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Blugolds stuff Gustie Ground Game In Win
Posted: Saturday, October 23, 2004
ST. PETER, Minn. - The eighth-ranked UW-Eau Claire men's football team allowed just 41 rushing yards on 26 attempts while the Blugold offense mounted 528 yards of total offense in a 30-14 victory over non-conference opponent Gustavus Adolphus College here today at Lloyd Hollingsworth Field.
The win improves the Blugolds to 6-1 on the season while the Golden Gusties fall to just 1-6 overall. Eau Claire has just three games remaining on its schedule in the Blugolds' pursuit of a playoff appearance.
Eau Claire was the first on the board after a Gustavus punt. The Blugolds converted on two third-down attempts before the Gustie defense held on a third and two from their own four-yard line. Andy Schneider (Jr.-Green Bay/Ashwaubenon) connected on a 23-yard field goal attempt to give Eau Claire a 3-0 lead halfway through the first quarter.
The Blugolds extended the lead to 10-0 early in the second, when Nels Fredrickson (Sr.-Burnsville, MN) found fullback Mike Hennessey (Jr.-Somerset) in the end zone for a four-yard touchdown pass. On the next possession, Eau Claire was unable to take advantage of a Gustie fumble in their own territory which could have widened the lead. Instead, Gustavus finally got on the board with just 29 seconds remaining in the half, when they moved the ball 45 yards on six plays and scored on a touchdown pass from Jordan Stolp to Sean Smith. A 45-yard interception return by Kevin Hegland set up the touchdown drive.
The Blugolds went ahead 17-7 on the first drive of the second half, going 75 yards on nine plays for the score. Eddy Kaiser (Jr.-Duluth, MN/East) carried the ball five times for 23 yards, including a three-yard touchdown run. Fredrickson hooked up with Matt Evensen (Jr.-Junction City/Auburndale) for a 35-yard gain on the drive.
The Gusties refused to go away, however, as they took the ensuing kick 66 yards for their second touchdown of the game. Stolp found Mitch Anderson for a 30-yard gain during the drive, setting up a one-yard touchdown scramble by the Gustie quarterback.
The Blugold defense stepped up the rest of the game and would not allow Gustavus in the end zone the rest of the way. Schneider made the score 20-14 with six minutes remaining in the third quarter, when he connected on a 25-yard field goal attempt. Eau Claire's defense did not allow the Gusties past their own 34-yard line on the next two possessions and Schneider hit yet another field goal, his third of the game, as he hit from 39-yards out with 10:41 remaining in the game to give Eau Claire a 23-14 lead and a little breathing room.
The Gusties drove down to the Eau Claire 19-yard line on the ensuing drive but Brent Tieri (Jr.-Buffalo, MN/Rockford) ended the drive with an interception at the five-yard line. Tieri ran the ball back eight yards to the 13, setting up a nine play, 87-yard Blugold drive. Kaiser capped off the drive with a 13-yard touchdown run to give Eau Claire a 30-14 victory.
Both Kaiser and Joe Gast (Jr.-Waconia, MN) gained more than 100 yards on the ground, as Kaiser tallied a career-high 131 yards on 20 attempts and two touchdowns. Gast carried the ball 19 times for 119 yards, his third 100-yard game of the season. Fredrickson finished 21-of-35 for 235 yards and a touchdown while Evensen caught eight passes for 108 yards. Tony Hull (Fr.-Blaine, MN/Spring Lake Park) added seven receptions for 51 yards.
The Blugolds return to Wisconsin Intercollegiate Athletic Conference action next weekend, when they travel to Platteville to battle the Pioneers. Kick off is slated for 1:00 p.m.
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