La Crosse, Wis. - The University of Wisconsin-La Crosse football team earned a 24-21 double overtime victory over UW-River Falls Saturday afternoon at Roger Harring Stadium at Veterans Memorial Field Sports Complex. The Eagles improve to 3-5 overall and 3-2 in the Wisconsin Intercollegiate Athletic Conference (WIAC) with their third straight win overall. The Falcons drop to 0-8 overall and 0-5 in the conference.
The Falcons were forced to punt on the first possession of the game after taking the ball down to the Eagles' 42-yard line. After getting one first down on its first possession, UW-L was forced to punt from its own 34-yard line. On the punt, the snap went over Matt Van Druten's head down to the Eagles' three-yard line. One play later, UW-River Falls' Emmanuel Udeh scored on a three-yard run with 7:25 left in the first quarter. Ryan Kusilek's extra-point was good for a 7-0 lead.
The score remained 7-0 at halftime. UW-L was held to 63 yards on 27 plays in the first half while UW-River Falls totaled 140 yards on 33 plays. The teams combined for seven punts in the first half. The Eagles' Brett Benson blocked a 22-yard field goal attempt from Kusilek with 1:07 left in the first half.
UW-River Falls took a 14-0 lead with :16 left in the third quarter as Kusilek threw a 10-yard touchdown pass to Brad Beeskow. The Falcons went 48 yards in eight plays and 4:05.
UW-L cut the lead to 14-7 with 6:55 remaining in the game. The Eagles went 68 yards in 12 plays and 5:09 as Ben Hertrampf scored on a five-yard run. Van Druten converted the extra-point.
The teams traded punts on the next two possessions. UW-River Falls took over at its own one-yard line with 4:02 remaining after a Van Druten punt. The Falcons moved out to the Eagles' 47-yard line after a 51-yard pass completion from Kusilek to Jake Ryan. Two plays later, UW-L's Ben Mathias forced a Udeh fumble with the Eagles' Tyler Argallrecovering the ball at UW-L's 42-yard line.
After two incompletions, UW-L's Trent Cummings completed three straight passes to get the Eagles down to the Falcons' seven-yard line. He completed passes to Mark Dorlack (18 yards), Tony Favre (24 yards) and Samuel Zwieg (nine yards). Two plays later, Cummings hit Chris Stackhouse with a 12-yard touchdown pass with :56 remaining. Van Druten's extra-point tied the contest.
UW-River Falls drove to its own 47-yard line with :14 left, but could not get into UW-L territory as the game went to overtime.
In the first overtime session, the Falcons got the ball first and took a 21-14 advantage as Robbie Flom scored on a two-yard run on third-and-goal. Kusilek converted the extra-point. UW-L tied the game on its first play of overtime with Cummings connecting with Favre on a 25-yard touchdown pass. Van Druten's extra-point forced a second overtime.
UW-L had the ball to start the second overtime. After three runs from Hertrampf failed to get a first down, Van Druten gave the Eagles a 24-21 lead as he made a 35-yard field goal. The Falcons got one first down on their second overtime drive, but Kusilek was sacked on third-and-10 by Zackary Kleven. Kusilek's fourth-down pass to Jordan Christianson was incomplete on the final play of the game.
UW-L finished with 239 yards of offense, including 66 rushing and 173 passing. Hertrampf had 61 yards rushing on 23 carries with one touchdown while Jude Williamsfinished with 41 yards on eight attempts. Cummings was 15-of-27 for 173 yards with two touchdowns. He was sacked twice.
Zwieg caught four passes for 38 yards while Favre (55 yards) and Alex Lepp (27) each had three receptions. The Eagles were six-of-17 on third-down.
UW-River Falls totaled 348 yards, including 213 rushing and 135 passing. Udeh finished with 54 yards rushing on 14 carries while Flom had 52 yards on 10 attempts. Both scored one touchdown. Kusilek totaled 46 yards rushing on 15 carries while finishing 13-of-23 passing for 135 yards with one touchdown. He was sacked twice.
Beeskow finished with a game-high six catches for 47 yards and one touchdown. Charles Dixon had four receptions for 23 yards. UW-River Falls finished 10-of-21 on third-down and won the time of possession, 34:28 to 25:32.
Jordan Pendergast led UW-L with 13 tackles while Shane Rockweiler finished with 10. Austin Feuerhelm totaled eight tackles while Kleven had seven tackles (all unassisted) with 3.0 tackles for loss and 2.0 quarterback sacks.
Luke Radke led UW-River Falls with 10 tackles while Nick Zimmerman finished with nine. Alex Hohenstein had 2.0 tackles for loss.
UW-L returns to action Saturday, November 9 at UW-Platteville at 1 p.m.