By Bryce Meade, UWEC Sports Information
RIVER FALLS, Wis. (Blugolds.com) - The University of Wisconsin-Eau Claire football team fell 42-24 to the UW-River Falls Falcons on Saturday afternoon at Smith Stadium at Ramer Field in River Falls.
After gaining 29 yards on a Sam Altena rush on the first play from scrimmage of the game, two Blugold sacks from Charlie Brookshaw (Sr. – Prescott, WI/Prescott) and Ben Laube (Jr. – Eau Claire, WI/Memorial) stalled the Falcon drive and forced a punt. The Blugolds managed one first down before punting back to the Falcons.
Scott Procter (Sr. – Chicago, IL/Saint Rita of Cascia) got the Blugolds offense going on their next drive, rushing for 35 yards. Despite driving into River Falls territory, the Blugolds turned the ball over on downs when Procter was stopped short on a 4th and 2.
On the first play of the second quarter, the Falcons got on the board with a 22-yard touchdown pass from Ben Beckman to Alex Herink to take a 7-0 lead. The Blugolds responded with a touchdown pass of their own just two minutes later when Procter found Leeshaun Evans (Sr. – Chicago, IL/Thornridge) for touchdown strike from 18 yards out to tie the game. The pair connected twice for 56 yards on the drive.
River Falls climbed back on top 14-7 thanks to a quick, four-play, 50 yard, drive capped off by another touchdown pass from Beckman to Herink. On the following drive, Procter led the Blugolds on a methodical 16-play drive spanning 75 yards, which was capped off by a 1-yard touchdown run by Brian Kulaga (Sr. – Riverside, IL/Riverside-Brookfield).
The Falcons passing attack struck quickly again just over a minute later with a 77-yard touchdown pass to regain a 21-14 advantage. A Falcon pick-six on the Blugolds next possession extended the lead to 14 at the half.
Brad Goetsch (So. – Schofield, WI/DC Everest) chipped in a field goal from 34 yards out on the opening drive of the second half to cut the lead to 28-17. Neither team was able to muster any offense during the rest of the third quarter.
Following a Falcon rushing touchdown by Anthony Silva, Procter found Darius Jones (So. – Ramsey, MN/Anoka) for a 12-yard touchdown pass to bring the Blugolds within 11 once again. River Falls would add a late touchdown to put away the Blugolds 42-24.
Procter finished 16-28 passing for a career-high 284 passing yards and two touchdowns, adding 61 yards on the ground. Leeshaun Evans (Sr. – Chicago, IL/Thornridge) led Blugold receivers and also recorded a career-high 172 receiving yards on 8 catches. Brian Kulaga added 97 yards on 19 carries.
Charlie Brookshaw led the Blugold defense with 8 tackles, including one sack. Laube, Sam Romanski (Jr. – Wausau, WI/East), and Trevor Nelson (So. – Hammond, WI/St. Croix Central) each added a sack. Romanski leads the WIAC with 12 sacks on the season.