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Opinion

Falcon football ends losing streak against UW-Eau Claire

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December 2, 2010

The Falcon football team broke through for their first and only win of the 2010 season Saturday, Nov. 13 with a 45-42 upset win at UW-Eau Claire. The Falcons used career best performances from three of their seniors to gain the win.

Ryan Luessenheide had the best performance of his career as he tossed the ball for 375 yards and 5 touchdowns. Joe Ganske had over 200 yards receiving, and Keith Lofgren played shut down defense at the cornerback position.

Underclassmen Chad Blair and Brady Hannigan also had big days for the Falcons as Blair was six for six on extra point attempts. Blair also tacked on a 28 yard field goal in the second quarter. Hannigan hauled in three of Lussenheide’s touchdown passes including the game winner.

Blair and Lussenheide both earned WIAC Player of the Week awards for their efforts. Greg Klingelhutz also earned accolades for his play this season as his 127 kick-return yards on Saturday setting the Division III kick return record for a single season with 1017 yards.

With the win Head Coach John O’Grady took over sixth place all-time in wins with 105, moving past UW-Eau Claire’s Link Walker. For O’Grady it was the final win in a twenty-two year run as the Falcon’s head coach.

It was nice to see the Falcons avoid going 0-10 for the first time in history, and it took a full team effort. Nobody gave up on this game and they turned it into a win. Unlike earlier in the season, the Falcons came out and threw the ball when behind, and it paid off in a big way.

Luessenheide’s 375 yards not only earned him a WIAC Offensive Player of the Week Award, but it also put him down in the Falcon football record books. The 375 yards are the most in team history by a Falcon quarterback. The record was previously held by current Falcons Assistant Coach Storm Harmon who threw for 340 yards in 2007 against UW-La Crosse.

Five Falcons were named to All-WIAC teams. Running backs Taylor Edwards and Klingelhutz were named to the first offensive team. Offensive lineman Joe Gotmer and corner back Keith Lofgren made the honorable mention teams for offense and defense respectively. Tight end Patrick Houlton was named to the All-Sportsmanship team.

The Falcons finished their season 1-9 overall, and 1-6 in the WIAC. It was the final game for O’Grady who finished his career 105-112-3.

Robert Silvers is a student at UW-River Falls.