UWL Wraps Up Undefeated Non-Conference Play with Win over Carroll

La Crosse, Wis. - The University of Wisconsin-La Crosse football team ended its 2017 non-conference schedule with a 41-6 home victory over Carroll University (Wis.) Saturday afternoon at Roger Harring Stadium at Veterans Memorial Field Sports Complex.  The Eagles improve to 3-0 on the season while the Pioneers drop to 1-2. 

UWL is receiving votes on this week's D3football.com and American Football Coaches Association (AFCA) Top-25 Polls.

For the third straight game, UWL scored on its first possession of the game. The Eagles forced a Pioneers' punt on the first drive of the contest. UWL took a 3-0 lead as Michael Pakos hit a 26-yard field goal with 10:44 left in the first quarter after the drive went 29 yards on seven plays and 2:44. Carroll (Wis.) was forced to punt on its next possession and UWL drove 72 yards in five plays and 1:32 to lead 10-0. Tarek Yaeggi hit Cole Spieker on a 19-yard touchdown pass after Yaeggi had been called for intentional grounding on the previous play. The big play in the drive came on Yaeggi's 51-yard completion to Devonte Amos. UWL led 10-0 at the end of the first quarter. 

Carroll's (Wis.) Colton Bahling's incomplete pass on fourth-and-12 from UWL's 24-yard line gave the Eagles ball back with 11:15 left in the second quarter. UWL went 76 yards in seven plays and 2:45 as Trenten Smith scored on a three-yard run to make it 17-0 with 8:36 remaining. Yaeggi was three-for-three on the drive for 63 yards, including a 33-yard completion to Ryan Kruser. 

The Eagles took a 24-0 halftime lead with :22 left in the second quarter after Troy Bailey scored on a four-yard run. The drive went 64 yards in eight plays and 3:22.

UWL took the second half kickoff and went 54-yards in 12 plays and 4:07 for a 31-0 advantage with Smith scoring on a three-yard run. Kruser had opened the second half with a 36-yard kickoff return.  Kruser gave UWL a 38-0 lead when he returned a Austin Harter punt 58-yards for a touchdown with 9:12 left in the third quarter. It marked his second career punt return for a touchdown after a 76-yard return versus Ripon College (Wis.) a year ago.

Carroll (Wis.) got on the board with a 75-yard, 15-play drive in 8:37 as Bahling scored on a one-yard run. The extra-point was blocked. Bryce Wesling finished the scoring for UWL with a career-high 39-yard field goal with 9:19 left in the game. UWL went 70 yards in 16 plays and 6:17.

UWL finished with 481 yards of offense, including 172 rushing and 309 passing. Yaeggi went 22-of-28 passing for 293 yards with one touchdown and one interception. Kruser caught six passes for 65 yards. Eleven different players caught a pass for the Eagles. Smith finished with 57 yards rushing and two touchdowns on 13 attempts. 

UWL totaled 26 first downs while going eight-of-13 on third-down. The Eagles were five-of-five in red-zone opportunities. 

Carroll (Wis.) had 189 yards of offense, including 110 rushing and 79 passing. Bahling finished 10-of-21 for Carroll (Wis.) for 79 yards with Parker Zitzke recording five catches for 22 yards and Brandon Ehrke four catches for 54 yards. Brant Sanderfoot led the Pioneers with 49 yards rushing on eight attempts. 

Carroll (Wis.) was held to 13 first downs while going four-of-13 on third-down. The Pioneers won the time of possession, 30:40 to 29:20. 

Luke Winnen led UWL's defense with eight tackles while Brandon McKandes, Michael Garvey and Ryan Weber each finished with five. 

Linzy Hudson led Carroll (Wis.) with 13 tackles, including eight solo. Cameron Cassaro finished with nine tackles. 

UWL returns to action Saturday, September 30 at UW-Stevens Point at 6 p.m. to open Wisconsin Intercollegiate Athletic Conference (WIAC) play. 

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