Blugolds grounded by Warhawks

Story by Steve Fruehauf, Copy Editor

UW-Eau Claire suffered their sixth loss of the season after a tough 19-10 bout against the Warhawks in Whitewater last Saturday. An inability to put points on the board in the second half was the cause of their struggle.

The first quarter ended with a field goal made by each team, a 28-yard kick for UW-Whitewater and a 33-yarder made by Eau Claire.

The Warhawks then made their second field goal along with a touchdown after a two yard rush in the second quarter. Eau Claire was also able to find the end zone, squeaking in a 23-yard touchdown pass with only seconds left in the half.

While keeping it close at half, Blugolds head coach Todd Glaser said there was still room for improvement. He said that his team’s defense was bailing out the offense too much.

“I thought all of the way through the game we executed well,” Glaser said. “The problem was a couple times we got down in the red zone and we didn’t come away with points. When you play good teams, you have to make sure to get points on the board.”

The trend continued for the Blugolds in the second half. They attempted another field goal from 26 yards out near the end of the third quarter but were unsuccessful after the ball bounced off of the right upright.

Whitewater added two more field goals before the end of the game. They made their first in the middle of the third from 25 yards out and their last from 39 yards in the
fourth quarter.

While senior linebacker Nick Slade thought holding them to 19 was a positive, he said it’s about winning the game in the long run.

“Holding them to 13 in the first half and then six in the second half … it obviously wasn’t enough in the end but it’s something to build on,” Slade said.

The Blugolds finished with 292
total yards of offense on the night compared to Whitewater’s 375. Eau Claire quarterback Austin Neu went 15 of 26 for 199 yards through the air along with a touchdown and an interception Running back Joel Sweeney added 67 yards on the ground on 22 carries.

Whitewater sophomore quarterback Matt Behrendt threw 12 of 18 for 124 yards and two interceptions. Senior running back Desmin Ward ran for 135 yards off 27 carries.

With the loss, the Blugolds fall to 3-6 on the season, now tied for fourth in the conference. They will play their final regular season game this coming Saturday at Carson Park against River Falls, who is currently fifth in the conference.

Senior tight end Austin Goetsch said he thinks it’s going to be a very tough fought game.

“We are really excited to get back at it and play UW-River Falls one last time at Carson Park for all of the seniors,” Goetsch said. “I know it’s my last game so it’s going to be pretty emotional and people are going to be coming out and playing like it’s literally their last game because it is. So it’s going to be pretty special.”