/seasons/2012/contrib/201209011kpdjz

UW-L Earns Victory at Sixth-Ranked North Central

More news about: UW-La Crosse

Naperville, Ill. - The University of Wisconsin-La Crosse football team opened its 2012 season with a 21-17 victory at sixth-ranked North Central College (Ill.) Saturday afternoon at Benedetti-Whrli Stadium.  The Cardinals, also playing their season-opener, entered the game ranked sixth on the D3football.com Top-25 Poll.

In the first-ever meeting between the two teams, North Central took a 7-0 lead with 5:37 remaining in the first quarter as Spencer Stanek threw a 13-yard touchdown pass to Peter Sorenson.  Nick Dace converted the extra-point attempt.  The Cardinals went 24 yards on four plays after an Eagles' fumble.

The Eagles tied the game at 7-7 with 7:45 left in the second quarter after Brandon Heeg returned a Stanek fumble 57-yards for a touchdown after he was sacked byNick Berg.  Adam Pannier's extra-point tied the game.

The game remained tied 7-7 at halftime.

UW-L was forced to punt after the first possession of the second half and North Central quickly took a 14-7 lead on Nick Kukuc's 47-yard touchdown run with 12:41 left in the third quarter.  The Cardinals went 51 yards in two plays and Dace converted the extra-point.

The Eagles later forced a Cardinals' punt in the period and tied the game at 14-14 with 9:22 remaining in the third as Jared Stan scored on a 54-yard run.  The Eagles went 68 yards in two plays on the game-tying drive with Pannier making the extra-point to tie the game.

North Central took a 17-14 lead with 1:08 remaining in the third on Dace's 23-yard field goal attempt.  The Cardinals used 14 plays to go 79 yards.

Forced to punt early in the fourth quarter, UW-L turned to its defense for the lead.  Stanek was intercepted by Jacob Flegner, who returned the throw 39 yards for a touchdown and give the Eagles a 21-17 advantage with 13:20 left.  Pannier converted on his third extra-point game of the game.

On the ensuing possession, North Central drove to the UW-L 18-yard line before Jordan Tassio's fumble was recovered by the Eagles' Heeg.  UW-L was forced to punt on its next drive and North Centrals' Josh Mitchell returned the kick 47 yards to the UW-L 35-yard line.  The Eagles' defense forced another turnover as Jay Wussow forced a fumble at the 10-yard line with Lucas Schmitz' returning it nine yards with 6:47 remaining.

UW-L took the ball to its own 40-yard before Christian Hallingstad punted the ball down to the North Central 17-yard line.  After completing three of four passes to take the Cardinals to the Eagles' 43-yard line, Stanek was intercepted by Jake Meckstroth with 1:42 left.

After three running plays, Hallingstad hit a 51-yard punt out-of-bounds to the North Central two-yard line with :36 left.  Stanek was intercepted two plays later by Jack Leahy at the Cardinals' 32-yard line with :16 remaining.

UW-L finished with 206 yards of offense Saturday, including 139 rushing and 67 passing.  The Eagles finished with 10 first downs and were four-of-15 on third-down. Ben Hertrampf had a team-high 78 yards rushing while Stan totaled 70 yards and one touchdownAndy Sires finished nine-of-14 passing for 67 yards.  He was sacked three times.  Tony Bilderback caught four passes for 35 yards.

North Central totaled 392 yards, including 202 rushing and 190 passing.  The Cardinals finished with 25 first downs and were six-of-15 on third-down.  Tassio had 30 yards rushing while Stanek was 16-of-34 passing for 171 yards and one touchdown.  He was sacked twice.

UW-L forced six North Central turnovers, three fumbles and three interceptions, while the Eagles had one fumble.

Meckstroth and Max Nicholson led UW-L with nine tackles each while Leahy finished with eight and Wussow six.  Berg had both of the Eagles' sacks.

Hallingstad, a preseason D3football.com All-America selection, averaged 46.2 yards on nine punts. He had a long of 62 yards with four over 50-yards. Hallingstad had three punts inside the 20-yard line.

Joey Michals led North Central's defense with 12 tackles while Shane Dierking and Adam Szudarski each had eight.

