By Bryce Meade, UWEC Sports Information
STEVENS POINT, Wis. (Blugolds.com) – The University of Wisconsin-Eau Claire football team fell in a conference matchup to the UW-Stevens Point Pointers on Saturday afternoon, 40-12.
The Blugold offense threatened early, as they drove into Pointer territory on the game's opening drive. When faced with a fourth down on a wet, windy day, the Blugolds were forced to keep the offense on the field instead of attempting a field goal. They were held scoreless when Josiah Johnson (So. – Minneapolis/St. Anthony Village) was sacked at the UWSP 37-yard line.
Eau Claire got the ball back two plays later when Sam Romanski (Sr. – Wausau/East)
deflected and picked off a pass from Stevens Point quarterback Matt Urmanski behind the line of scrimmage, setting up the Blugolds at the Pointer 27. After the Blugolds were stalled on first and second down rushes, Johnson found Darius Jones (Jr. – Ramsey, MN/Anoka) for a 28-yard touchdown pass to put the Blugolds up 6-0 with 7:50 left in the first quarter.
The Pointers capitalized off an Eau Claire fumble and tossed a touchdown pass of their own, as Urmanski found Jonte Webb from four yards out to put Stevens Point up 7-6 at the end of the opening period.
The Blugold offense had an opportunity to retake the lead early in the second, but were again denied on a fourth down, this time from the Pointer 23-yard line. The Pointers drove 77 yards on the following possession and added another score through the air to extend their lead to 13-6 following a blocked extra point.
Eau Claire came up empty on fourth down for a third time in the half when a Johnson pass fell incomplete at the UWSP 24-yard line. A Pointer field goal before the half made the score 16-6 at the break.
On their first drive of the second half, the Blugolds once again had an opportunity to cut into the Pointer lead but turned the ball over on downs at the Stevens Point 30-yard line. Urmanski tossed another touchdown to Webb and the Pointers took a 22-6 lead with 3:25 left in the third quarter.
A wild snap on a Blugold punt which led to a safety and a Pointer touchdown on the ensuing kick put the Pointers ahead 30-6 early in the fourth quarter. A late touchdown pass from each team and a Pointer field goal closed out the scoring for the day, with the final score settling at 40-12 in favor of Stevens Point.
Johnson completed 12 of 26 passes for 154 yards and two touchdowns, but also threw a pair of interceptions. Will Adair (So. – Ashwaubenon) recorded career-highs in receptions (5), receiving yards (71), and rushing yards (57). Darius Jones and Joe Swanson (Jr. – Osceola) each hauled in a touchdown pass. Conrad Bolz (Jr. – Medford) totaled 115 yards on the ground.
The Blugolds (3-5, 1-4 WIAC) will be back in action next Saturday when they travel to La Crosse to take on the UW-La Crosse Eagles (5-3, 3-2 WIAC) at 11:30 AM. Follow the action on Blugold Game Day or on the 'UWEC Blugolds' app from your mobile device.