LA CROSSE, Wisconsin (WXOW) - A tough season for both teams ends on a positive note with a second win for UW-Eau Claire as they defeat UW-La Crosse 24-21 Saturday at Roger Harring Field at Veterans Memorial Stadium.
The Eagles took an early lead on Ben Hertrampf's 8-yard dash for a touchdown at 8:55 in the first quarter.
Joel Sweeney led the Blugolds on the ground with 173 yards and more importantly two touchdowns. His first came at the 13:45 mark of the second quarter.
With 10:55 remaining in the second, Andy Sires hit Mark Dorlack for a 2-yard score to briefly give the Eagles the lead again.
But 40 seconds later, the game was tied up again at 14 as Sweeney got his second TD with a 1 yard run to cap a 66 yard, 3 play drive. Sweeney carried the ball on all three plays, with runs of 10, 40, and 1 yards to lead the Blugolds downfield.
Eau Claire took a 17-14 halftime lead following a 35-yard field goal from Billy Emanuel with 33 seconds remaining.
The Eagles retook the lead at 21-17 after an 11 play, 72-yard drive to start the third quarter.
No one scored until early in the fourth quarter when Blugolds QB Joel Newman found Nate Piel for a four yard toss to put Eau Claire back up 24-21 with 13:34 in the fourth.
UWL wasn't able to capitalize on four possessions in the fourth. The Eagle defense was able to force Eau Claire to punt to leave UWL at their own 38 with 25 seconds remaining and no timeouts available. Sires then threw four incomplete passes to finish the game and the season for UWL.
They finish the season at 3-7. Eau Claire concludes their season with a 2-8 record.
Although both teams were only four yards apart in terms of total offense, 316 for UWL to 320 for UWEC, the Blugolds had the ball for nine minutes more than La Crosse.
Another telling statistic for the day was that UWL managed only 2 of 9 on third down conversions.
The rain made for dismal conditions for the teams and the fans. While the stands were full of people at the start of the game, there were more players on the sidelines by the time the game finished as a steady rain was falling throughout the afternoon.
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