LA CROSSE, Wis. (Blugolds.com) - The UW-Eau Claire football team had a tough day today, falling 49-14 against UW-La Crosse at Veterans Memorial Stadium.
The Eagles (3-6, 3-3 WIAC) jumped out to a 35-0 lead by halftime and the deficit was just too much to overcome for the Blugolds (4-5, 2-4 WIAC).
La Crosse scored touchdowns on each of its first five possessions. The Eagles' first touchdown of the second quarter came following a Blugold fumble while the third one of the quarter came after blocking a Blugold punt.
La Crosse scored two more times the rest of the way, as the Blugolds were also able to find the end zone twice.
The first touchdown for Eau Claire came on an 11-yard run by Joel Sweeney (Fr.-Tomah, Wis.) at 6:42 in the third quarter while the other came on a pass from Alex Delebreau (So.-Kewaunee, Wis./Kewaunee/Mich. Tech.) to Austin Goetsch (So.-Waunakee, Wis.). On a third-and-nine, the Blugolds went to the end zone from 25 yards out and while the ball floated in a strong wind, Goetsch was able to grab it just before it hit the ground for his second receiving touchdown of the season.
The Blugolds were plagued by turnovers giving up three fumbles and throwing one interception.
Eau Claire finished the game with 249 yards of total offense while La Crosse had 433.
Sweeney led the game with 88 yards rushing as the Blugolds accumulated 156 yards on the ground to La Crosse's 122. However, La Crosse dominated the passing game with 311 yards to the Blugolds' 93. Austin Neu (So.-Iron Ridge, Wis./Hustisford) finished with just 21 yards passing going 3-for-16 while Delebreau went 7-for-11 for 72 yards. David Goodman led the Blugolds in receiving with 60 yards on six receptions.
On defense, three Blugolds – Andy Neumann (Jr.-Germantown, Wis.), Ben Shea (Sr.-Manitowoc, Wis./Lincoln) and Kyle Thorpe (So.-Stanley, Wis./Stanley-Boyd/Moorhead St.) – finished with seven tackles apiece. Kalan Stittleburg (Jr.-Neillsville, Wis.) had one sack and a total of three tackles.
The loss for the Blugolds was their first against La Crosse since October 21, 2006 when they fell 42-14 at La Crosse. The Eagles lead the all-time series 52-24-2. The 49 points given up also tied for the 12th most in program history and the most since October 14, 2000 when Eau Claire lost 65-44 to UW-River Falls.
The Blugolds will end the season next weekend with a game at home. Eau Claire will face River Falls at 1 p.m. on parent and senior day.