By Bryce Meade, UWEC Sports Information
LA CROSSE, Wis. (Blugolds.com) – The University of Wisconsin-Eau Claire football team dropped a conference game to the UW-La Crosse Eagles Saturday afternoon, 42-7.
La Crosse jumped out to a big lead early, as they got touchdown passes on their first three drives from quarterback Evan Lewandowski, while forcing the Blugolds to punt on each of their three first quarter possessions, to go up 21-0.
The Eau Claire defense stopped La Crosse on their first drive of the second quarter, but a fourth touchdown pass from Lewandowksi on their next possession put the Eagles up 28-0 with 7:08 remaining in the second quarter.
It looked like the Blugolds finally had an opportunity to shift the game's momentum late in the half, when Jared Churak (Jr. – Huntley, IL/Marian Central) intercepted a Lewandowski pass deep in Blugold territory, but a roughing the passer penalty nullified the turnover. The Eagles capitalized on the mistake and extended the lead three plays later with another touchdown through the air and took a 35-0 lead into the half.
A rushing touchdown by Jalen Clark eight minutes into the second half put La Crosse up 42-0. The Blugolds finally got on track on offense on their ensuing possession. Conrad Bolz (Jr. – Medford) took a handoff 17 yards, gaining more yards than the offense had in the first half, and then Josiah Johnson (So. – Minneapolis/St. Anthony Village) connected with Darius Jones (Jr. – Ramsey, MN/Anoka) for a 45-yard touchdown pass to get Eau Claire on the board late in the third quarter.
The Blugolds put together another impressive drive in the fourth quarter but were denied points when Johnson was sacked on a fourth down from the La Crosse 23-yard line. The Eagles burned the remaining time and wrapped up a 42-7 victory.
Johnson completed 13 of 24 passes for 122 yards and one touchdown. Jones led Blugold receivers with three catches for 67 yards. Vince Coenen (Sr. – Hatley) totaled a career-high 11 tackles, including two tackles for loss. The Blugold also defense racked up five sacks.
Eau Claire (3-6, 1-5 WIAC) will host rival UW-Stout (3-5, 2-3 WIAC) in the "War on 94" next Saturday in their season finale at 1:10 PM. Follow the action on Blugold Game Day or on the 'UWEC Blugolds' app on your mobile device.