EAU CLAIRE, Wis. (Blugolds.com) – While the UW-Eau Claire football team turned the ball over on its first three possessions and No. 1-ranked UW-Whitewater came away with only 10 points, the Blugolds were never able to recover and ended up falling 52-3 at Carson Park today.
On the first play from scrimmage, a fumble gave the Warhawks the ball on the Eau Claire 23, but the Blugold defense came up big, allowing Whitewater to score only a field goal.
On the next drive, the Blugolds fumbled after three plays but again, the Eau Claire defense held strong and got the ball back four plays later after Whitewater was only able to travel nine yards. But the Blugolds fumbled three plays later once again and this time the Warhawks took it to the end zone to go up 10-0.
Eau Claire then got on the board after a 75-yard, 19-play drive that lasted nearly nine minutes. Bryce Widmark (Fr.-Wausau, Wis./East) hit a 36-yard field to get the Blugolds back to within seven points. Three drives later, Whitewater answered with a touchdown and the score remained 17-3 at halftime.
The first half ended with the Blugolds accumulating 165 yards of offense while Whitewater had 130. The Blugolds led time of possession 19:59 to 10:01 and had nine first downs to five for the Warhawks.
But the second half changed drastically and Whitewater pulled away, scoring 28 points in the third quarter and seven in the fourth. The Warhawks scored on all three of their possessions in the third quarter and also returned an interception for a touchdown to end the quarter. They also scored on their first possession of the fourth quarter, traveling 51 yards in 10 plays over six minutes.
Whitewater finished the game with 403 yards of total offense while the Blugolds had 195. Both teams struggled with penalties, each recording seven.
Joel Newman (Jr.-Red Wing, Minn.) led the Blugolds in passing going 21-for-36 for 155 yards while Lucas Emmerich (Jr.-Eau Claire, Wis./Memorial) had seven receptions for 42 yards. Bo Casper (So.-Freedom, Wis.) led the Blugolds in rushing with 48 yards on 18 attempts.
Eau Claire drops to 0-6 overall and 0-3 in the conference while Whitewater improves to 6-0 on the season and 3-0 in WIAC play. The Warhawks have now won 23 straight games and Coach Leipold recorded his 100th career win, reaching the milestone faster than any coach in NCAA history at all levels.
Next Saturday the Blugolds will be at UW-River Falls for a game beginning at 1 p.m.