La Crosse, Wis. - The University of Wisconsin-La Crosse football team earned a 33-18 victory over UW-Stout Saturday afternoon at Roger Harring Stadium at Veterans Memorial Field Sports Complex. The Eagles improve to 3-4 overall and 2-2 in the WIAC while the Blue Devils fall to 3-4 overall and 1-3 in the conference. It is UW-L's first home win over UW-Stout since 2003 (four games).
The Blue Devils took a 10-0 lead in the first quarter. Eric Brown made it 7-0 on a four-yard run with 5:03 remaining in the period after Ryan Ericksen recovered an Eagles' punt. UW-Stout went 30 yards on seven plays in 3:10 to take the first lead of the contest. The Blue Devils took over on their next possession after the Eagles turned the ball over on downs. UW-L punter Christian Hallingstad was tackled for a three-yard loss on fourth-down after it appeared his punt would be blocked.
UW-Stout made it 10-0 as Ricky Marteney hit a 40-yard field goal with 3:01 left in the first quarter. The drive went two yards on four plays in 1:31.
UW-L then scored the game's next 26 points. The Eagles cut the lead to 10-6 with 12:21 remaining in the second quarter as Andy Sires threw a one-yard touchdown pass to Brock Mc Mullen. Adam Pannier'sextra-point was missed. UW-L went 46 yards on six plays in 2:44.
Marteney missed a 44-yard field goal with 2:01 remaining in the second quarter as he hit the right upright. UW-L took over at its own 27-yard line and drove for the go-ahead score. Sires threw a nine-yard touchdown pass to Jake Welch with :12 left in the first half. Pannier converted the extra-point to give the Eagles a 13-10 lead. UW-L went 73 yards on eight plays in 1:57 on the drive. The Eagles led 13-10 at halftime.
Jared Stan gave UW-L a 19-10 lead with 6:09 remaining in the third quarter as he scored on a one-yard run. Pannier missed the extra point as the Eagles went 46 yards on five plays in 1:33. Stan's touchdown was set-up by a 30-yard pass from Sires to Joe Kracht down to the one-yard line.
After forcing the Blue Devils to turn the ball over on downs, the Eagles went 67 yards on six plays in 2:45 with Alex Lepp scoring on a 23-yard touchdown run. Pannier converted the extra-point for a 26-10 lead with 13:51 remaining in the game.
UW-Stout cut the lead to 26-18 with 1:41 left. Michael Blizel threw an 11-yard touchdown pass to Zak Snell and then hit Josh Peterson for the two-point conversion. The Blue Devils went 36 yards on seven plays in 1:18.
UW-Stout attempted an on-side kick, but UW-L's Jake Meckstroth recovered the ball. One play later, Stan scored on a 47-yard run to make it 33-18 with 1:30 left. Pannier's extra-point attempt was good.
UW-L finished with 443 yards on offense, including 177 rushing and 266 passing. The total and rushing yards are both season-highs. The Eagles were five-of-14 on third-down.
Sires was 22-of-33 passing for 261 yards and two touchdowns. Stan had 130 yards rushing on 19 attempts (6.8 average) while Dillon Bean finished with 40 yards on nine attempts. Welch caught six passes for 65 yards and a touchdown while Stan finished with five receptions for 42 yards. Along with the rushing touchdown, Lepp caught four passes for 65 yards.
UW-Stout totaled 373 yards, including 109 rushing and 264 passing. The Blue Devils were three-of-17 on third-down and won the time of possession, 32:22 to 27:38.
Blizel was 18-of-42 for 264 yards with one touchdown and one interception. Brown had 48 yards rushing on 12 carries and a touchdown while Trevor Morning caught six passes for 113 yards.
Meckstroth led UW-L with eight tackles Saturday while Jack Leahy had seven and Tyler Argall six. Brett Benson had five tackles and five pass break-ups.
The Eagles recorded eight quarterback sacks, including two from John Crowley. The eight sacks are tied for third in single-game school history. UW-L had a school record 12 sacks versus St. John's University (Minn.) during the 1996 NCAA Division III Playoffs.
Zackary Kleven had an interception and Andrew Walsh a fumble recovery for the Eagles Saturday afternoon.
Collin Laursen led UW-Stout with 10 tackles. Ericksen had two tackles for loss.
UW-L returns to action Saturday, October 27 hosting UW-Oshkosh at 1 p.m.