ELMHURST, Ill. - Scottie Williams' eight-yard touchdown run with 45 seconds remaining lifted the Elmhurst football team to a 31-27 come-from-behind win over Augustana College at Langhorst Field.
Augustana (1-4, 0-2 CCIW) went on top 27-24 with 2:36 left to play on Eric Chandler's 37-yard touchdown run, setting the stage for the Bluejays' two-minute drive.
Facing a key third-and-10, Joe Furco kept the drive moving with a 12-yard completion to Jeff Diegel. A 13-yard pass to Diegel and an 11-yard run by Wlliams brought the Bluejays down to the Augustana 29-yard line with 1:22 left on the clock. Back-to-back completions to Vince Gabrys and Diegel gave the Bluejays a first down at the Vikings' 13-yard line. After back-to-back incompletions, Augustana was flagged for being offside, making Elmhurst's third-and-10, a manageable third-and-five. Williams ran an inside draw into the end zone to put Elmhurst on top.
Elmhurst's defense put the game away in the closing seconds when Alvin Chackungal picked off Nick Welch with just 15 seconds left to play.
Trailing 14-10 at the half, the Bluejays quickly took a third-quarter lead. Elmhurst drove 73 yards off the second half kickoff and pulled to within a point on David Tomis' 23-yard field goal. After Elmhurst's defense held, the Bluejays surged ahead when Williams capped a four-play, 64-yard drive with a two-yard plunge. The drive was keyed by a 59-yard completion from Furco to Ryan Maguire with Maguire dragging tacklers down to the Augustana nine-yard line. Williams scampered into the end zone on the two-point conversion to put the Bluejays on top 21-14.
Augustana answered back with a 51-yard scoring drive capped by a 10-yard touchdown run from Welch to knot the score at 21.
After an Augustana fumble, the Bluejays went on top early in the fourth quarter when Tomis boomed a 51-yard field goal through the uprights, surpassing the previous Elmhurst record for longest field goal by seven yards set during the 1986 season by Lou Bageanis.
After a quick start by Elmhurst, Augustana controlled much of the action in the opening half. The Vikings outgained the Bluejays 272-161 in the opening thirty minutes. Elmhurst capitalized on a Vikings fumble in the opening quarter, scoring just two plays later on a 24-yard toss from Furco to Joe Sanfilippo.
The Vikings answered back with a 6-yard touchdown pass from Welch to Nick Krantz to tie the score late in the first quarter. Elmhurst drove inside the red zone early in the second quarter but settled for a 21-yard field goal from Tomis.
Augustana scored the final points of the opening half on its ensuing possession. Running the option, Welch pitched the ball to Brett McWilliams who raced 58 yards to the end zone to put the Vikings on top 14-10 at the half.
Elmhurst finished the contest with 444 yards of offense, rushing for 189 and passing for 255. Augustana, who entered the game averaging less than 300 yards per game, totaled 427 yards of offense. Elmhurst struggled to stop the Vikings' running attack as Augustana piled up 301 yards on the ground attack.
Williams led Elmhurst on the ground, carrying 25 times for 168 yards and two touchdowns. Furco finished 20-of-39 through the air for 255 yards. Chase Hamby and Gabrys each caught four passes to lead the Elmhurst receivers.
McWilliams carried 10 times for 164 yards and a touchdown to lead the Vikings on the ground. Chandler carried for 64 yards while Welch finished 9-of-21 through the air for 126 yards.
Dan Vacari led Elmhurst's defense, totaling a team-leading 10 tackles, including a pair of sacks and a forced fumble. Wayne Tuckson added seven stops for the Bluejays.
Erik Westerberg recorded 13 tackles for Augustana, including 2.5 tackles for loss and a sack.
Elmhurst hosts Wheaton College next Saturday as part of the College's annual homecoming weekend. Kickoff is scheduled for 2:00 p.m.