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strong Second Half Lifts Blugolds Over River Falls
Posted: Saturday, October 2, 2004
EAU CLAIRE - The 21st-ranked UW-Eau Claire football team scored 30 unanswered points in the third and fourth quarter as the Blugolds topped UW-River Falls 37-15 here today at Carson Park.
The Blugolds improve to 3-1 on the season and 1-1 in Wisconsin Intercollegiate Athletic Conference action while the Falcons fall to 0-4 overall and 0-1 in WIAC play.
Neither team was able to do much with the ball in the first half, as the first 10 drives of the game saw seven punts, two fumbles and a missed field goal. The Blugolds appeared to get in the end zone near the end of the first quarter when Nels Fredrickson (Sr.-Burnsville, MN) hooked up with Joe Gast (Jr.-Waconia, MN) for a 22-yard touchdown pass but the play was called back due to an ineligible man downfield penalty on Eau Claire. The Blugolds settled for a 39-yard field goal attempt but the kick was too short, leaving the game in a scoreless tie.
The offensive troubles continued for both teams in the second quarter until Eau Claire finally broke the tie with five seconds left in the half. Fredrickson hooked up with Don Kahl (Sr.-Brookfield/East) for 19 yards to start the drive and Gast ran in from one-yard out later in the drive to put the Blugolds ahead 7-0 at halftime.
The Falcons took advantage of a Blugold fumble on a punt return early in the second half, when they took over possession on the Eau Claire 27-yard line. River Falls scored five plays later when John Peterlik ran in from one-yard out to tie the game at seven.
On the ensuing kickoff, Falcon head coach John O?Grady opted to try a surprise onside kick but the Blugolds recovered, gaining good field position. On third and long, Fredrickson avoided pressure from the Falcon defensive line and eventually hooked up with Darin Kryzanowski (Jr.-Thorp) for a 39-yard pass completion. The play brought the Blugolds to the nine-yard line and on third and goal Gast scored on a one-yard touchdown run for his second touchdown of the game. The kick was good and the Blugolds took a 14-7 lead.
Eau Claire again took advantage of good field position near the end of the third quarter, when Falcon quarterback Dave Affeldt fumbled on his own 13-yard line. The Blugolds could not get in the end zone but Andy Schneider (Jr.-Green Bay/Ashwaubenon) connected on a 25-yard field goal attempt to make the score 17-7.
Down by 10 points in the third quarter, the Falcons threw their first pass of the game on third and nine but Derek Sikora (Jr.-Neilsville) had position on the wide receiver and intercepted the ball. Gast rushed for 18 yards on the first play of the drive and Fredrickson hooked up with Tony Hull (Fr.-Blaine, MN/Spring Lake Park) for 24 more yards on the next play. Three plays later Fredrickson again found Hull, this time for a 10-yard touchdown pass to make the score 24-7 to end the third quarter.
After a Falcon punt, the Blugolds moved the ball 43 yards on six plays and Gast again found the end zone with a five-yard touchdown run, his third of the day. The PAT was no good but Eau Claire still held a 31-7 lead.