Menomonie, Wis. - The University of Wisconsin-La Crosse football team earned a 42-6 victory at UW-Stout Saturday afternoon at Williams Stadium. UWL, receiving votes on this week's American Football Coaches Association (AFCA) Top-25 Poll, improves to 5-0 overall and 2-0 in the Wisconsin Intercollegiate Athletic Conference (WIAC). UW-Stout drops to 2-3 overall and 0-2 in the WIAC.
UWL is 5-0 overall for the first time since winning its first nine games in 1996 and 2-0 in the WIAC for the first time since 2006. The Eagles went on to finish 11-2 overall in 1996 and advanced to the National Collegiate Athletic Association (NCAA) Division III semifinals before falling 39-21 to Mount Union University (Ohio) in a game played in Madison, Wisconsin.
The Eagles finished 9-2 overall and 6-1 in the WIAC in 2006 while advancing to the second round of the NCAA III Playoffs before losing 24-21 at UW-Whitewater.
Mike Schmidt is the first head coach in school history to start 5-0.
UW-Stout took a 6-0 lead in the first quarter on a pair of Drew Pearson field goals. UWL was forced to punt on the first possession of the game and UW-Stout used a 28-yard pass play to set up Pearson's 42-yard field goal with 12:34 remaining in the first quarter to give the Blue Devils a 3-0 lead. The Eagles were forced to punt on their second drive of the game and the Blue Devils went 48 yards in eight plays and 3:17 with Pearson connecting on a 33-yard field goal with 7:55 left in the quarter for a 6-0 advantage.
UWL responded on its ensuing drive to take its first lead of the game on a 11-play, 75-yard drive in 4:11 as Tyer Jenkins scored on a three-yard touchdown run. Joshua Fischer converted the extra-point. Tarek Yaeggi went five-of-six on the drive for 35 yards.
The teams traded turnovers later in the first quarter before Fischer's 25-yard field goal was blocked by UW-Stout's Aaron Wisecup with 14:51 remaining in the second quarter. UW-Stout fumbled on its second straight possession with UWL's Peter Krien recovering the ball at UW-Stout's 33-yard line. Jenkins scored on a one-yard run with 10:52 left in the first half to give the Eagles a 14-6 lead. UWL went 33 yards in 10 plays and 3:00.
After forcing a UW-Stout punt, UWL took a 21-6 lead as Yaeggi connected with Dante Marski on a 84-yard touchdown pass. The Eagles forced a three-and-out from the Blue Devils and then used a 12-play, 67-yard drive in 5:05 as Yaeggi scored on a five-yard touchdown run to make it 28-6 at halftime.
Jenkins scored his third rushing touchdown of the game on a one-yard run with 3:47 remaining in the third quarter to make it 35-6. UWL went 73 yards in nine plays and 3:33. Yaeggi finished the scoring with a 14-yard touchdown pass to Joel Oxton with 12:20 left in the game after a 74-yard, 11-play drive in 4:45.
UWL finished with 410 yards of offense Saturday, including 97 rushing and 313 passing. The Eagles had 24 first downs while finishing 12-of-20 on third-down and five-of-six in the red-zone. UWL won the time of possession, 34:42 to 25:18.
Jenkins led UWL with 63 yards rushing on 21 attempts and three touchdowns, giving him a team-leading seven this year. He is the first player since Ben Hertrampf to score three rushing touchdowns in a game. Hertrampf had 31 carries for 182 yards and three touchdowns in UWL's 30-24 overtime win at 15th-ranked UW-Oshkosh October 29, 2011.
Yaeggi finished 24-of-34 for 301 yards Saturday with two touchdowns and one interception. It marked Yaeggi's third straight 300-yard game. He also recorded a rushing touchdown for the fifth straight game. Yaeggi has accounted for 13 touchdowns this season (eight passing; five rushing).
Ryan Kruser had seven catches for 45 yards Saturday while Oxton finished with six catches for 93 yards and one touchdown. Oxton has recorded a touchdown catch in 12 of his last 15 games. Marski had three catches for a career-high 104 yards and one touchdown.
UW-Stout totaled 245 yards, including 56 rushing and 189 passing. The Blue Devils were one-of-14 on third-down and one-of-two in the red-zone. UW-Stout finished with five turnovers, including four fumbles.
Adolfo Pacheco led the Blue Devils with 39 yards rushing on seven carries while Jay Alston finished 13-of-24 passing for 153 yards. Danny Farley was two-of-11 for 23 yards with an interception. Jordan Dabney (51 yards) and Travis Urlaub (35) each had four catches for UW-Stout.
Noah Risch led UWL's defense with nine tackles, including six unassisted. He had 3.0 tackles for loss, two fumble recoveries and one interception. Steve Law and Peter Kissling each finished with seven tackles. Sam Phillips recorded 5.0 tackles for loss, including 1.0 quarterback sack. Peter Krien and Darrick Schiferl each had 1.0 quarterback sack.
Tony Blair led UW-Stout with 10 tackles, including nine unassisted.
UWL returns to action Saturday, October 15 hosting second-ranked UW-Whitewater at 1 p.m.