Blugolds rebound against UW-Platteville

A week after a tough defeat to the UW-River Falls Falcons, the UW-Eau Claire football team rebounded to defeat the UW-Platteville Pioneers. The Blugolds handed the Pioneers their fifth loss of the season with a 20-10 victory. Eau Claire improved to 5-2 overall and 3-2 in the Wisconsin Intercollegiate Athletic Conference.

The Pioneers scored first with a field goal on their first drive of the game. The first quarter ended without the Blugolds scoring, but that did not last long.

Junior running back Cory Sartorelli scored the first touchdown of the game just over a minute into the second quarter. Sartorelli had a good day on the ground rushing for 188 yards on 34 carries and added two touchdowns.

“Cory’s doing a good job,” head coach Todd Glaser said. “He’s got really good vision finding the hole and our receivers are going down field and blocking too, and we need to continue to keep doing that.”

The first half ended with the Blugolds ahead 6-3. On the first offensive play in the second half, Sartorelli went 85 yards for the touchdown to put the Blugolds ahead 13-3. The play was the second longest touchdown run in Blugold football history. The only other longer run came earlier this year on a 91-yard rushing touchdown by Sartorelli.

Platteville scored their only touchdown of the game in the fourth quarter. With 9:45 left in the game, the Pioneers got within three points down only 13-10. That is as close as they would get though. Junior quarterback Kyle Paulson scored on a 42-yard touchdown run with 38 seconds left in the game to seal it for the Blugolds.

The Blugold offense finished the game with 379 yards and the Pioneers totaled 344 yards. The Blugold defense bent but did not break as they kept the team in the game. The defense has been solid all year, but last week struggled a bit against the River Falls offense.

“We just got back to doing the things we do well,” senior cornerback Kyle Meulemans said. “And we just executed a little bit better than we did the previous week.”

Next up for the Blugolds, they will travel to UW-Whitewater for a highly anticipated rematch. It will be a non-conference matchup but will certainly hold a high importance for both teams.

The Blugolds already have two losses and one more might keep them out of the playoffs. Whitewater was upset this previous weekend by UW-Stevens Point and will be looking to avoid a second loss on the season.

Although it is a big game, coach Glaser wants the team to approach it as just another game.

“We just got to clean up some of the things we weren’t doing so well against Platteville, worry about ourselves and go down there and play our brand of football,” Glaser said.

The Blugolds will hope to avenge a 16-14 defeat earlier this season against Whitewater. Kickoff is set for noon next Saturday at Perkins Stadium in Whitewater.