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Football Comes From Behind To Edge WIAC Rival
Posted: Saturday, November 10, 2007
EAU CLAIRE, Wis. - With a late Cory Sartorelli (So. -Appleton/North) touchdown blast and a career day from Tony Hull (Sr. -Blaine, MN/Spring Lake Park), the UW-Eau Claire football team took a 17-14 game over UW-Stout to conclude the 2007 regular season.
The 19th-ranked Blugolds have an 8-2 season, the first winning campaign under second-year head coach Todd Glaser. They also are 5-2 in Wisconsin Intercollegiate Athletic Conference (WIAC) games, finishing second in the conference. The Blue Devils are 4-6 overall and 3-4 in WIAC games for 2007.
Eau Claire got the early lead after the eighth blocked kick of the season. Stout started the first drive of the game at its own 27. The first pass went for 50 yards as the Blue Devils got to the Blugolds' 21. They would attempt a 45-yard field goal, but Matt Ebner (Jr.-Mindoro) knocked it down and picked it up at the 32. It was the third blocked field goal of the year.
On Eau Claire's drive, the team made it to Stout's 40 before Mitch Schaeuble (Sr.-Wrightstown) led Tony Hull down the middle for a long touchdown. Craig Kolb (So.-Marshfield) made the extra point as Eau Claire went up 7-0 with 7:52 to play in the first quarter.
Though neither side scored the rest of the first, Eau Claire had a chance early in the second. Aided by a pass interference call, the Blugolds marched to Stout's 21 before drawing a holding penalty. In a half full of penalties, Eau Claire took another on their way back to the 37, where they had to punt.
The next Blugold drive ended in Stout territory, but again resulted in no points. Abou Amara, Jr. (So.-Madison/East) rushed for 22 of the 37 yards as Eau Claire went from the Eau Claire 38 to Stout's 25. Kolb's 42-yard attempt sailed wide left as the score remained 7-0.
The Blue Devils then moved down the field in 12 plays, ending it with a tying touchdown pass. The big play of the drive was a fourth-and-10 from the Blugolds' 30. Kyle Provos completed the pass to Calvin White, who made it to the 5. Two plays later, Provos found Shawn Korth for the 4-yard score. The half would end knotted up at 7-7.
Eau Claire took the ball after half and got just past the 50 on its third play. A bad shotgun snap followed and Sartorelli recovered, but not before Eau Claire lost 14 yards. Eau Claire was able to run a play the next down, but it resulted in an interception as Stephen Schils, the conference leader in picks, pulled off a juggling grab.
Stout turned it into points, moving 52 yards in 10 plays. The team kept making short gains until it got to the 19, when the Blue Devils threw one of many well-executed screens. This one to Chase Unbehaun resulted in a touchdown and 14-7 Blue Devil lead.
The Blugolds struck right back, going on a 72-yard, 14-play drive. Consecutive passes of 14 and 19 yards to Tony Hull were big, but the key play was a fake punt on fourth-and-3 from Stout's 40. Schaeuble found Tony Hull for 11 yards on the trick play. The drive ended with Kolb making a 27-yard attempt.
Kolb would try another field goal on the next drive, but it went wide right. Tony Hull had a 22-yard snag during the drive, but another fourth-down conversion again kept it alive. Sartorelli had the 2-yard gain on fourth-and-1 at Stout's 39. It all went for no points, though, as Kolb missed the 29-yard kick.
Into the fourth quarter, Stout would have a lengthy drive after the miss, but it originally was a three-and-out. Eau Claire had roughed the punter on fourth down and the Blue Devils used it to continue the drive, which made it to Eau Claire's 32 before ending on downs. Long plays on a third-and-11 and a third-and-17 also kept the march going.
While Eau Claire had to punt on the ensuing drive, the team came through on the following one. It started at the Blugolds' 46 with 4:17 to play. It was in danger of ending at the Blue Devils' 45 on fourth-and-1, but Sartorelli narrowly got the yard. Two plays later, Schaeuble hooked up with Tony Hull for 30 yards and got to the 14. Sartorelli ended the drive on a 2-yard rush that put Eau Claire up 17-14.
Stout had 1:24 to get within field goal range and was making some noise, passing its way to Eau Claire's 47. On fourth down, Provos threw a pick to Craig Polifka (Jr.-Kewaunee), who made a diving effort at Eau Claire's 27. The turnover would seal the deal in Eau Claire's 17-14 season finale.
Eau Claire outgained Stout 359-to-332 overall and 283-to-264 in the air. The rushing attack outdid the Blue Devils 76-to-68.
Schaeuble completed 18-of-33 for 283 yards. He also had a touchdown and an interception. Tony Hull had a fantastic game, reeling in 12 receptions for 213 yards and a score. It was the second-most yards in one game for a Blugold all-time. The record is 217 by Jason Foemmel against UW-Whitewater in 2000. Sartorelli managed 74 yards today on 25 carries.
Sam Cummings (Sr.-Rochester, MN/John Marshall) led the defense in tackles with 14 while Polifka had the lone turnover.
Though the regular season is concluded, the NCAA Division III playoff selections are announced on Sunday.