MENOMONIE, Wis. (Blugolds.com) – With two second half touchdowns, the UW-Eau Claire football team was able to get by UW-Stout to win 24-10 at Don & Nona Williams Stadium in both teams' conference opener today.
The Blugolds took the initial lead at 4:31 in the first quarter with Joel Sweeney (So.-Tomah, Wis.) scoring a one-yard touchdown, but Stout answered minutes later to tie the game at 7-7.
In the third, Stout scored on its opening drive to tie the game up 10-10 but the Blugolds marched 80 yards on the next drive to regain the lead. On a screen, Austin Neu (Jr.-Iron Ridge, Wis./Hustisford) passed the ball to Sweeney, who then broke tackles and went 23 yards to the end zone.
With Eau Claire up 17-10, David Goodman (Sr.-Neenah, Wis.) scored one final touchdown for the Blugolds as he caught a 29-yard pass from Neu at 2:53 in the fourth quarter. After the Albrecht extra point, the Blugolds led 24-10.
The Blugolds finished the game with 421 yards of offense while Stout had 264. Sweeney led the game with 79 yards rushing and Goodman led the game with 113 yards receiving. Neu finished the game with a career-high 349 yards passing, going 19-for-24, but was sacked four times. The 349 yards ranks 12th on the Blugolds' all-time list for most passing yards in a game.
Eau Claire finished the game 3-for-3 in the red zone and 2-for2 on fourth down conversions, one of which came on the Blugolds' first drive where they scored their first touchdown.
On defense, Sean Graham (So.-Hales Corners, Wis./Whitnall) led the Blugolds with 10 tackles while both Eric Nieman (So.-Evansville, Wis.) and Kalan Stittleburg (Sr.-Neillsville, Wis.) both recorded sacks.
Tyler Janus (Jr.-Sussex, Wis./Hamilton) also had a big play today as he picked off a pass in the Blugolds' end zone, ending a 77 yard drive by UW-Stout late in the second quarter. Not only did it prevent the Blue Devils from scoring, but the Blugolds kicked a field goal on their drive that began as a result of the interception.
The Blugolds improve to 3-1 overall and 1-0 in the WIAC. The Blue Devils drop to 2-2 on the season and 0-1 in conference play.
Up next, Eau Claire hosts UW-Oshkosh for the Blugolds' Homecoming. Kickoff is set for 2 p.m. next Saturday at Carson Park.
- KM -