MENOMONIE, Wis. (UWECBlugolds.com) - Despite a comeback in the third quarter, the UW-Eau Claire football team was unable to overcome some big plays it gave up early in the game and fell 37-28 at UW-Stout today.
The Blugolds (3-4, 1-3 WIAC) gave up two touchdowns to start the game, the first one coming on a 68-yard pass from Ross Carey to Antawan Walker followed by a 38-yard pass involving the same players, to let the Blue Devils (4-3, 2-2 WIAC) go up 14-0 at the end of the first quarter.
While Eau Claire got on the board with a 30-yard touchdown run by Joel Sweeney (Fr.-Tomah, Wis.) in the second quarter, the Blue Devils added 10 more points before halftime to take a 24-7 lead into the locker room.
Stout came out strong in the second half, taking the opening kickoff 90 yards for a touchdown but the Blugolds then began a comeback which fell just short.
Austin Neu (So.-Iron Ridge, Wis./Hustisford) connected with David Goodman (Jr.-Neenah, Wis.) for a 37-yard touchdown at 12:03 in the third, and four minutes later Neu found Austin Goetsch (So.-Waunakee, Wis.) for a 52-yard touchdown to close the gap to 31-21. Stout added a field goal later in the quarter to go up 34-21 but the Blugolds were not done yet.
At 12:09 in the fourth quarter, the Blugolds decided to go for it on a fourth-and-two from the Stout seven and Neu once again connected with Goodman for a touchdown to make the score 34-28. With the Blugolds just one touchdown away from tying the game, Stout pushed the lead back to nine with 30-yard field goal. The Blugolds couldn't get anything going on their final possession of the game and Stout held on for the win.
The Blugolds led in total offense, 447-417, and held the time of possession advantage, 33:03-26:57. Eau Claire also had 23 first downs to Stout's 18. Neither team had any turnovers the entire day.
Neu had a career day, going 26-for-36 passing for 344 yards, which ranks 15th on the Blugolds' all-time list for most yards in a game. The 26 completions ties for seventh in the Blugolds all-time list while his 365 yards of total offense ranked 14th.
Goodman led the game in receiving with 149 yards, a career-high, catching nine passes, two for touchdowns. Sweeney led the Blugolds in rushing with 77 yards on 13 carries.
On defense, Andy Neumann (Jr.-Germantown, Wis.) led the Blugolds with nine tackles while Ben Shea (Sr.-Manitowoc, Wis./Lincoln) and Mark Bader (Sr.-Burnsville, Minn.) both finished with seven. Bader also recorded two pass break-ups.
The Blugolds will be back at home next Saturday for a game against UW-Oshkosh. Action will get underway at Carson Park at 6 p.m.