DUBUQUE, Iowa (Blugolds.com) – The University of Wisconsin-Eau Claire football team opened the 2018 season in a big way, winning their first season-opener since 2010 with a 45-13 win over Loras College.
The Blugold defense got UW-Eau Claire on the board first as Alex Mashak (So. – Lodi, WI) intercepted Noah Sigwarth's pass and returned it 20 yards for the score at the 8:52 mark of the first quarter.
The second quarter was all Blugolds, with Procter using his legs for a 30-yard touchdown run to cap an 87-yard drive.
The Blugold defense would follow with another turnover, this time it was Sam Romanski (Jr. – Wausau, WI/East) sacking Sigwarth, causing a fumble while Charlie Brookshaw (Sr. – Prescott, WI), recovering to set up a 26-yard field goal from Brad Goetsch (So. – Schofield, WI/DC Everest) to give UWEC a 24-0 lead.
The defense would flex their muscles to end the half, with Romanski and Brookshaw recording back-to-back sacks heading into the locker room.
After two quarters of play, the Blugolds led in nearly every category, rushing for 162 yards and passing for another 79 while holding the Duhawks to 40 yards rushing and 14 through the air.
UWEC and Loras each started the second half with a three and out, but it was again the Blugold defense that would get things rolling.
Another Loras fumble would be recovered by Sam Buchberger (Jr. – Marathon, WI) at the Duhawk 21. Brian Kulaga (Sr. – Riverside, IL/Riverside-Brookfield) busted through for an 18-yard gain before finding the endzone from three yards out two plays later.
In the next Loras possession, the Duhawks drove 54 yards before the Blugold defense stopped the home squad on 4th down to take over at their own 19. UWEC would cap an 81-yard drive with a Conrad Bolz (So. – Medford, WI) TD run with 26 second left in the third, giving Eau Claire a commanding 38-0 lead heading into the final quarter of play.
Early in the fourth, the Duhawks capitalized on a Blugold miscue, picking up a fumble and taking it in for the score, however, the extra point was blocked by Brookshaw.
Eau Claire added one more score in the fourth quarter with a 19-yard run from Gerald Childs (Sr. – Brookfield, WI/East) and despite a late Loras touchdown, the Blugolds would cruise to a 45-13 win – their highest point total since a 47-19 win over Saint John's in 2011.
The Blugolds tallied 313 yards of total offense, 149 coming from the air and 164 on the ground. Procter finished the game 8-11 for 114 yards. Kulaga rushed for 109 yards on nine carries while Antwan Moore (Jr. – Evergreen Park, IL) led the receivers with four catches for 54 yards.
Brickner led the defense with seven tackles (four solo) while Romanski added two sacks.
The Blugolds (1-0) will be back in action next Saturday for their home opener against St. Norbert College, kickoff is slated for 6:10 p.m. Follow the action on Blugold Game Day or on the 'UWEC Blugolds' app on your mobile device.