Football takes down the Falcons

Story by Emily Gresbrink

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The UW-Eau Claire Blugold Football team defeated the UW-River Falls Falcons in a 38-17 game last Saturday at Carson Park, bringing their current record to 2-1.

The game, attended by approximately 3,000 people, started off quickly with two touchdowns and a field goal by the end of the first quarter. The Falcons brought in one field goal with no time remaining at the end of the first half.

Junior quarterback Austin Neu scored the first touchdown with a 26-yard run just over eight minutes into the game and passed 194 yards out of 373 yards of
offensive play.

“I thought the team played really well — we started strong and finished strong,” he said. “I think our team felt really confident and we now have a pretty good outlook on the rest of the year.”

Neu added that the Blugold Marching Band’s halftime appearance raised the team’s spirit.

“It was nice to see the band out there for sure, though … it was a great performance by them that day,” he said.

The third quarter produced two more Blugold touchdowns and a final TD in the fourth quarter. The Falcons scored two touchdowns in the fourth quarter, but not enough to give them a victory.

Sophomore Joel Sweeney was responsible for three of the five rushing touchdowns during the game ­— the first time the Blugolds have tallied three rushing touchdowns since Sweeney ran them against Bethel University (Tenn.) in September 2010.

Additionally, freshman Josh Albrecht scored by kicking a 43-yard field goal, giving him the tie for the 13th longest field goal in Eau Claire history.

“The kids came out and played hard and it’s always nice to get a win at home,” coach Todd Glaser said. “We have a good football team when we play like we should; Saturday, they played like they should.”

On the defensive line, senior Chad Samuelson and junior Kyle Thorpe had seven tackles; junior Pat Hendricks scored a sack.

While the Falcons are part of the WIAC Conference, cost-cutting measures were taken, meaning this is not the last time the Blugolds will see River Falls — the two will match up on Nov. 12 in River Falls for the WIAC contest.

“By then I think we’ll both be slightly different teams, so it’ll be a tough contest,” Glaser said.

The Blugolds head west to Menonomie this weekend to face UW-Stout in their first WIAC conference game set for 1 p.m.

“Stout’s a very good football team and I think it’s always nice when you win because you have a little bounce in your step. But that’s over now,” Glaser said. “We have a 24 hour rule where you enjoy a win or agonize over a loss — now it’s time to move on for Stout.”

After this weekend, the Blugolds come to Carson for Homecoming against UW-Oshkosh.

“We’re focused on this week (against Stout), but obviously we’re excited for homecoming too,” Neu said

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