"The Hammer" is the trophy that goes to the winner of the Hamline-Augsburg game. The trophy was started in Frank Haege's first season as Augsburg's head coach in 2005. The hammer was a trophy used by the coaching staff in 2004 and awarded to the special teams player of the week. The trophy has a maroon handle and gray head, similar to the school colors of both schools - maroon and gray for Augsburg, burgundy and gray for Hamline.
It is guarded during the game by the athletic trainer of the winning school from the previous year. Piper trainer Jason Ellenbecker will have the responsibility for the first time.
Additionally, the win was the first for the Pipers over the Auggies since a 21-13 victory in 2002.
The Pipers were led by impressive offensive performances from a sophomore QB and a pair of receivers, while Cody Kielsa (Fy., Buffalo, Minn.) was dominant on defense.
Kielsa stifled the Auggie air game by breaking up six Augsburg passes and posting nine tackles (seven solo, two assists).
Events went in the Pipers' favor early, as they forced Augsburg into punt formation on their first possession. The snap on the punt was high, and Augsburg's punter Jack Christopherson (Jr., Maple Grove, Minn.) elected to attempt a run instead. He was was still three yards shy of the first down, and the Pipers took over on their own 45-yard line for their first offensive possession.
Adam Meyer (So., Cold Spring, Minn.) went to work immediately. He orchestrated a nine-play, 55-yard drive that ended in a five-yard rushing TD at 8:05 in the first quarter from Blake Cook (So., Fridley, Minn.). Derek Johnson's (Sr., Casa Grande, Ariz.) kick was good for the 7-0 lead.
On the drive Cook carried the ball six times for 29 yards, including a long run of 15 yards. Sean Lewis (Jr., Saint Paul, Minn.) snagged two receptions of nine- and 12-yards on the drive.
Augsburg tied the game just under five minutes into the second quarter on a nine-yard TD pass from Marcus Brumm (So., Lakeville, Minn.) to Mike Nourie (Sr., Nicollet, Minn.) and a successful kick from Christopherson.
Hamline responded with a pair of touchdowns in impressive style. The first came on just the second Piper snap after the Auggies touchdown. Larry Deeton, Jr. (Sr., Houston, Texas) ran for a yard before Meyer hoisted a toss to Alex House (Jr., Champlin, Minn.) for a 75-yard touchdown reception.
On House's long run to the goal line after the catch, Tim Queck (So., Annandale, Minn.) threw up a key block at the 20-yard line to stop the final two Auggies defensive backs in pursuit of House.
Johnson's kick was good for the 14-0 lead at 9:55 in the second quarter.
Augsburg attempted to answer with a march down the field, but were stopped by a quarterback fumble that was recovered by Dante Guther (Sr., Sacramento, Calif.) on the Hamline 20-yard line.
On the next snap, the Queck earned some recognition that this time would appear on the statistics sheet, as he was the recipient of an 80-yard touchdown pass from Meyer. With the successful kick from Johnson, Hamline led 21-7 with 8:36 to play in the first half.
The Pipers began the second half with the football and took 5:21 off of the clock on their opening possession, ending with a 23-yard field goal from Johnson for the 24-7 lead.
Augsburg added a touchdown at 6:23 as they fell on their own fumble in the end zone. Christopherson's kick failed, and the Pipers led 24-13 at 6:23 in the third quarter.
Ben Chandler (Jr., Minneapolis, Minn.) then caught an 11-yard pass from Meyer, which Johnson followed up with his fourth PAT of the day, for a 31-13 lead at 4:16.
Augsburg cut the Hamline lead to three points at 3:18 on a 45-yard touchdown pass from Brumm to Nourie at 3:18. The same pair connected on the two-point conversion, closing the score to 31-28.
On their next possession, the Meyer connected with Queck for a 41-yard gain on second and ten. Meyer was shaken up on the play, putting junior backup QB Connor Sathre (Maple Grove, Minn.) in the game.
Sathre then took the Pipers in the remaining 26 yards to the end zone, as he connected with Queck for an 18-yard reception and held the ball himself five times for 18 yards on the drive, including a long run of 14-yards. The yard he gained that mattered the most, however, came at fourth and one as he crossed the goal line for the final touchdown of the game.
Johnson's kick was good for a fifth time and the 38-28 victory. Johnson went 5-for-5 in PATs and hit the 23-yard field goal for eight total points on the day.
Hamline's offense totaled 402 yards as Meyer threw for 375 yards and three TDs on 20-for-29 passing. Queck pulled in seven catches for 184 yards receiving and a touchdown. House had six catches for 117 yards and a touchdown.
Deeton was the Pipers' leading rusher with 79 net yards. Cook finished with nine carries for 34 yards and the TD. Sathre tallied 44 total yards and the TD on 10 carries in the game.
In addition to Kielsa's impressive play on defense, Justin Bain (Jr., Spring Valley, Minn.) added seven tackles (five solo, two assists), including one for loss. Pete Usset (Jr., Mendota Heights, Minn.) and Eric Klaers (Fy., Elk River, Minn.) each recorded a sack.
For post-game reaction from head coach Jim Good, Sathre, Johnson, Kielsa and Nick Wyatt (So., Jonesboro, Ga.), click here.
The Pipers move to 2-2, 1-2 MIAC with their first conference win of the season. The Auggies drop to 1-2, 0-2 MIAC. Hamline will host Saint John's next Saturday, October 10, for homecoming. Kickoff is scheduled for 1:00 p.m.