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Visitors put game out of reach early against Falcons

UW-River Falls senior Kyle Narges battles mid-air with UW-La Crosse receiver Nick Holcomb during the Falcons' 56-7 home loss on Nov. 11. Mike Longaecker / RiverTown Multimedia1 / 2
Falcons' senior Michael Diggins takes on a UW-La Crosse defender Nov. 11 during Senior Day at UW-River Falls. Mike Longaecker / RiverTown Multimedia2 / 2

A punishing second quarter of UW-La Crosse dominance spoiled Senior Day for the Falcons in their final game of the season.

The Eagles ran off 42 unanswered points until UW-River Falls got on the board in the third quarter when senior running back Michael Diggins hauled in a 5-yard touchdown pass from quarterback Ben Beckman.

The touchdown, backed by a Dylan Swerig extra point, represented the sole score in the 56-7 loss Saturday, Nov. 11, at Ramer Field.

Though the Falcons stayed close in first downs — amassing 17 against La Crosse's 23 — and topping the Eagles on the ground with 192 rushing yards, the visiting team capitalized on a high-powered passing attack. UW-L finished with 470 passing yards and six receiving touchdowns.

After holding UWL to a manageable 7-0 first-quarter lead, the visiting team went on a second-quarter scoring frenzy that left the Falcons down 42-0 at the half. The Beckman-to-Diggins pass accounted for all the third-quarter scoring. The Eagles answered with two more passing touchdowns in the final frame.

UWRF sophomore Ben Beckman led the Falcons' passing attack with 14 completions for 151 yards, with a touchdown and an interception. He also rushed for 63 yards on 10 carries.

Senior Michael Diggins was UWRF's leading rusher with 108 yards on 27 carries.

UWRF junior Trenton Monson led the Falcons in receiving with 92 yards on four receptions, while fellow junior Nicholas Studer led the team in receptions, with seven for 50 yards.

On defense, Somerset native Max Praschak was the Falcons' tackles leader with nine, while junior Darrian Brown and senior Zach Bahr each recorded an interception on the day.

The Falcons graduate 18 seniors from their 99-man roster that lists 25 juniors and 24 sophomores. Among the graduating seniors are Hudson natives Wade Malecha, a running back, and Ross Wusterbarth, a linebacker, along with Prescott native Nick Jacobsen.

Mike Longaecker

Mike Longaecker is the regional public safety reporter for RiverTown Multimedia. His coverage area spans St. Croix and Pierce counties. Longaecker served from 2011-2015 as editor of the Woodbury Bulletin. A University of Wisconsin-River Falls graduate, Longaecker previously reported for the Red Wing Republican Eagle and for the Forum Communications Minnesota Capitol Bureau. You can follow him on Twitter at @Longaecker

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