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Blugolds earn first win of season in rout of Warriors

Blugolds earn first win of season in rout of Warriors

Justin Dade – UWEC Sports Information

MILWAUKEE, Wis. ( – The University of Wisconsin-Eau Claire football team earned their first win of the 2016 season in dominant fashion topping the Warriors of Wisconsin Lutheran College 40-14 on Saturday at Raabe Stadium. 

The Blugolds have now found the win column for the first time since 2014 with this performance led by quarterback JT Denhartog (So. - Hopkins, MN) and receiver Matt Knapp (Sr. – Eau Claire, WI).

UW-Eau Claire outgained the Warriors 409-202 in total offense and did not allow a single Wisconsin Lutheran third-down conversion all game long (0-13).

The Blugolds elected to receive the opening kickoff and wasted little time finding the end zone on a 16-yard touchdown pass from Denhartog to Stephen Paoli II (Fr. - Kronenwetter, WI) just over five minutes into the game. Michael Priefer, Jr. (Jr. - Mound, MN) took the direct snap extra point attempt into the end zone for a successful two-point conversion.

After a Warriors' three-and-out, the Blugolds struck again on the next possession with Denhartog's second touchdown pass this time to Knapp for the 9-yard score to extend the lead to 15-0.

After a Wisconsin Lutheran fumble early in the second quarter, Knapp found the end zone again on a 49-yard touchdown pass from Denhartog to extend the lead to 23-0.

Denhartog would take one in with his legs just over seven minutes later from 37 yards out on a quarterback keeper that fooled the entire Warrior defense to give the Blugolds a 30-0 advantage.

The Warriors would find the end zone on a 39-yard touchdown pass under a minute later, but UW-Eau Claire took a 30-7 lead into the locker room.

Late in the third quarter, Knapp found the end zone yet again this time from 19 yards out from Denhartog to extend the Blugold lead to 37-7.

The Blugolds would add an Austin Kolden (Jr. - Blaine, MN) 23-yard field goal in the fourth quarter to pad the lead 40-7 before surrendering one more touchdown to the Warriors.  

Denhartog finished 11/16 for 151 yards, 3 TD's, and added 8 carries for 61 yards, and 1 TD.

Knapp finished the day with 195 all-purpose yards and 3 TD's.

Leading the team on defense was safety Brandon Luedke (Sr. - Wausau, WI) with six total tackles, one sack, one fumble recovery, and one pass breakup.  

The Blugolds (1-2) will look to use this performance as a momentum boost for next weeks' Homecoming showdown with the UW-Stevens Point Pointers. Kickoff will be at 1 p.m. at Carson Park.

Follow the action for all sports this season on Blugold Game Day.

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