The University of Wisconsin-Eau Claire compiled 528 yards of total offense and controlled the ball for 35 minutes of the game on their way to a 30-14 win over Gustavus Adolphus in St. Peter, Minnesota. Leading 10-7 at halftime, the Blugolds outscored the Gusties 20-7 in the second half to claim the 16-point victory. Junior running back Eddy Kaiser led UW-Eau Claire as he rushed 20 times for 136 yards and two touchdowns. UW-Eau Claire improves to 6-1 on the season, while Gustavus falls to 1-6 overall.
The Blugolds took a 3-0 lead in the game on a 23-yard field goal at 8:34 of the first quarter. UW-Eau Claire extended its lead when quarterback Nels Fredrickson hit Mike Hennessey with a four-yard touchdown pass at 12:07 of the second quarter. Schneider converted the point-after and the Blugolds led 10-0. With UW-Eau Claire driving for a score just before the half, Gustavus safety Kevin Hegland intercepted a pass at the Gustavus 10-yard line and returned it 45 yards to the Blugold 45-yard line. The Gusties turned the turnover into points as quarterback Jordan Stolp completed a three-yard touchdown pass to Sean Smith with :29 seconds left before halftime. Stolp converted the extra point attempt and Gustavus trailed 10-7 at the intermission.
UW-Eau Claire opened the second half with an impressive nine-play, 75 yard drive that resulted in a three-yard touchdown run by Eddy Kaiser. Schneider’s point after attempt was good and the Blugolds led 17-7. Gustavus countered with an impressive eight-play, 66-yard drive of its own as Jordan Stolp snuck in from one-yard out for the touchdown. Stolp converted the extra point and the Gusties trailed 17-14. The third quarter scoring barrage continued as UW-Eau Claire drove 57 yards in nine plays on the next possession and pushed its lead to 20-14 on a 25-yard field goal by Andy Schneider.
The Blugolds increased their lead to 23-14 on a 39-yard field goal by Andy Schneider early in the fourth quarter. Gustavus looked like it would jump right back into the game with a 12-play, 61-yard drive, however a Jordan Stolp pass was intercepted by UW-Eau Claire’s Brent Tieri at the Blugold five-yard line with 6:25 left in the game. UW-Eau Claire then drove 87 yards in nine plays and scored on a 13-yard run by Eddy Kaiser with 2:28 remaining. Schneider converted the point after attempt and the Blugolds led 30-14.
Gustavus quickly drove the ball to the UW-Eau Claire 11-yard line with 1:20 left. On fourth-and-one, Jordan Stolp’s pass to Sean Smith near the goal line fell incomplete ending any hopes of a last second Gustie comeback.
UW-Eau Claire compiled 528 yards of total offense on the day, but struggled to finish off several of its long drives. Joining Kaiser with a 100-yard rushing day was Joe Gast who finished with 19 carries for 119 yards. Quarterback Nels Freedrickson completed 21-of-35 passes for 235 yards and one touchdown with two interceptions. He also rushed for 40 yards. Matt Evensen led all Blugold receivers with eight catches for 108 yards. Kicker Andy Schneider had an impressive day making three field goals and booming several kickoffs out of the end zone. Defensively, the Blugolds allowed 284 yards on the day. Defensive back Derek Sikora recorded eight tackles and forced a fumble, while defensive tackle Brent Crank recorded four tackles and intercepted a pass.
Gustavus was led offensively by quarterback Jordan Stolp who completed 22-of-39 passes for 243 yards and one touchdown with two interceptions. Freshman running back Mitch Anderson had a big day filling in for Drew Stifter who was injured late in the first half. Anderson rushed 9 times for 35 yards and caught six passes for 70 yards. Defensively, Isaac Sieling, who leads Division III in tackles per game at 16.6, had another big day with 20 tackles (8 solo, 12 assists). Safeties Chris Thorson and Kevin Hegland each intercepted a pass on the day.
Gustavus will play next Saturday against St. Thomas in St. Peter, while UW-Eau Claire will travel to UW-Platteville to play the Pioneers.