Blugolds stunned during final seconds

The crowd erupted when the UW-Eau Claire football team scored to take a 20-14 lead with 28 seconds left in the game. The excitement only lasted for about 22 seconds though, as the UW-Stevens Point Pointers scored with six seconds left in the game to defeat the Blugolds 21-20.

For most of the day Saturday, the Blugolds were in control of the Pointers. The defense was solid and junior running back Cory Sartorelli had a good day running the ball. But it just wasn’t enough as the Pointers made the best of their opportunities and came out on top in the end.

“This is a tough one when you’re this close and you have opportunities to win and you don’t, they’re always tough that way,” head coach Todd Glaser said.

There was no scoring in the first quarter due to the solid play of both defenses. But just over a minute into the second quarter, Sartorelli took a pass from junior quarterback Kyle Paulson 29 yards for the 7-0 lead. No team scored the rest of the half as the Blugolds led 7-0 at halftime.

The Blugolds took a 14-0 lead as Sartorelli scored again early on in the third quarter, this time on a 43 yard run. The Pointers scored two touchdowns after that, both on nice pass plays, to tie the game 14-14. Both teams battled back and forth and it looked like the game was headed to overtime.

The Blugolds had the ball with 1:02 left in the fourth quarter and were trying to get in field goal position. But Sartorelli had a different idea when he scored his third touchdown of the day on a 10 yard run. Junior placekicker Craig Kolb’s extra point was blocked though, and that proved to be crucial.

The Pointers received great field position on the kickoff as the Blugolds were flagged for a 15 yard face mask penalty. The Pointers completed a 18 yard pass and then quickly spiked the ball to stop the clock.

Then the next play the Pointers quarterback dropped back and threw the ball up for grabs. The Pointers receiver made a bit of an adjustment and came down with the ball in the end zone.

The Blugolds had one last hope to block the extra point but it was to no avail and the Pointers shocked the Blugolds in the final seconds.

“We just fell like one play short today and our team played its heart out today,” said Sartorelli. “We just didn’t get it done.”

The seniors played their last game at Carson Park Saturday as it was Senior Day for the Blugolds. Unfortunately, the Blugolds didn’t get to send them out the way they hoped.

“That’s the toughest for our seniors, they’ve done a great deal of good things for our program,” Glaser said. “We wanted to make sure they had a win on their last home game.”

The Blugolds will wrap up their season next weekend as they travel to Menomonie to take on rival UW-Stout. Kickoff for the game is set for 1 p.m.