RIVER FALLS, Wis. (Blugolds.com) – While UW-Eau Claire and UW-River Falls were tied 10-10 at halftime, a scoreless second half by the Blugolds gave the Falcons the edge they needed to defeat the Blugolds 20-10 at Ramer Field today.
The Blugolds opened the scoring today, finishing with a touchdown on their first possession of the game. Eau Claire traveled 61 yards in eight plays, completing the drive with a five-yard pass from Joel Newman (Jr.-Red Wing, Minn.) to Riley Gebelein (So.-Marshfield, Wis.) to give the Blugolds their first touchdown since Sept. 13.
River Falls answered on the following drive with a touchdown of its own and the score was 7-7 at the end of the first quarter.
At the start of the second quarter, the Blugolds got down to the River Falls' six yard line and Parker LeMire (Jr.-Somerset, Wis.) was able to kick a 23-yard field goal to give the Blugolds a 10-7 lead. With five minutes to play before halftime, River Falls kicked a field goal from 30 yards away, tying the score at 10.
The Blugolds had a good drive going at the end of the second quarter and made it down to the Falcon two yard line, but on fourth-and-goal, River Falls stopped the Blugolds one yard short. The Falcons were able to end the half with one play and the score was 10-10 at halftime.
That was all the scoring Eau Claire would see for the day, but the Blugolds did have two more good drives in the fourth quarter. The first went 67 yards but LeMire's 24-yard field goal attempt was blocked. The final drive for the Blugolds went 28 yards but they ended up 23 yards from the end zone after turning it over on downs.
River Falls tacked on 10 more points in the second half, seven coming in the third quarter and three coming in the fourth quarter.
The teams were nearly even in offensive production with Eau Claire coming away with 334 yards (79 rushing, 255 passing) while River Falls had 340 yards (182 rushing, 158 passing). The Blugolds had no turnovers while River Falls fumbled the ball three times, losing one. A key difference in the game came on third downs as the Blugolds were 5-for-17 on third-down conversions while River Falls was 9-for-15.
Newman led the game in passing, going 23-for-46 for 255 yards with one touchdown. Matthew Knapp (So.-Eau Claire, Wis./Memorial) led in receiving with 71 yards on five catches. Gebelein ran for 27 yards on 12 attempts to lead the team.
Eau Claire drops to 0-7 on the season and 0-4 in the WIAC while River Falls improves to 2-5 overall and 1-3 in conference play. It was the Falcons' first WIAC win since a 24-14 victory over UW-Stout on Oct. 27, 2012.
The Blugolds will be home next Saturday against UW-Stout. Kickoff at Carson Park is scheduled for 1 p.m.