EAU CLAIRE, Wis. (Blugolds.com) – Facing Saint John's University (Minn.) in its home-opener, the UW-Eau Claire football team fell short to the Johnnies 31-7 at Carson Park tonight.
The Blugolds had a good drive going in the opening quarter, moving the ball 62 yards in 14 plays, but the Johnnies stopped them one yard short of the end zone after the Blugolds went for it on 4th-and-goal. Saint John's then took the ball 87 yards in nine plays and kicked a 29-yard field goal to go up 3-0.
Saint John's then scored two more touchdowns on its following two drives after two Blugold three-and-outs. The Johnnies held a 17-0 lead at halftime.
In the third quarter, the Blugolds had the ball for just 12 plays and compiled only 15 yards. The Johnnies scored two more touchdowns in the quarter to go up 31-0.
The Blugolds finally got on the board in the fourth quarter, going 85 yards in 12 plays to the end zone. The drive ended with a one-yard touchdown pass from Mark Munger (Sr.-Eau Claire, Wis./Memorial) to Tye McLaughlin (Fr.-Eau Claire, Wis./Memorial), and Parker LeMire (Jr.-Somerset, Wis.) added the extra point.
The Johnnies finished the game with 436 total yards, 334 of them coming on the ground. Saint John's Sam Sura set a school record with 281 of the rushing yards. Eau Claire completed the game with 216 yards. Saint John's also had the ball for over 10 minutes more than the Blugolds, 35:04 to 24:56.
Munger ended the game with 98 yards passing, going 16-for-28. He was sacked twice. Jake Neis (Fr.-Chatfield, Minn.) led the Blugolds in rushing with 71 yards on 22 carries and Lucas Emmerich (Jr.-Eau Claire, Wis./Memorial) had 27 yards with three catches to lead the team.
On defense, Erik Hulman (Jr.-Milwaukee, Wis./Lutheran) led the Blugolds with 16 tackles (13 solo, three assists). John Endres (So.-Eau Claire, Wis./Memorial) forced a fumble and Mack Sims (Sr.-Madison, Wis./Memorial) intercepted a pass. Jayden Dobbs (Jr.-Athens, Wis.) had the Blugolds' lone sack for a loss of 10 yards.
Eau Claire drops to 0-2 on the season while Saint John's improves to 2-0.
The Blugolds will be at 20th-ranked Wheaton College (Ill.) next Saturday for a game beginning at 1 p.m. It will be the first meeting between the two teams in history.