Despite forcing three interceptions, UW-Stout was unable to
convert their turnovers into points, and UW-Stevens Point used 418
yards of offense to defeat the Blue Devils, 27-21, Saturday
at Don & Nona Williams Stadium.
The Pointers, who came into the game averaging 157 yards passing, finished the contest with 310 yards through the air, all by quarterback Jake Swank. Despite throwing three interceptions, Swank was able to complete 26 of 39 pass attempts, three of which went for touchdowns.
Stout got on the board first with a touchdown drive on their second possession. After forcing Stevens Point into a three-and-out on their first drive, the Blue Devils took advantage of good field position, going 54 yards in just under three minutes. Quarterback Ross Carey completed three of five passes on the drive, including a third down conversion, and the eight yard touchdown pass to Craig Warminski that gave Stout the early lead.
The Pointers answered with a long, time-consuming possession. The 13-play drive lasted over six minutes and ended with a 30-yard field goal by Jared Fohrman. Swank completed three third down conversions during the drive, all of which went for at least 14 yards.
After forcing a turnover on Stout's next offensive possession, the Pointers took advantage of their short field, and drove 53 yards for their first touchdown of the game. Jared Jenkins, who ended the game with 10 catches for 96 yards, caught a 25-yard pass and a four yard touchdown pass on the drive to give Point a 10-7 lead.
Stout wasted no time to re-capture their lead. Warminski opened the drive with three consecutive rushes for a total of 37 yards, driving the Blue Devils to Stevens Point's 29 yard line. Antawan Walker connected with Patrick Mengelkoch for a 16-yard pass on a trick play that set up Walker's 12-yard, juggling touchdown reception from Carey on the next play.
Stevens Point added another field goal on the ensuing possession, and then forced Stout into a three-and-out to get the ball back with three and a half minutes left in the half. On their first play, however, Nick Bocik stepped in front of a Swank pass and set up the Blue Devils' offense deep in Pointer territory. Stout was unable to convert the turnover into any points when a 35-yard field goal attempt was missed, wide left. The Blue Devils took a 14-13 lead into halftime.
In the second half, the Pointers jumped out to a lead after they scored a touchdown on their first possession. The nine-play drive ended with a 12 yard touchdown pass from Swank to Theo Maglio, followed by a failed two-point conversion.
After a pair of three-and-outs, Warminski got the offense rolling again. He ran the ball on five consecutive downs, picking up two first downs and drove the offense to the Pointers' 35 yard line. Walker got another touchdown reception, this time a 26-yard pass right up the middle of the field, to give Stout a 21-19 lead going into the final quarter of play.
With 13 minutes to play, Stevens Point struck quickly on what would come to be their game-winning drive. Swank completed passes of 14, 22, and 30 yards, to give Stevens Point a 27-21 lead. The drive took under two minutes and went 73 yards in five plays.
Stout's last real push came after Billy Rosenthal intercepted Swank on the Pointers' 21 yard line. It appeared at first as if Rosenthal returned the pick for a touchdown, but he was ruled down where he caught the ball, where his knee hit the ground. Stout could not complete a pass on second, third, or fourth down, and turned the ball over on downs, again failing to get any points off a turnover in their opponent's territory.
Carey ended the game 22-of-40 for 226 yards and three touchdowns. Mengelkoch was the game's leading receiver with 116 yards on seven catches. Warminski led all players with 93 yards on 16 carries.
Stout will host UW-Eau Claire next Saturday, Oct. 23, at 1 p.m. at Don and Nona Williams Stadium.