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Football Wins Wild One Over No. 15 Stevens Point
Posted: Saturday, October 9, 2004
EAU CLAIRE - The 18th-ranked UW-Eau Claire football team held a 21-point lead heading into the fourth quarter and barely held off a furious Stevens Point rally, as the 15th-ranked Pointers missed a game-tying point after attempt with 1:10 remaining in the game to give the Blugolds a 28-27 victory here today at Carson Park.
The win moves the Blugold to 4-1 on the season and 2-1 in Wisconsin Intercollegiate Athletic Conference play while the Pointers fall to 2-3 overall and 0-2 in WIAC action. Eau Claire has now won three of the last five contests against the Pointers after dropping 12 straight games before that.
The Blugolds got the scoring started on the first drive of the game, marching 74 yards on 10 plays for the touchdown. Nels Fredrickson (Sr.-Burnsville, MN) hit Darin Kryzanowski (Jr.-Thorp) for a 15-yard touchdown pass to finish the drive. Joe Gast (Jr.-Waconia, MN) kept the drive alive on third-and-eight with a 28-yard run down the right sideline. Neither team was able to get anything going the rest of the quarter as the Blugolds took a 7-0 lead into the second quarter.
Eau Claire struck again early in the quarter as Gast broke through for a one-yard touchdown run. Fredrickson threw for 47 yards on the drive to set up the score. After another Pointer punt, the Blugolds drove 79 yards on 11 plays for their third touchdown of the day. On fourth-and-five from the Pointer 45-yard line, Eau Claire coach Todd Hoffner reached back in the playbook and called for a fake punt. Punter Mitch Schaeuble (Fr.-Wrightstown) rolled to his left after receiving the snap and hit Tony Hull (Fr.-Blaine, MN/Spring Lake Park) for the first down to keep the drive alive. Two plays later Fredrickson found Hull for a 35-yard touchdown strike. The point-after was no good but the Blugolds carried a 20-0 lead into the locker room at halftime. Fredrickson threw for 236 yards in the half while Gast carried the ball 16 times for 86 yards and a touchdown.
The Pointers climbed back into the game on the first drive of the second half, marching 77 yards on 12 plays to make the score 20-7. Brett Borchart threw a 21-yard touchdown pass for the score. The Blugolds responded five minutes later, when Gast started the drive with a 35-yard scamper. Two plays later Fredrickson went deep for Kryzanowski, who hauled in the pass for a 53-yard gain. Fredrickson found Matt Evensen (Jr.-Junction City/Auburndale) for a six-yard touchdown pass two plays later and then converted the two-point conversion with his legs to make the score 28-7 heading into the fourth quarter.
The Pointers continued to battle and came within two touchdowns on a Borchart touchdown run from seven yards out to make the score 28-14. Stevens Point converted a fourth-and-five to keep the drive alive. Exactly three minutes later the Pointers made it a one score game, when they went 79 yards on just five plays. Borchart completed passes of 40 and 20 yards on the drive to make the score 28-21.
On the ensuing drive, the Blugolds drove to the Pointer eight-yard line, looking to put the game away. Eau Claire appeared to get in the end zone but a pass interference call against the Blugolds negated the touchdown. On the very next play Fredrickson coughed the ball up, giving Stevens Point 2:49 to tie the game.
The Pointer offense went to work and drove 87 yards on eight plays for a touchdown. Borchart hooked up with Tony Romano for a 28-yard touchdown strike, which appeared to tie the game. Pointer kicker John Ryan's extra-point attempt was wide right, however, leaving Stevens Point one point behind. Eau Claire needed one first down to end the game but the Pointer defense held firm and used all three timeouts, giving them 33 seconds for a game-winning drive. This time it was the Blugold defense that held, stopping the Pointers and grabbing a 28-27 victory in thrilling fashion.
Gast rushed 33 times for a career-high 159 yards and a touchdown. His previous career-high was 135 yards which he did twice, including last week. Fredrickson went 24-of-36 for 355 yards, a new care