Blugolds take it into double overtime, 27-20

The UW-Eau Claire football team continued its winning ways on Saturday against UW-La Crosse, winning its third game in a row.

This game was back and forth from the start and didn’t end after four quarters. The hard-fought battle was decided in double overtime when senior Joe Gast got into the endzone, giving the Blugolds a 27-20 victory.

“There is no easy game in the WIAC.”
Dan Karcz

With the victory Saturday, the team is now 3-1 in the conference (4-3 overall) and continues to build momentum as the season continues. Saturday’s game was nothing short of a classic thriller.

“It was the best game I’ve ever been part of,” junior Shaggy Murphy said. “One word comes to mind: ecstatic. We were very happy to win this close game.”

Murphy said the offensive line deserves a lot of credit for the win on Saturday.

The statistics back that up. Gast ran for 152 yards and two touchdowns against the Eagles.

“We really wanted to get the running game going for Joe,” junior Dan Karcz said. “It had been struggling, so it was really exciting to see Joe have a game like that.”

La Crosse started out the game going 78 yards in 14 plays and getting on the scoreboard first with a touchdown by Corey Geldernick. The ‘Golds later responded with a 40-yard field goal by sophomore Mitch Schaeuble, and they picked up a touchdown from Gast on a 2-yard run, taking a 10-7 lead for much of the game. In the fourth quarter, Schaeuble had another field goal, this time from 27 yards out to put the ‘Golds up 13-7.

The game really heated up when La Crosse quarterback John Schumann connected on a pass with running back Dan Hall for a 63-yard touchdown to tie it up 13-13. It seemed almost a sure thing lining up for the extra point that the Eagles would take a 14-13 lead; however, the defense was able to break through the line. Junior Brad Alexejun got his hand on the ball to block the extra point, leaving the score tied at 13.

“It was a low kick, and I think a couple people got their hands on it,” Alexejun said.

“It was a huge play. Every point counts, and the score stayed the same the rest of the fourth quarter,” Murphy said. “The play by Brad gave us a lot of momentum.”

In the first overtime, both teams started from the 25-yard line and were able to score touchdowns. When the Blugolds scored a touchdown in the second overtime, they were able to prevent the Eagles from getting in the end zone.

“It would have been heartbreaking to lose,” Alexejun said. “We felt liked we deserved to win this game.”

The win keeps the Blugolds second in the conference behind UW-Whitewater, the ‘Golds only conference loss of the season.

“We can only worry about ourselves and what we’re doing,” Karcz said. “There is no easy game in the WIAC, so we just have to take one game at a time. Hopefully, something will be there for us in the end.”

Up next for the Blugolds is a trip to Stevens Point to face the Pointers at 1 p.m. on Saturday.