UW-RF Football: Falcons come up short again
For the second consecutive week, the UW-River Falls football team was in a position to win but came up short in the final minutes.
Trailing 16-10 to UW-Stout last Saturday, Oct. 29 at Ramer Field, the Falcons had a 41-yard touchdown pass with two minutes remaining wiped out by a holding penalty.
Instead of lining up for a go-ahead extra point, the Falcons were pushed back to a 1st-and-20, still trailing by six. They turned the ball over on downs when B.J. Letourneau's sideline pass intended for Charles Dixon on 4th-and-9 was incomplete with 1:25 remaining.
Things won't get any easier for the winless Falcons this weekend when they travel to UW-La Crosse, a team they haven't beaten since 1992.
There were some bright spots for the Falcons last Saturday against Stout. Senior tailback Taylor Edwards rushed for 135 yards on 23 carries for his 15th career 100-yard rushing game and reached the 3,000 yard mark for his career.
Letourneau matched his career high for completions, going 26-for-43 for 233 yards for his second straight 200-yard passing game, while John Wahlstrom, the WIAC's leading receiver, caught 9 passes for a career-high 101 yards.
Dixon, a former star at River Falls High School, caught a career-high seven passes, including his first collegiate touchdown, a 5-yard reception with 5:46 remaining to cut the Blue Devil lead to 16-10.
In addition to blocking a field goal and extra-point attempt, the Falcons recorded four sacks on defense, the most since the 2009 season opener against St. Johns.
Defensive lineman Ryan Bartsch has picked up a sack in each of the last three games and added two against Stout, while linebacker Jake Mandoza and defensive tackle Aaron Niemann had a sack apiece. Former Hudson Raider linebacker Nate Smits finished with a team-high seven tackles.
The Falcons, now 0-8 overall, 0-5 in the WIAC, will take on La Crosse (3-5, 2-3) Saturday, Nov. 5 at 1 p.m. at Veteran's Memorial Stadium. Since 1989 the Eagles are 22-1-1 against the Falcons, winning each of the last 18 seasons.