The official student newspaper of University of Wisconsin-Eau Claire since 1923.

The Spectator

The official student newspaper of University of Wisconsin-Eau Claire since 1923.

The Spectator

The official student newspaper of University of Wisconsin-Eau Claire since 1923.

The Spectator

    Blugolds take down St. Norbert

    Janie Boschma

    DE PERE – A last minute touchdown from senior Chris Hull gave the Blugold football team the win over St. Norbert College Saturday. The Blugolds will now advance to the second round of the NCAA Div. III playoffs when they head to St. Paul to face Bethel College (Minn.).

    Down 20-17 with less than a minute remaining in the game, it looked like the end of the Blugolds’ season. At the 28-yard line, facing a third and 10 situation with only 46 seconds left, senior quarterback Mitch Schaeuble launched a pass to Chris Hull in the back left corner of the end zone. Hull caught the ball over his shoulder, putting Eau Claire up for good.

    “Right when I caught it I was so happy,” Chris Hull said. “I knew our defense would step up.”

    The Green Knights threatened to retaliate, but senior Zach Paul picked off their quarterback with only 11 seconds remaining.

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    It was a last-minute victory after the Blugolds had controlled the first quarter of the game, putting up an early 10-0 score. Eau Claire got the ball on its own 27 and kept the drive alive when Schaeuble connected with Chris Hull for a 19-yard gain and Tony Hull for a 15-yard gain. Sophomore Cory Sartorelli ran the ball in for a six-yard touchdown.

    “Mitch (Schaeuble) is a fighter,” Chris Hull said. “I love him as a quarterback.”

    On St. Norbert’s first drive, junior Craig Polifka picked off the Green Knights’ quarterback. His two pickoffs brought his total to six, a team high.

    The Blugolds got to the Green Knights’ nine-yard line and sophomore Craig Kolb made a 27-yard field goal, giving Eau Claire the lead going into the second quarter

    The Blugolds had two scoring opportunities in the second, but St. Norbert intercepted Schaeuble twice. The Green Knights took advantage and scored a touchdown of their own, putting the score at 10-7 at the half.

    The Blugolds lost the lead in the third quarter when St. Norbert scored its second touchdown of the day. Sophomore Craig Danielson blocked the kick for the extra point. On the Blugolds’ next drive, Kolb attempted a field goal, but it was blocked by St. Norbert’s defense.

    “We tried to establish a run,” coach Todd Glaser said. “We wanted to do that. Their offense is pretty high octane.”

    Sartorelli got the lead back for Eau Claire with just over a minute left to play in the third after he ran 10 yards for a touchdown.

    “It was up and down all game,” Sartorelli said.

    That was indeed true as the Green Knights took the lead back in the fourth quarter with another touchdown. The Blugolds attempted to tie it up with a field goal, but Kolb’s kick went wide.

    St. Norbert ran down the clock, handing the ball over to the Blugolds with only 1:37 left to play. This time, however, the Blugolds were able to capitalize on a scoring opportunity with Chris Hull’s touchdown.

    “We had no doubts,” Chris Hull said. “You have to have faith in the guy next to you in the huddle.”

    The Blugolds will need that faith on Saturday when they take on Bethel. In its first playoff game, Bethel routed Concordia College (Minn.) 28-0. They are 10-1 on the season.

    “We get to play a lot of different people now,” Glaser said. “But this team’s got character, we’ve got a lot of heart.”

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    Blugolds take down St. Norbert