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Football Ends Season With Win Over Oshkosh
Posted: Saturday, November 13, 2004
EAU CLAIRE - The UW-Eau Claire football team totaled 404 yards of offense in a 31-19 victory over UW-Oshkosh in the season finale here today at Carson Park.
The Blugolds end the season at 7-3 overall and 4-3 in Wisconsin Intercollegiate Athletic Conference play while the Titans wind up at 5-5 on the season and 2-5 in the WIAC.
Eau Claire started out quick, holding Oshkosh to a three-and-out and then scoring on the Blugolds first possession of the game. Nels Fredrickson (Sr.-Burnsville, MN) connected on passes of 21 and 24 yards before hitting Matt Evensen (Jr.-Junction City/Auburndale) for a nine-yard touchdown strike and a 7-0 lead.
After a turnover on downs by the Titans, the Blugolds appeared to be heading in for another score until Jacob Malzahn recovered an Eau Claire fumble and returned it 82 yards for a game-tying touchdown. The Blugolds regained the lead early in the second quarter on a one-play scoring drive. After a Titan punt, Fredrickson hit Tony Hull (Fr.-Blaine, MN/Spring Lake Park) on a short crossing pattern but the speedster got the corner and ran it in the end zone for a 67-yard touchdown reception and a 14-7 Blugold advantage.
Oshkosh stayed in the game behind the leg of freshman punter Lucas Raschke, who hit a pair of field goals in the second quarter to make the score 14-13 late in the half. The field goals came from 43 and 23 yards, giving the kicker 19 successful attempts on the season, extending his WIAC record. He finished the season with the second most field goals in a season in NCAA Division III history. Raschke's 23-yarder came with just 1:04 left in the half and it appeared that the Blugolds were content with a lead as they came out with two consecutive rushing plays. A 15-yard Oshkosh penalty put the Blugolds in scoring range and Fredrickson completed passes of eight and 18 yards to Hull. With six seconds left, Eau Claire lined up for a field goal but holder Jesse Kryzanowski (Jr.-Thorp) took the ball and threw a deep pass to Don Kahl (Sr.-Brookfield/East) for a 26-yard touchdown pass and a 20-13 lead with one second left in half.
The Blugolds extended the lead with nine minutes remaining in the third quarter when Eddy Kaiser (Jr.-Duluth/East) plunged in from two yards out. The touchdown was set up by a 36-yard pass from Fredrickson to Darin Kryzanowski (Jr.-Thorp). The point-after was good for a 28-13 lead.
Neither team added to its' point total until just 3:21 remained in the game, when Andy Schneider (Jr.-Green Bay/Ashwaubenon) kicked a 21-yard field goal to give Eau Claire a 31-13 lead. Nick Wara threw a nine-yard touchdown pass in the final minute of the game to finish the scoring a 31-19.
Fredrickson led the way for the Blugolds, finishing the game 23-of-37 for 305 yards and a pair of touchdowns. He finishes his career third on the all-time Eau Claire passing yards list. Darin Kryzanowski led all receivers with six catches for 90 yards while Hull finished with four receptions for 114 yards and a touchdown.
Joe Gast (Jr.-Waconia, MN) finished the game with just 34 rushing yards, but finishes the year with a team-best 915 yards. He has now led the Blugolds in rushing the last three straight seasons.
Titan quarterback Nick Wara finished 23-of-50 for 224 yards and one touchdown. The Titans battled dropped passes and overthrown balls all afternoon long.
Schneider finished the season with seven field goals, tied for the second most in Eau Claire regular season history.
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