Justin Dade – UWEC Sports Information
RIVER FALLS, Wis. (Blugolds.com) – The University of Wisconsin-Eau Claire football team was defeated by The University of Wisconsin-River Falls 41-21 on Saturday at Smith Field at Ramer Stadium.
The Blugolds fell for the second straight week against a WIAC opponent due to a slow start in the first half.
The first play of the game was a completed pass to UW-River Falls' Evan Verhota down the seam. Bo Casper (Sr. – Freedom, WI) stripped the ball loose on the play and Ryan Ames (Jr. – Shakopee, MN) recovered it at the UW-Eau Claire 37-yard line.
The Blugolds were unable to capitalize on the turnover, and struggled to move the ball on offense for the majority of the half.
After surrendering two touchdown passes in the first half, the Blugolds went into the locker room down 14-0 with just 57 yards of total offense.
UW-River Falls found the end zone first in the second half on a one-yard touchdown run to make it 20-0 after a failed two-point conversion attempt with 4:46 left in the third quarter.
The Falcons tacked on another touchdown on a 7-yard quarterback keeper from Sawyer Moon with to make it 27-0 with 12:48 left in the game.
The Blugolds took advantage of a big kick-off return from Matt Knapp (Sr. – Eau Claire, WI) that set up an 8-yard touchdown run from JT Denhartog (So. – Hopkins, MN) to cut into the Falcons' lead with 11:03 to play.
The Falcons would add another score on a pass to Michael Diggins to make it 34-7 with 6:50 left to play.
The Blugolds' offense would stay hot on their next possession on a three-yard touchdown run from Brian Kulaga (So. – Riverside, IL) set up by a key 48-yard completion from Denhartog to Leeshaun Evans (So. – Chicago, IL).
The Falcons would add another touchdown on a 74-yard touchdown pass to Trenton Monson with less than five minutes left in the game.
UW-Eau Claire answered right back again this time on a 61-yard touchdown pass from Denhartog to Knapp to make it a 41-21 game.
The Blugolds would threaten on their last drive of the game, but were unable to punch it in.
The Blugolds (1-4) will get ready to take on rival UW-Stout next week for the 2016 edition of the War on I-94. Kick-off will be at 6:00 p.m. at Don & Nona Williams Stadium.
Follow the action for all sports this season on Blugold Game Day.