EAU CLAIRE, Wis. (Blugolds.com) – The UW-Eau Claire football team captured the "War on I-94" trophy after defeating UW-Stout 20-17 at Carson Park this afternoon.
Photos (By Chico La Barbera)
While Eau Claire trailed late in the fourth quarter, a touchdown pass from Joel Newman (Jr.-Red Wing, Minn.) to Lucas Emmerich (Jr.-Eau Claire, Wis./Memorial) gave the Blugolds a lead they wouldn't give up. The winning drive lasted six minutes and encompassed 68 yards in 12 plays, ending in the four-yard touchdown pass with 3:26 to play.
Earlier in the game, the Blugolds struck first, completing a six-play, 46-yard drive with a 23-yard touchdown pass from Newman to Matthew Knapp (So.-Eau Claire, Wis./Memorial) just over eight minutes into the opening quarter. A missed extra point kept the score at 6-0.
Stout answered on the following drive with a 39-yard field goal and added a touchdown late in the second quarter to go up 10-6.
Just before halftime, the Blugolds were able to take the lead again after quickly working their way down the field. Eau Claire drove 75 yards with nine plays in just 2:12, scoring a touchdown on a Newman to Knapp pass for nine yards. This time the extra point with 39 seconds left was good and the Blugolds led 13-10 at halftime.
On the Blugolds' first drive in the second half, Newman threw a costly interception and Stout's James Van Thiel returned it 50 yards before fumbling the ball to the end zone. Unfortunately for the Blugolds, Blue Devil Garrett Eide recovered the fumble in the end zone to give the Blugolds a touchdown. After the extra point, Stout led 17-13.
The Blugolds finished the day with 285 yards of total offense, 280 through the air and five on the ground. Stout had 227 yards of offense, 66 on the ground and 161 through the air. There were a total of 13 penalties during the game, eight on Stout and five on Eau Claire.
Newman led the Blugolds in passing going 30-for-47 for 280 yards. His 30 completions ranks fifth all-time in school history for most in a single game while the 47 attempts is tied for eighth-most.
Bo Casper (So.-Freedom, Wis.) led the Blugolds in rushing with 27 yards and Knapp had 11 receptions with 125 yards and two touchdowns to lead the team.
On defense, Jalen Thomas (So.-South Chicago Heights, Ill./Bloom Trail), Jayden Dobbs (Jr.-Athens, Wis.) and Cody Taubman (Jr.-New Richmond, Wis.) each finished the game with six tackles. Thomas recorded one sack for a loss of 11 yards.
Eau Claire is now 1-7 on the season and 1-4 in the WIAC while Stout is 0-5 in conference play and 1-7 overall.
Next Saturday the Blugolds will be at UW-Oshkosh for a game beginning at 2 p.m.