Augsburg reclaims the Hammer

Austin Duncan’s four touchdowns not enough to get a victory.


Taylor Geer

Senior Austin Duncan rushes forward in Hamline’s final home game this season, a loss against Augsburg. Duncan rushed for 154 yards and had four touchdowns.

Jake Kjos, Reporter

A fast start and intensity on both sides of the ball looked to be just the recipe the football team needed to beat Augsburg. Senior running back Austin Duncan opened the scoring with a rushing touchdown less than three minutes into the game.

Augsburg followed that with a touchdown pass from quarterback Ayrton Scott. Kicker Tyler Hanson of the Auggies struggled for much of the day, as he failed to make two extra points and missed a field goal.

A rushing touchdown by Augsburg running back Tyrell Martin put Hamline down 7-12. After a fumble by first-year quarterback Justice Spriggs gave the Auggies a red zone opportunity, Hamline’s defense stepped up and made a big play. Scott scrambled for a nice gain before junior defensive tackle TaSawn Burton wrapped him up and forced a fumble.

Burton made it his goal to honor the seniors during their last career home game.

“We’re trying to show what Hamline can do. I know a lot of these seniors have worked hard. Hamline hasn’t been 5-5 in fifteen, twenty years,” Burton said.

Scott scored a one yard rushing touchdown and made the game look like Augsburg was going to run away with it.

Hanson’s misses helped keep the Pipers in the game, as well as Duncan’s power rushing that made defenders miss or bounce off of him many times. Duncan finished the second half with a touchdown to put the game at 14-18.

The second half showcased the stars of each team, as Duncan and Scott led their respective offenses to multiple scores.

Acrobatics by Scott made his rushing touchdown in the third quarter one for the highlight reel. As he scrambled around the backfield, Scott evaded a sack with a defender draped around his legs, then sprinted up the sideline before he leapt into the air and reached out over the goal-line with one hand.

Senior safety Darrian Smith discussed the difficulties of defending a versatile quarterback like Scott.

“He’s good on his legs. He’s the Michael Vick of our league,” Smith said.

Senior tight end Philip Sherman described the team’s mindset in facing Augsburg.

“We know they have an explosive offense. We stay pretty true to ourselves. Last year we didn’t have Duncan and we still didn’t change [the gameplan],” Sherman said.

Duncan answered with his third score of the game to put Hamline within one score at 20-26. As sophomore kicker Kale Wurdeman attempted the extra point, the game turned in Augsburg’s favor.

The kick was blocked and returned for a two-point conversion that put their deficit at eight instead of five. Early in the fourth quarter, Burton recovered a fumble to regain the team’s momentum

Duncan scored his fourth touchdown of the game shortly after, then in an attempt to tie it up threw a pass to Sherman to complete the game-tying two-point conversion. However, an illegal formation penalty negated the play and the following attempt failed.

On fourth down in Hamline’s red zone, Scott completed a touchdown pass that put the game out of reach at 26-35. Augsburg regained the Hammer after Hamline had won it last year.

Sherman talked about the history of the Hammer and what it was like to get it once during his career.

“It was pretty awesome. It was nice taking it at their place. Hopefully it’s a tradition we keep. We’ve only had it one other time,” he said.

Smith hopes that his impact on the team will be remembered as he moves onto life after football.

“I wanna build a tradition. No one will out-prepare us. Hamline is the toughest team in the conference,” Smith said.

Hamline finishes their season at Carleton on Nov. 14.