STEVENS POINT, Wis. (Blugolds.com) – The UW-Eau Claire football team was unable to get by 16th-ranked UW-Stevens Point, falling to the Pointers 30-3 at Community Stadium today.
While Stevens Point struck first with a 45-yard field goal on the opening drive of the game, the Blugolds got a spark at the start of the second quarter after keeping the Pointers out of the end zone.
The Blugolds were driving near the end of the first quarter but a sack and fumble turned the ball over to the Pointers, and they then drove 63 yards in nine plays to get to the Eau Claire one yard line. On a 4th-and-goal, Collin Hustad (Sr.-Fridley, Minn./Totino Grace) and Erik Hulman (Jr.-Milwaukee, Wis./Lutheran) combined to keep Jake Menzel out of the end zone, giving the ball back to the Blugolds.
But Eau Claire followed with a three-and-out and Stevens Point then ran just one play on the following drive to score the game's first touchdown. A missed extra point put the Pointers up 9-0. On the ensuing kickoff, the Blugolds fumbled the ball and Stevens Point recovered and took it 20 yards to the end zone for another touchdown. After the extra point, Stevens Point took a 16-0 lead.
The Blugolds got on the board with 10 seconds left before halftime with a 28-yard field goal by Parker LeMire (Jr.-Somerset, Wis.). The field goal ended an Eau Claire scoreless streak of over 157 minutes. Stevens Point took a 16-3 advantage into the halftime.
In the third quarter, the score remained the same but in the fourth quarter, Stevens Point scored two times.
At 10:01 in the fourth, the Pointers used a 13-play, 69-yard drive to score a touchdown. They followed with another touchdown on their next drive after just two plays. After Jake Safstrom (Sr.-Grafton, Wis.) picked up a sack for a loss of 10 yards, the Pointers used a 45-yard pass to get to the end zone and the score was 30-3 with less than seven minutes remaining in the fourth. It would remain the same the rest of the way.
Turnovers have been a key for the Pointers this season and today was no different. With 14 turnovers coming into the game, Stevens Point forced three more today. Penalties also hurt the Blugolds today, with nine for 93 yards.
Joel Newman (Jr.-Red Wing, Minn.), who played at quarterback in the second half, finished with 126 passing yards, going 17-for-27. Mark Munger (Sr.-Eau Claire, Wis./Memorial) started the game and went 4-for-11 with 20 yards.
On defense, Hulman had a team-high 12 tackles (three solo, nine assists) while the Blugolds finished with two sacks. Jake Weber (So.-Durand, Wis.) picked off one Stevens Point pass.
Eau Claire falls to 0-5 on the season and 0-2 in WIAC play while Stevens Point improves to 5-0 overall and 2-0 in the conference.
Next Saturday the Blugolds will host No. 1-ranked UW-Whitewater. Kickoff is set for 2 p.m. at Carson Park.