By Eric Stock
BLOOMINGTON - Two big first-half pass plays gave Augustana a 15-point cushion which held up in a 22-7 win over Illinois Wesleyan in a College Conference of Illinois and Wisconsin game at Tucci Stadium.
The Vikings answered the Titans' only score of the game with touchdown passes on consecutive drives late in the second quarter, a 58-yard scoring strike from Nick Welch to Kyle Snow to give Augie a 16-7 lead.
The Vikings would extend the lead after an IWU missed field goal as Welch floated a screen pass to Eric Chandler who then scrampered 78 yards for a touchdown to give AC a 22-7 lead.
The Titans offfense continued to struggle as freshamn Tyler Hook completed 8 of 22 passes for 80 yards (1 touchdown, 1 interception) before being lifted in the fourth quarter in favor of Tyrell Bolden.
Bolden engineered a long drive which ended in an interception in the end zone.
Augie controlled the line of scrimmage with the Vikings' trademark ground attack, grinding out 164 rushing yards to complement Welch's 277 yards through the air.
The Titans only score of the game came on Hook's 16-yard touchdown pass to Tate Musselman in the second period.
IWU (6-3, 3-3 in CCIW) has dropped three in a row for the first time since 2005.
Augie (5-4, 4-2) has won four in a row.
The Titans close out their season at Elmhurst next Saturday. The Bluejays (8-1) will be playing for a share of the CCIW title and a potential NCAA Div. III playoff berth.
Eric Stock can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org