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Football Comes Up Short in WIAC Opener
By: Kevin Meinholz, Sports Information Director
STEVENS POINT, Wis. (UWECBlugolds.com) - Despite a comeback in the fourth quarter, the UW-Eau Claire football team was unable to get ahead and ended up falling short 48-33 to UW-Stevens Point at Goerke Field today.
With the Blugolds (2-2, 0-1 WIAC) down 35-13 at half time, they came out in the second half and scored three touchdowns while holding the Pointers (2-2, 1-0 WIAC) scoreless.
In the third quarter, Spencer Kehoe (Sr.-Clear Lake, Wis./Clear Lake) caught a five yard pass from Kyle Paulson (Sr.-Amery, Wis.) to make the score 35-19 but a failed extra point left the score unchanged.
Six minutes later at the beginning of the fourth quarter, Cory Sartorelli (Sr.-Appleton, Wis./North) took the ball three yards on the ground into the end zone and after a successful two-point conversion, the Blugolds were down by just eight at 35-27.
Bryant Dorsey (Sr.-De Pere, Wis.) then came up big for the Blugold defense on the Pointers' next drive, intercepting a pass and taking it back 49 yards for a Blugold touchdown to make the score 35-33. A failed two-point conversion left the Blugolds down by two.
But Stevens Point was able to once again give itself a cushion by scoring on its next two drives. The first score took just two plays and came on a 61-yard pass from Jared Beckwith to Jared Jenkins. After a Blugold drive ended with a punt, the Pointers used another big touchdown pass to continue to pull away. This time is was a 56-yard pass from Beckwith to Jenkins, making the score 48-33.
The Pointers got ahead early on the Blugolds today with two first quarter touchdowns. They also scored one in the second before Eau Claire was able to put points on the board. Stevens Point finished with the first half with touchdowns on five out of seven total drives.
For the game, the Blugolds finished with 388 yards of total offense, 320 passing and just 68 rushing. Stevens Point put up 547 yards of total offense, 100 of which came on the ground and the other 447 through the air. The 547 yards were the most for the Pointers since 2007 while the mark ties for sixth on the Blugolds all-time list for yards given up in a game.
Sartorelli led Eau Claire with 52 yards rushing and two touchdowns. David Goodman (So.-Neenah, Wis.) led the Blugolds in receiving with a career-high 103 yards on 10 catches. Paulson finished with a career-best 320 yards on 38-for-59 passing. The 38 completions and 59 attempts are both school records, while the 320 yards tied for 20th for most passing yards in a game. The 38 completions also ties for fifth on the WIAC's list for most completions in a game.
Garrett Medenwald led Stevens Point in rushing with 43 yards while Beckwith led in passing with 447 yards on 28-for-39 passing and five touchdowns. Jenkins led the receivers with a career-high 243 yards and four touchdowns on eight receptions. He fell just 60 yards short of tying the school record for most receiving yards in a game.
On defense, Chris Olson (So.-Stratford, Wis.) led with 11 tackles (seven solos, four assists) while Granger Taft (Jr.-Rosemount, Minn.) recorded nine. Dorsey finished the day with seven. For Stevens Point, Bryan Blum led with 20 tackles while John Jones finished with 11.
Up next, Eau Claire will face UW-Whitewater. Action is set to get underway next Saturday at Perkins Stadium in Whitewater at 3 p.m.