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Football Loses Close Battle at St. John's
By: Kevin Meinholz, Sports Information Director
COLLEGEVILLE, Minn. (UWECBlugolds.com) - The UW-Eau Claire football team played a close game at 11th-ranked St. John's University but could not pull off the win and fell 35-27 today at Clemens Stadium.
While St. John's (2-0) struck in the first quarter with a touchdown, the Blugolds (1-1) answered in the second quarter with a 42-yard touchdown pass from Kyle Paulson (Sr.-Amery, Wis.) to David Goodman (So.-Neenah, Wis.) to tie it back up at 7-7.
The Johnnies then went back up with two more touchdowns, one in the second quarter and one in the third, to make the score 20-7. On the Johnnies' touchdown in the second, a failed two-point conversion would prove to help the Blugolds later in the game.
Eau Claire once again answered by scoring the following two touchdowns, both passing, and Eau Claire saw its first lead of the game at 21-20 in the fourth. Spencer Kehoe (Sr.-Clear Lake, Wis.) scored on a 26-yard pass in the third and Brett Schreiner (Sr.-Somerset, Wis.) caught and eight-yard pass in the fourth to give the Blugolds the lead.
Just over five minutes after the Blugolds took the lead, St. John's once again found the end zone and went back up with a score of 28-21. Two minutes after that, with 1:39 remaining, Cory Sartorelli (Sr.-Appleton, Wis./North) put the Blugolds right back in the game with a 15-yard rushing touchdown. However, a failed extra point by Spencer Jacobson (Fr.-Platteville, Wis.) left the Blugolds down by one (28-27).
St. John's then scored once more with 55 seconds remaining to make the score 35-27, and the Blugolds had their final chance to tie the game back up.
After a touchback on the kickoff, Eau Claire started the game's final drive on its own 20 yard line. The Blugolds marched down the field, and after eight plays, found themselves on St. John's nine yard line. With only six seconds left, Eau Claire tried two passes but both fell incomplete and the clock ran out, giving the Johnnies the 35-27 win.
The Johnnies did most of their work on the ground today with 296 rushing yards while they passed for 166 for a total of 462. Eau Claire finished with 286 yards passing and 99 rushing for 385 total yards of offense.
Paulson led Eau Claire in passing with 286 yards, the third highest single-game total in his career, while completing 18 passes on 35 attempts and three touchdowns. Kehoe led the receivers with 105 yards on five receptions and Sartorelli led Eau Claire in rushing with 79 yards with 22 attempts.
St. John's Joe Boyle finished with 166 yards passing, going 14-for-21. Jakob Reding led the Johnnies with 96 rushing yards on 19 attempts, while a total of seven recorded at least one rush in the game. Sam Pederson finished with five receptions and 61 yards to lead the Johnnies in receiving.
On defense, Ryan Leis (Sr.-Alma Center, Wis./Lincoln) led Eau Claire with nine tackles (eight solo, one assist), including a sack. Brad Nierenhausen (Sr.-Cottage Grove, Minn./Park) also picked up a sack and finished with six total tackles. St. John's Ryan Wimmer and Nick Gunderson each finished with nine tackles to lead the team.
The Blugolds will be back on the road next weekend when they travel to Holland, Michigan for a game against Hope College. Kickoff is set for Saturday at 1 p.m. ET (noon Eau Claire time).