yard line. Czerwiec hit a leaping Erik West (junior, Plymouth, Wis.) for the score and another succesful PATmade it 31-28 Falcons.

The plucky visitors had one more score up their sleeves, however, as Waylon Hartwick scooted through a huge hole to score the game-winner from 10 yards out.

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