Double tight end and pull was the key to success for the Eagles of University of Wisconsin–La Crosse in a 21-3 win against the University of Wisconsin–Stout Blue Devils on Saturday, Oct. 19 at Don and Nona Williams Stadium.
With a passing attack that ranks last in the WIAC, UW–Stout (2-4, 0-3 WIAC) made the Eagles run the ball, and run they did. The game plan stalled the Eagles, but the defense eventually gave in: UW–Stout ranks last in the conference for rushing defense, and they were up against a quarterback that was making his first collegiate start.
Whether the tight ends were stacked or on either wing, the Eagles’ run game racked up 274 yards on 51 attempts to power UW–La Crosse (1-5, 1-2 WIAC) to their first victory of the season.
UW–La Crosse took the opening possession of the game and drove it 75 yards for a 7-0 lead. The touchdown came on a 39-yard pass play from Trent Cummings, a sophomore from Waunakee, Wis., to Alex Lepp, a junior from Green Bay, Wis. The Eagles started fast, but that would be the only score they would see for a while.
Although it may have seemed like a one-sided affair, the Eagles were only leading 7-3 going into the final frame. The Blue Devils gave up big chunks of yards in between, but they were able to hold the Eagles’ offense out of the end zone for the majority of the game.
But the Eagles broke the game open at the beginning of the fourth quarter. Ben Hertrampf, a junior from Fennimore, Wis., got the handoff from midfield, found a hole between the tackles and took the ball 50 yards down the Eagles’ sideline to make it 14-3.
Hank Kujak, a junior from Blaire, Wis., turned the ball over on UW–Stout’s next drive with an interception and the Eagles were again in the end zone, going 80 yards on eight plays to seal the game.
The only score in the game for UW–Stout came near the end of the first quarter on a 42-yard field goal by Ricky Marteney, a senior from Greenfield, Wis.
It wasn’t UW–Stout’s best day offensively, but give credit to the defense for staying the course, making stops and keeping the team in the game.
Kujak finished the game with 18 completions out of 39 attempts for 164 yards. Adolfo Pacheco, a freshman from South Elgin, Ill., led the UW–Stout offense with 65 rushing yards on 14 carries. Brian Alvarez, a junior from Atwater, Calif., led all receivers with four catches for 57 yards.
Tyler Naatz, a junior from Menomonie, Wis., led Blue Devils’ defense with nine tackles. Luke Bakkum, a junior from Oconomowoc, Wis., contributed seven tackles and a sack.
Jake Schiff, a senior from South Range, Wis., forced the lone Eagles turnover of the game with an intercept—although he should have had two, dropping a gift from the UW–La Crosse quarterback.
Tanner Kuehn, a junior running back from Fairchild, Wis., was injured on a tackle in the second quarter and did not return in the second half for the Blue Devils.
Hertrampf finished with 168 yards on 27 carries for the Eagles. Cummings completed 11 of 21 passes for 179 yards and two touchdowns.
The Blue Devils will travel to the University of Wisconsin–Platteville to take on seventh-ranked Pioneers on Saturday, Oct. 26.