WHITEWATER, Wis. (Blugolds.com) – In a game that featured five field goals, the UW-Eau Claire football team hung right with UW-Whitewater but came up short 19-10 at Perkins Stadium today.
In the first quarter, the Warhawks took the initial lead after kicking a 28-yard field goal but the Blugolds tied it up with a 33-yard field goal by Josh Albrecht (Sr.-Eau Claire, Wis./North) with 44 seconds left in the quarter.
Whitewater kicked another field goal, this one from 24 yards, early in the second quarter to take a 6-3 advantage.
The two teams finally found the end zones before halftime. Whitewater scored a two-yard rushing touchdown to take a 13-3 lead but the Blugolds answered with less than a minute remaining in the half to make the halftime score 13-10. Austin Neu (Sr.-Iron Ridge, Minn./Hustisford) capped off an 11-play, 78-yard drive with a 23-yard touchdown pass to Cody Gerver (So.-Mahtomedi, Minn.).
In the second half, the Blugolds were held scoreless while Whitewater kicked two more field goals, one from 25 yards away in the third quarter and another from 39 yards in the fourth quarter. Albrecht also tried a 26-yard field goal late in the third quarter that would have made the score 16-13 but it hit the right upright.
The Blugolds finished the game with 292 yards of offense while Whitewater had 375. Neu went 15-for-29 for 199 yards passing and Austin Goetsch (Sr.-Waunakee, Wis.) led the game with 96 receiving yards on seven catches. Joel Sweeney (Jr.-Tomah, Wis.) led the Blugolds with 67 rushing yards.
On defense, three Blugolds tied for a team-high 11 tackles - Nick Slade (Sr.-St. Cloud, Minn./Tech), Sean Graham (Jr.-Hales Corners, Wis./Whitnall) and Eric Nieman (Jr.-Evansville, Wis.). Pat Hendricks (Sr.-Clintonville, Wis.) and Slade each had an interception and Nevin Smith (So.-Edgar, Wis.) forced a fumble.
Eau Claire drops to 3-6 on the season and 3-3 in the WIAC. Whitewater improves to 6-3 overall and 4-2 in conference play.
The Blugolds will wrap up the season next Saturday when they host UW-River Falls at Carson Park for senior day. Action will get underway at 1 p.m.