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Football Loses AnoTher Close One
Posted: Saturday, November 4, 2006
EAU CLAIRE - For the second consecutive week the UW-Eau Claire football team could not hold on to a late fourth quarter lead as UW-Oshkosh scored with under four minutes to play to defeat the Blugolds 25-21 today on Senior Day at Carson Park.
The loss drops the Blugolds to an overall record of 2-7 and a Wisconsin Intercollegiate Athletic Conference (WIAC) record of 1-5. The Titans improve to an overall record of 5-4 and a conference record of 3-3. This is just Oshkosh's second win in the last 11 meetings and its second win in a row over the Blugolds. After the Titans were forced to punt on their opening possession, the Blugolds ran a reverse pass with senior backup quarterback Steve Farina (Sr.-New Berlin, WI/Eisenhower) on their first play from scrimmage and Farina connected with senior wide out Matt Evensen (Sr.-Junction City, WI/Auburndale) for a 48-yard gain. Craig Kolb (Fr.-Marshfield, WI) then came on, but his 37-yard field goal attempt went wide left and the game remained scoreless.
On the ensuing Titan possession, Oshkosh would drive the ball down the field with most of the yards coming on the ground. Titans tailback Andy Moriarty capped off the drive with a three-yard touchdown run to make the score 7-0. The Blugolds then drove down the field again on the Titans, but another missed field goal, this time from 44 yards, kept the score 7-0 in favor of the Titans.
Senior Brad Alexejun (Sr.-Green Bay, WI/Ashwaubenon) then forced a Titans fumble on the second play of the second quarter and the ball was recovered by Nate Rucker (Jr.-Green Bay, WI/Southwest). However, the turnover did not lead to points as Eau Claire was forced to punt. After the Titans were held, the Blugolds special teams, who have played well all season, came through again as Chris Hull (Jr.-Blaine, MN/Spring Lake Park) blocked the punt and ball went out of bounds at the Oshkosh 31-yard-line. It was the Blugolds fourth blocked punt of the season and Hull's third blocked punt.
But once again the Blugolds would not get any points as they turned the ball over on downs. Sam Cummings (Jr.-Rochester, MN/John Marshall) then picked off a Titan pass three plays later and the Blugolds started at the Titans 38-yard-line. But a sack pushed the Blugolds back and they were forced to punt.
It wasn't until the next Eau Claire possession that the Blugolds got on the board. On third-and-four at the Titans 36 yard line, quarterback Kyle Paulson (So.-Amery, WI) scrambled made a couple people miss and broke a couple of tackles on his to a 36-yard touchdown run. However, the Blugolds would miss the extra point and the score was 7-6 Oshkosh with a minute to play in the first half. Oshkosh ran out the clock in the half and the teams went into the locker room.
With the help of four straight pass completions to Tony Hull (Jr.-Blaine, MN/Spring Lake Park); the Blugolds took the opening possession of the second half down inside the Oshkosh 10-yard-line. On third-and-goal at the one, Cory Sartorelli (Fr.-Appleton, WI/North) was stopped for no gain and the Blugolds were forced to kick a field goal. Kolb came on and connected from 18 yards to make the score 9-7 Blugolds. The field goal broke the school record for field goals in a season with 11.
The Titans answered with a field goal of their own, a 29-yard field goal by Lucas Raschke to make the score 10-9 Titans. After a Titans punt, the Blugolds drove the ball down the field and Sartorelli dove over the pile from one yard out with 12:20 to play in the football game. The Blugolds went for two, but the conversion failed and the score was 15-10 Eau Claire.
On the ensuing possession, the Titans would get a 47-yard pass play down to the Eau Claire 24-yard-line. Moriarty would then carry the ball four straight times and then scored from three yards out. Moriarty then ran in the two-point conversion to make the score 18-15 Titans.
The teams continued to go back and forth as Paulson hit Matt Evensen down the middle