/seasons/2012/contrib/20120922xlyzm4

Blue Devil defense puts the stops to River Falls opportunities

More news about: UW-Stout

The old adage "bend, but don't break" proved true for the UW-Stout defense as the Blue Devils shut down every UW-River Falls drive in the fourth quarter as Stout went on to a 20-9 non-conference win at Ramer Field Saturday.

The Blue Devils (2-1) stopped winless River Falls (0-3) four times in the fourth quarter on fourth down and pounced on a fumble in a fifth opportunity. Stout stopped the Falcons on the Stout 16 early in the fourth quarter. On the Falcons next drive, Stout forced a fumble on the River Falls 40. On the Falcons next two possessions, Stout stopped them on the Stout 27 and the Stout 4. On the Falcons' fifth chance in the quarter, Stout forced a four-and-out to preserve the win.

As tough as the Stout defense was on fourth down, they were equally tough on third down, stopping the Falcons two-of-13 times throughout the entire evening.

Stout took an early lead in the game, moving 53 yards in 15 plays to set up Ricky Marteney's (Jr, Greenfield) 33 yard field at 3:32 in the first quarter.

The Falcons took their only lead of the game early in the second quarter. After recovering a Stout fumble on the Stout 43, the Falcons needed only three plays - highlighted by John Wahlstrom's 33-yard reception - to score on John Schimens 13-yard rumble.

The Blue Devils responded on their next drive after Trevor Morning (Jr, Bloomer) returned the ensuing kickoff 26 yards to the Stout 44.  Quarterback Michael Blizel (Sr, Sturgeon Bay) drove Stout 56 yards in 11 plays, capping the drive with a 1-yard toss to Austin Schwartz (Sr, Waconia, Minn).

Marteney added a 25 yard field goal midway through the third quarter to stretch the lead to 13-7.

Stout got their final score of the game after Ryan Ericksen (Sr, Stanley) recovered a fumble on the River Falls 40.

Blizel needed only two plays to capitalize. After Paul Bernier (Sr, Lakeville, Minn) ran five yards, Blizel found a wide-open Morning who scored for a 35-yard play.

The Falcons added two points when they blocked a punt through the end zone with four minutes left.

Stout tallied 324 yards of total offense, 155 rushing, 169 passing. Eric Brown (Sr, St. Paul, Minn) proved to be the workhorse for the Blue Devils, hauling the football 32 times for 127 yards. Blizel completed 17-of-29 passes for 169 with two touchdowns and two interceptions. Morning hauled in four passes for 61 yards and Zak Snell (So, Castaic, Calif) had four catches fo 44 yards.

The Falcons were held to 221 total yards, 28 yards rushing, 193 passing. Freshman quarterback Ryan Kusilek completed 22-of-42 passes for 193 yards. Nathan Brandt had eight receptions for 79 yards and Wahlstrom had four catches for 58 yards.

Defensively, Stout's Collin Laursen (So, Mondovi) had eight tackles, six solo, with two tackles for loss and a sack. Ericksen had four tackles with a sack, a fumble recovery and a pass break-up. For the Falcons, Jacob Mandoza had 11 tackles, eight solo.

Stout will be at UW-Eau Claire, Saturday, Sept. 29 at 1 p.m.

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D3football.com Top 25, preseason

The D3football.com Top 25, entering the 2019 season. This is the 17th season of the D3football.com Top 25.

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1 Mary Hardin-Baylor (24) 15-0 624
2 Mount Union (1) 14-1 599
3 St. John's 12-1 566
4 UW-Whitewater 12-1 555
5 North Central (Ill.) 10-2 482
6 Johns Hopkins 12-2 457
7 St. Thomas 8-2 414
8 Muhlenberg 11-2 405
9 Hardin-Simmons 9-2 397
10 Bethel 11-2 396  
11 Whitworth 10-1 336  
12 Linfield 7-2 291  
13 Brockport 11-1 230  
14 Delaware Valley 9-2 223  
15 Illinois Wesleyan 8-2 197  
16 Berry 10-2 190  
17 John Carroll 9-2 168  
18 Wittenberg 9-1 162  
19 RPI 10-2 152  
20 Centre 10-2 137  
21 Washington and Jefferson 9-2 132  
22 Wheaton (Ill.) 8-2 109  
23 Wabash 9-1 105  
24 Randolph-Macon 9-3 91  
25 St. Norbert 10-2 83

Others receiving votes: Trine 73; UW-La Crosse 71; Wartburg 61; Wesley 59; Washington U. 58; Montclair State 49; Alfred 48; Ithaca 42; UW-Oshkosh 40; Central 29; Case Western Reserve 25; Baldwin Wallace 20; Salisbury 15; Trinity (Texas) 10; Hope 10; Redlands 6; Marietta 3; Trinity (Conn.) 3, MIT 2.

The D3football.com Top 25 is voted on by a panel of 25 coaches, Sports Information Directors and media members from across the country, and is published weekly. Points are awarded on a 25-24-23-22-etc. basis.