EAU CLAIRE, Wis. (Blugolds.com) – Playing in its home opener, the UW-Eau Claire football team defeated UW-River Falls 38-17 at Carson Park today.
The Blugolds (2-1) and Falcons (0-3) played each other in a non-conference contest as part of the WIAC's cost-cutting measures. They will play in a WIAC contest on November 12 at River Falls.
Eau Claire got things going right away, scoring two touchdowns and adding a field goal by the end of the first quarter to take a 17-0 lead. River Falls cut the lead to 14 after scoring a field goal with no time remaining in the first half.
In the third quarter, the Blugolds scored two more touchdowns both on short runs and added another in the fourth quarter. River Falls also scored two touchdowns in the fourth quarter.
Joel Sweeney (So.-Tomah, Wis.) scored three of the Blugolds' five rushing touchdowns. He had a run of 23 yards in the first quarter and had both Eau Claire touchdowns in the third, one coming on a one-yard run and the other on a four-yard run. The last time a Blugold had three rushing touchdowns in a game was September 4, 2010, when Sweeney had three against Bethel University (Tenn.).
Matt Jaskowiak (Sr.-Pewaukee, Wis.) and Austin Neu (Jr.-Iron Ridge, Minn./Hustisford) were the other two Blugolds to score rushing touchdowns. Neu had the Blugolds' first score on a 26-yard scamper. Jaskowiak scored the Blugolds' finial touchdown in the fourth quarter on a two yard run.
The Blugolds' other score came from Josh Albrecht (Fr.-Eau Claire, Wis./North) on a 43-yard field goal, tying for the 13th longest field goal in school history. It was the second game in a row Albrecht had a field goal of 39 or more yards (he finished with one of 39 and one of 42 yards against St. John's two weeks ago).
On defense, Chad Samuelson (Sr.-St. Paul, Minn./Cretin-Derham Hall) and Kyle Thorpe (Jr.-Stanley, Wis./Stanley-Boyd) led the Blugolds with seven tackles each. Pat Hendricks (Jr.-Clintonville, Wis.) recorded a sack.
On offense, the Blugolds led the game with 373 yards of offense while the Falcons had 300 yards. Neu had 194 yards of passing, Sweeney had 105 yards of rushing and David Goodman (Sr.-Neenah, Wis.) led the team with 88 receiving yards on four catches.
Next Saturday the Blugolds will head to Menomonie to take on UW-Stout in a game set for 1 p.m.