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Blugolds come up short on homecoming

Photo by Shane Opatz, UWEC Photo
Photo by Shane Opatz, UWEC Photo

EAU CLAIRE, Wis. (Blugolds.com) – The University of Wisconsin-Eau Claire football team hosted UW-Stevens Point for homecoming on Saturday, falling to the Pointers, 9-3.

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Brad Goetsch (So. – Schofield, WI/DC Everest) got the Blugolds on the board first after connecting on a 30-yard field goal six minutes into the first quarter to cap a 13-play, 54-yard drive.

On the first Stevens Point possession, the Blugolds recorded three sacks. Victor Martinelli (So. – Milton, WI) tallied the first sack early in the drive but a 22-yard completion on the next play gave the Pointers the first down. Ben Venner (Jr. – Tomah, WI) and Sam Romanski (Jr. – Wausau, WI/East) combined for sack number two but again the Pointers would respond with a first down on the next play. Charlie Brookshaw's (Sr. – Prescott, WI) sack for a loss of six halted the Pointers at the 16-yard line. The Pointers would kick a field goal to tie the game with 2:27 left in the quarter.

Neither squad could make it to the red zone in the second quarter, but the Pointers would hit a 43-yard field goal to take a 6-3 lead into halftime.

The Eau Claire defense forced two three and outs and Venner recorded his first interception of his career in the Pointers' first three possessions of the second half but the Blugold offense was unable to capitalize.

In the fourth, Venner and Brookshaw tallied back-to-back sacks but UWSP would still march down to the Blugold nine-yard line and kick another field goal with 11 minutes left to play.

The Blugolds put together their longest drive of the quarter in the last two minutes including completions of 23 and 17 from Scott Procter (Sr. – Chicago, IL/Saint Rita of Cascia) to Brycen Froehlich (So. – Appleton, WI/Kaukauna) but UWEC would run out of time and lose at home for the first time this season.

The Blugold defense would end the day with seven sacks for 37 yards with Brookshaw and Venner accounting for 2.5 and 2 sacks, respectively. Brookshaw also led UWEC with 3.5 tackles for a loss. Alex Mashak (So. – Lodi, WI) recorded 9 tackles (8 solo) while Romanski added 7 and 1.5 sacks.

Procter finished the day 22-42 for 227 yards passing and ran for 28 yards on 13 carries. Brian Kulaga (Sr. – Riverside, IL/Riverside-Brookfield) added 62 yards on the ground on 18 attempts. Froehlich led the receivers with 3 catches for 59 years.

The Blugolds (2-3, 0-2 WIAC) will be back at Carson Park next Saturday as the host UW-Whitewater at 1:10 p.m.  Follow the action on Blugold Game Day or on the 'UWEC Blugolds' app on your mobile device.