MENOMONIE (September 3, 2011) - UW-Stout used a fairly balanced attack and never trailed on their way to a season-opening 19-7 win over NCAA Division II Black Hills State University Saturday at Don & Nona Williams Stadium.
The Blue Devils (1-0) ran the ball 41 times for 146 yards and completed 13 passes for 176 yard. The Blue Devil defense played a big part in the win, breaking up six passes as Black Hills State (0-2) was playing catch-up all afternoon.
Safety Jason Brenner (Sr, Menomonie) had a pair of pass break ups and offensive linemen Travis Mueller (Jr, Greenleaf) and Cody Price (Sr, Cottage Grove) each got a mitt on a pass on the line.
Both teams needed much of the first quarter just to get their feet underneath themselves. Twice, the Stout defense stopped the Yellow Jackets, once on a blocked field goal by Evan Ludowese (So, Stewart, Minn), and Stout opened with a three-and-out, then lost the ball on a fumble on their next series.
The Blue Devils drew first blood, putting together an 11-play, 82-yard drive that saw a healthy dose of running by transfer Eric Brown (Jr, St. Paul, Minn) and some sharp passing by quarterback Ross Carey (Sr, Little Suamico).
Carey connected on back-to-back plays with receiver Mike Gervanek (Jr, Baxter, Minn), hitting him with a 9-yard pass, followed by a 19-yard pick-up. Carey then found Trevor Morning (So, Bloomer) for 16 yards to push the ball to the Black Hills 36.
Brown carred the ball three times for 20 total yards before Carey connected with Jordan Peterson (Sr, Cedar Grove) for 20 yards to the 5-yard line. Brown carried the ball in on the next play for his first Blue Devil score.
Black Hills knotted the score on the next drive, going 68 yards in eight plays, ending the drive on a two-yard Wes Kragt TD pass to Dustin Worthington.
Ricky Marteney (So, Greenfield) booted a 19-yard field with 13 seconds remaining in the half to give Stout the lead for good, then added a career-best 43 yard field goal early in the third period.
Stout got their final score with 2:34 left in the third quarter when Carey completed a 9-yard pass in the corner of the end zone to Josh Peterson (Jr, Cedar Grove). Paul Bernier (Jr, Lakeville, Minn) picked up 33 yards in the 7-play, 72-yard drive.
The Stout defense rose to the occasion in the fourth quarter, twice stopping the Yellow Jackets on three-and-outs and twice forced an incomplete pass on fourth down to turn the ball over.
The Blue Devils finished with 322 total yards, 146 by rushing, 176 in the air. Brown led all rushers with 73 yards on 16 carries. Carey completed 13-of-24 passes, as Josh Peterson snagged three passes for 40 yards and brother Jordan Peterson had two passes for 50 yards.
Defensively, linebacker Ryan Pearcy (Sr, Plover) had 11 tackles, while Brenner finished up with nine tackles, eight solo.
The Yellow Jackets collected 315 total yards, 101 on the ground, 214 through the air. Ryan Fagerstrom hauled in six catches for 81 yards as Wes Kragt completed 19-of-41 passes.
Stout will travel to Jamestown College, Saturday, Sept. 10.