Led by Davidson’s career day, football bounces back with win against Augustana
Down by 10 points with a score of 17-7 entering the half against Augustana College, fans of the Washington University football team were starting to feel a little bit of deja vu after last week’s loss to Illinois Wesleyan had the Bears down 14 points by the end of the first half.
The Bears went into the locker room with the intention to recalibrate and refocus their efforts for a chance to come back and take control of the game. Something must have gone right, as Wash. U. scored on the first four possessions of the second half to show Augustana that they hungered more for the win. The Bears went on to take the game, 38-24.
Following an interception by junior defensive back Justin DiCarlo to end Augustana’s first drive of the second half, junior quarterback Johnny Davidson threw a touchdown to senior wide receiver Matt Goldberg, bringing the Wash. U. offense within striking distance at 17-14. After a defensive stop that made Augustana punt the football, senior kicker Charles Coccia tied the game with a 23-yard field goal on the following drive.
Senior linebacker Jake Coon ended Augustana’s next possession with his second interception of the game, bringing the ball to the Augustana 21-yard line. Davidson followed that with a 21-yard pass to sophomore wide receiver Nick Cione, bringing the score to 24-17.
The Wash. U. defense stepped up big time during the second half. Allowing a grand total of 284 yards in the first half, they patched up some holes to only allow 152 yards in the second half, thus giving Davidson and the offense a great opportunity to take advantage.
Wash. U. finished their onslaught on Augustana in the third quarter when, after getting another defensive stop, the Bears went 60 yards on a drive that saw Davidson connect once more with Cione to bring it to a score of 31-17.
Wash. U. would add one more score on a 75-yard drive that lead to a rushing touchdown by Emmanuel Engermann, making the score 38-17. Augustana would answer with a hard fought possession to bring the game within 14 points on their next drive, but their comeback efforts ended there.
Davidson finished the afternoon with a career-high 483 passing yards. As if this wasn’t impressive enough, Davidson’s performance also placed him with over 4,000 passing yards for his career here at Wash. U. and third all time amongst Wash. U. quarterbacks with 4,383. With another year under his belt, he will continue to climb the ranks.
Other noteworthy offensive statistics included a team-leading 41 yards of rushing from junior running back John Fisher. Cione lead the game in reception yards, with 147 yards from eight receptions. Not far behind was junior tight end Mitchel Groen, who recorded a career-high 11 receptions for a total of 143 yards received. Goldberg rounded out the top three with 80 total yards by the end of the game.
The Bears are playing great as they head towards the end of the season. Despite the fact that they only possessed the ball approximately 41 percent of the game, they made sure to make every offensive possession count.
The Bears face off next with Millikin University on the road. Millikin is 6-1 and in the midst of a four-game winning streak. That game will kick off next Saturday at 1 p.m.