AU survives opening battle in overtime

Season opener leaves many on the edge of their
seats until the last second


In times of desperation, a quarterback—in peewee and the pros—usually looks for his go-to wide receiver.

Such was the case for the Augustana Vikings in their 37-34 overtime win over Northern State Saturday afternoon at Kirkeby-Over Stadium.

Down 28-24, Augustana had 2:27 to march 88 yards for a go-ahead touchdown.

On the first play of the drive, senior receiver Matt Heller burned his man down the left sideline, and fellow senior Trey Heid hit him for a 40-yard gain.

Already in Wolves territory, the Vikings ran the exact same play. Only this time, it went for 46 yards.

On the next play, sophomore back Caden Quintanilla bullied his way into the end zone from two yards out to put Augie on top.

You know, your traditional three-play, 88-yard, 33-second drive.

But Northern impressively absorbed Augie’s blow and recuperated. The Wolves marched back down the field and nearly won it in regulation when Connor Doherty dropped a would-be go-ahead touchdown in the closing seconds.

NSU settled for a field goal and the game went to overtime.

Augie buckled down on defense in the extra period and forced another Northern field goal. Backs against the wall again, the Vikings did what they do best: Throw it up to Heller and let him make a play.

Heid floated one to Heller in the back corner of the end zone from six yards out, and Heller made a tough catch to give the Vikings the 37-34 walk-off win.

Heller caught eight passes for 127 yards and the deciding touchdown. It was an uneven day overall for Heid, who completed 24-of-42 passes for 253 yards, three scores and a pair of picks. He also got sacked three times.

Quintanilla played well in the first game of the post-C.J. Ham era, tallying 78 yards on 14 carries. He also caught five passes for 34 yards and scored two total touchdowns.

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