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 can’t catch the Warhawks

    The UW-Eau Claire football team dropped the final home game of the year last Saturday, losing 37-22 to the top-ranked UW-Whitewater Warhawks.

    Senior wide receiver David Goodman said his last home game as a Blugold was an emotional experience.

    “Going into the game you realize that there’s no more after that,” Goodman said.

    Goodman caught a 49-yard touchdown pass from junior quarterback Austin Neu in the third quarter.  The touchdown gave Goodman 18 for his career, which puts him in third place on Eau Claire’s all-time on the touchdown receptions list.

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    Goodman said the touchdown was on a simple in-route.

    “The cornerback behind me tried to jump it, he thought he was going to get a pick on it,” Goodman said.  “He went pretty far inside, and when I turned around there wasn’t anybody in front of me. It was a footrace to the end zone.”

    Senior safety Chad Samuelson said his last home game as a Blugold was a sad event.

    “I stayed on the field a little bit longer than I usually do, just kind of soaking it all in,” Samuelson said.  “It’s sad to see the day come, but I knew it was coming some day.”

    Samuelson said it has been a privilege to play for the Blugolds.

    “I just want people to remember me for someone who played as hard as they could at all times and really loved the players that I played with,” he said.

    Junior tight end Austin Goetsch said he thought the team played hard on Saturday, but not up as hard as they could.

    “When we do play up to our potential we can hang with pretty much anybody out there,” Goetsch said.

    Goetsch finished with a career-high 177 receiving yards, with a chunk of them coming on back-to-back 43-yard and 35-yard receptions in the fourth quarter.

    Goetsch said the fact that the team hadn’t thrown deep all game, combined with the team’s “hurry up” offense allowed him to have big yardage catches back-to-back.

    “We hit them with that big one,”  Goetsch said.  “The second one there was like three guys around, but (Neu) just dropped it right in there.”

    Goodman said Whitewater’s lack of mistakes is what makes them so successful, while Samuelson said their ability to capitalize on mistakes is also key to their success.

    “Not everybody in this league can do that, but I think that’s what sets Whitewater apart from everybody else,” said Samuelson.  “In this league you just can’t make mistakes like that.”

    The loss drops Eau Claire to 4-5 on the year, with a 2-4 record in conference play.  Whitewater is now 9-0, with a 6-0 record in WIAC play.  They have won 39 games in a row, the longest winning streak of any team in college football in any division.

    The Blugolds wrap up the season on Saturday in River Falls, where they will take on the UW-River Falls Falcons.  Goetsch said with it being the seniors’ last game, the team wants to end the season with a strong finish.

    “Just come out with a lot of energy this last week and send it out on a really high note,” Goetsch said.  “Hopefully keep things rolling into next season.”

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    Blugolds can’t catch the Warhawks