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College football: UMD beats Augustana, advances to semifinals

Senior Brian Hanson rushed 25 times for 124 yards and a touchdown to lead Minnesota Duluth to a 24-13 victory over Augustana today in the NCAA Division II quarterfinals before 3,083 at Malosky Stadium.

Senior Brian Hanson rushed 25 times for 124 yards and a touchdown to lead Minnesota Duluth to a 24-13 victory over Augustana today in the NCAA Division II quarterfinals before 3,083 at Malosky Stadium.

UMD's rushing attack and stifling defense controlled the game, with 247 of the Bulldogs' 308 yards coming on the ground.

Augustana (11-2) led early after receiver Tyler Schulte got behind the UMD secondary for a 34-yard touchdown reception in the first quarter, but after that, it was all Bulldogs.

Top-ranked UMD (13-0) answered with two short touchdowns and took a 21-6 lead after linebacker Robbie Aurich scooped up a fumble and returned it 23 yards for another score with just 51 seconds left in the half.

UMD was playing without standout wide receiver D.J. Winfield and tight end Ryan Hayes, who were both disciplined for violating team rules.

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The Bulldogs advance to play Northwest Missouri State in next week's NCAA Division II semifinals, with the time and site to be determined Sunday. The Bearcats (12-1) advanced with a 37-20 victory over Central Missouri.

Jon Nowacki joined the News Tribune in August 1998 as a sports reporter. He grew up in Stephen, Minnesota, in the northwest corner of the state, where he was actively involved in school and sports and was a proud member of the Tigers’ 1992 state championship nine-man football team.

After graduating in 1993, Nowacki majored in print journalism at the University of St. Thomas in St. Paul, serving as editor of the college paper, “The Aquin,” and graduating with honors in December 1997. He worked with the Associated Press during the “tobacco trial” of 1998, leading to the industry’s historic $206 billion settlement, before moving to Duluth.

Nowacki started as a prep reporter for the News Tribune before moving onto the college ranks, with an emphasis on Minnesota Duluth football, including coverage of the Bulldogs’ NCAA Division II championships in 2008 and 2010.

Nowacki continues to focus on college sports while filling in as a backup on preps, especially at tournament time. He covers the Duluth Huskies baseball team and auto racing in the summer. When time allows, he also writes an offbeat and lighthearted food column entitled “The Taco Stand,” a reference to the “Taco Jon” nickname given to him by his older brother when he was a teenager that stuck with him through college. He has a teenage daughter, Emma.

Nowacki can be reached at jnowacki@duluthnews.com or (218) 380-7027. Follow him on Twitter @TacoJon1.
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