EAU CLAIRE, Wisconsin (WXOW) - The records might not reflect it, but when UW-La Crosse lines up against UW-Eau Claire on the gridiron, they put on a show.
The Eagles lead the series 51-25 with two ties, however the Blugolds are winners of seven of the last nine.
This time, the Blugold offense came alive early on. Joel Sweeney gave Eau Claire a 7-0 lead on an opening drive 16-yard touchdown run. UWL tried to respond, but Andy Sires fumbled a snap turning it over to UWEC. That resulted in an Eau Claire touchdown, and following Sweeney's second touchdown of the game, the Blugolds jumped out in front 17-0.
La Crosse just needed a score at that point. Dillon Bean put them in position to do so. A run of 12-yards up the middle gave the Eagles a 1st and goal from inside the ten. They could not punch in the touchdown and instead settled for a field goal. La Crosse trailed 17-3 at the half.
Sires tried to start a second half comeback sneaking in for a touchdown in the third quarter. Eau Claire blocked the extra point, so UWL still trailed by eight.
Sweeney then put it away for the Blugolds, scoring his third touchdown of the day after another La Crosse fumble. Eau Claire ran out the clock after that, winning 24-9 and improving to 2-1 in the WIAC.
"They got after us, honestly," said Eagles head coach Joel Dettwiler. "They outplayed us up front, and we didn't have ball security on offense."
UWL senior LB Jack Leahy added, "We knew they had a good offensive scheme, and they were just pounding us. We were doing whatever we could to fight back as much as we could, but...we just didn't perform defensively like we needed to."
With the loss, La Crosse now drops to 1-2 in the conference. They're 2-4 overall. The Eagles next play host to UW-Stout on Saturday, October 20th.
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