UW-L returns to action Thursday, September 6 at NCAA Division II Northern Michigan University.  Kickoff is scheduled for 6 p.m. (Central) in Marquette, Michigan.

Nov. 18: All times Eastern
Final
Husson 23, at Springfield 21
Video Video Box Score Recap Photos
Final
at Berry 34, Huntingdon 20
Video Video Box Score Recap Photos
Final
at Delaware Valley 35, Western New England 0
Video Box Score Recap
Final
at Brockport 66, Plymouth State 0
Video Box Score Recap
Final
Frostburg State 35, at Wittenberg 7
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Final
at Mount Union 21, Washington and Lee 0
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Final
at Wesley 45, RPI 27
Video Box Score Recap
Final
at Washington and Jefferson 31, Johns Hopkins 28
Video Box Score Recap
Final
at Trine 63, Monmouth 24
Video Box Score Photos
Final
at Mary Hardin-Baylor 50, Chapman 6
Video Box Score Recap
Final
Case Western Reserve 28, at Illinois Wesleyan 0
Video Box Score Recap
Final
at UW-Oshkosh 63, Lakeland 0
Video Box Score Recap Photos
Final
at St. Thomas 47, Eureka 8
Video Video Box Score Recap Photos Photos
Final - OT
at Wartburg 35, Franklin 34
Video Preview Box Score Live stats Photos
Final
at North Central (Ill.) 17, St. John's 7
Video Box Score Recap
Final
at Linfield 27, Hardin-Simmons 13
Box Score Photos
Nov. 25: All times Eastern
12:00 PM
Wesley at Brockport
12:00 PM
Case Western Reserve at Mount Union
Video Preview Preview Live stats Audio Tickets
12:00 PM
Frostburg State at Washington and Jefferson
Video Live stats Audio
12:00 PM
Husson at Delaware Valley
Video Live stats
1:00 PM
Berry at St. Thomas
Video Live stats Live stats Audio Audio
1:00 PM
North Central (Ill.) at UW-Oshkosh
Video Live stats Live stats Audio
1:00 PM
Linfield at Mary Hardin-Baylor
1:00 PM
Trine at Wartburg
Video Live stats
Nov. 18: All times Eastern
Final
Muhlenberg 32, at Carnegie Mellon 6
@ Newark, Del.
Video Box Score
Final
at Franklin and Marshall 21, Widener 7
Video Box Score
Final
Susquehanna 28, at Albright 9
Video Box Score
Final
at Berry 34, Huntingdon 20
Video Video Box Score Recap Photos
Final
at Brockport 66, Plymouth State 0
Video Box Score Recap
Final
at Mount Union 21, Washington and Lee 0
Video Box Score Photos
Final
at Trine 63, Monmouth 24
Video Box Score Photos
Final
at Wesley 45, RPI 27
Video Box Score Recap
Final
at Washington and Jefferson 31, Johns Hopkins 28
Video Box Score Recap
Final
Frostburg State 35, at Wittenberg 7
Video Box Score Recap
Final
at Delaware Valley 35, Western New England 0
Video Box Score Recap
Final
Husson 23, at Springfield 21
Video Video Box Score Recap Photos
Final
at Framingham State 48, Curry 14
Video Box Score
Final
Cortland 35, at Union 28
Box Score Recap
Final
Case Western Reserve 28, at Illinois Wesleyan 0
Video Box Score Recap
Final - OT
at Wartburg 35, Franklin 34
Video Preview Box Score Live stats Photos
Final
at Mary Hardin-Baylor 50, Chapman 6
Video Box Score Recap
Final
at UW-Oshkosh 63, Lakeland 0
Video Box Score Recap Photos
Final
at North Central (Ill.) 17, St. John's 7
Video Box Score Recap
Final
at St. Thomas 47, Eureka 8
Video Video Box Score Recap Photos Photos
Final
at Linfield 27, Hardin-Simmons 13
Box Score Photos
Final
at Ithaca 27, Salisbury 17
@ Newark, Del.
Video Box Score Recap
Final
at WPI 17, SUNY-Maritime 3
Box Score Recap
Nov. 19: All times Eastern
Final
at Alfred 29, Stevenson 16
@ University of Delaware
Video Box Score Recap