By Tommy McGowan, UWEC Sports Information
EAU CLAIRE, Wis. (blugolds.com) - The University of Wisconsin-Eau Claire football team dropped their final game of the 2019 season Saturday afternoon to UW-Stout, 45-17.
Neither offense was able to get much going on their first drives of the game, before Eau Claire traveled down the field late in the first quarter. They were unable to punch the ball in from the three-yard line, instead settling for a field goal from Edgar Ficke-Anderson (So.-Walker, MN/Hackensack Akeley).
Stout would add two touchdowns in the second quarter to take a 14-3 lead before another lengthy drive from the Blugolds. An interception at the Stout 27-yard line and subsequent score from the Blue Devils was a massive 14-point swing at the end of the half.
Down 21-3 going into the third quarter, Eau Claire got a stop on Stout's first drive, thanks in large part to a tackle for loss from Sam Romanski (Sr.-Wausau, WI/East). However, a quick interception off Josiah Johnson (So.-Minneapolis, MN/St. Anthony Village) gave the Blue Devils the ball back.
Stout added a field goal to go up three touchdowns before another short drive from the Blugolds. A touchdown pass from Sean Borgerding helped the Blue Devils increase their lead to 31-3.
Eau Claire would fumble on their next drive before getting the ball back on a fumble recovery from Ben Laube (Sr.-Eau Claire, WI/Memorial). They would put together a long drive before a touchdown pass from Johnson to Darius Jones (Jr.-Ramsey, MN/Anoka) from 18 yards out.
They would continue their momentum with another score just minutes later, as Johnson once again threw for a touchdown. He found Joe Swanson (Jr.-Osceola, WI) for a nine-yard score. The Blugolds would again get the ball back after a stop from their defense, but an interception would give the ball back to the Blue Devils. Stout added two more touchdowns in the quarter to make the final 45-17.
Despite the loss, the Blugold offense moved the ball well, tallying 354 yards of total offense, but they simply couldn't overcome five turnovers. Conrad Bolz (Jr.-Medford, WI) helped with 90 total yards, while Braden O'Laughlin (So.-Lake Geneva, WI/Badger) had six receptions for 62 yards. On defense, top performers included Romanski, with 8 tackles and two sacks, as well as Victor Martinelli (Jr.-Milton, WI), who had seven tackles and forced a fumble.
Eau Claire will finish the season 3-7 overall and 1-6 in the Wisconsin Intercollegiate Athletic Conference. They hope to continue building in 2020, Head Coach Wesley Beschorner's second season.