Blugolds overpowered by the Warhawks

UW-Eau Claire football cannot keep No.2 UW-Whitewater at bay

More stories from Parker Reed


Photo by Kelsey Smith

The Blugolds did not have an answer for the high powered Warhawk offense.

UW-Eau Claire football was overpowered by No.2 UW-Whitewater Saturday, as the Warhawks defeated the Blugolds by a score of 48-6.

This puts Eau Claire’s season record at 2-6, and 1-4 in Wisconsin Intercollegiate Athletic Conference play (WIAC). Whitewater remains unbeaten.

Eau Claire starting quarterback JT Denhartog said his team’s performance is due in large part to not taking advantage of opportunities.

“I think we did well in certain areas, but there are definitely still a lot of things to improve on,” Denhartog said. “When we moved the ball on offense, we just hurt ourselves. Defensively it was sort of the same thing, where we didn’t make some big stops and ended up hurting ourselves.”

The Warhawks came out with guns blazing, as they put up 10 quick points in the first quarter. Following that, Eau Claire was outscored 17-6 in the second quarter, putting the Blugolds behind 21 points going into halftime.

Eau Claire’s lone touchdown came with two minutes and 57 seconds left in the second quarter, as quarterback JT Denhartog completed a 59-yard touchdown throw to familiar target, senior wide receiver Matthew Knapp. Denhartog said that Knapp’s abilities have not gone unnoticed in the locker room.

“He’s just a really good player,” Denhartog said. “It is probably a consensus on our team that he is the top guy. So, whenever you can get your best player the ball, good things are going to happen. We are going to keep getting him the ball these next couple of games too.”

After the Blugold Marching Band had finished their final half time show performance of the year, Eau Claire returned to the field to face a reenergized Whitewater team. The Blugolds were outscored 21-0 in the third quarter of play, and the Warhawk defense did not let up whatsoever.

In the fourth quarter, both squads laid goose eggs, and the final score read 48-6 in favor of Whitewater. Although Whitewater is a high powered team, Denhartog said Eau Claire can’t just turn the ball over and give them more chances to score.

“We can’t turn the ball over,” Denhartog said. “I can’t turn the ball over on offense, because that hurt us a couple of times. They scored 14 points off of those turnovers, so that was pretty big. We just have to sustain some drives offensively. We would make a big play, shoot ourselves in the foot, and then it would go downhill from there. We just have to be more consistent overall.”

Whitewater was a very daunting task for Eau Claire to have to deal with, as Whitewater is extremely accustomed to championship caliber seasons. In the past decade, the Warhawks have won six Division III National Championships. Unfortunately for Eau Claire, next week’s opponent will not be any less formidable.

The Blugolds will travel this Saturday to Ralph E. Davis Pioneer Stadium in Platteville to play a strong UW-Platteville team. The Pioneers currently hold a 6-2 record, and dominated UW-Stout this past Saturday 55-7 in Menominee.

Denhartog said that Eau Claire “prefers to play at Carson Park,” but that will not hold the team back from preparing hard this coming week in practice to try and capture their third win of the season.

Eau Claire has two more games this season (Saturday against Platteville, and a week from Saturday against UW-Oshkosh at Carson Park), so the Blugolds are hoping to add to their win total before the 2016 regular season comes to an end.

The game this coming Saturday begins at 1 p.m., and can be heard live on Blugold Radio 99.9FM WDRK-Cornell, and streamed online at The game can also be watched online at by clicking on the Blugold Game Day tab.