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Falcon football opens season with resounding victory

September 16, 2021

It’s been 658 days since the University of Wisconsin-River Falls played a home football game. The wait was worth it as the UWRF football team routed Elmhurst University (IL) by a score of 45-7 in their season opener after not playing last year due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

The Falcons got on the scoreboard within 90 seconds when junior wide receiver Andy Groebner hauled in a long touchdown pass from senior quarterback Kole Hinrichsen. Sophomore kicker Kade Henry tacked on a field goal right before senior Bailey Germain returned an interception for a touchdown allowing the Falcon lead to balloon to 17-0. Elmhurst would have an interception returned for a touchdown of their own, cutting the score to 17-7 at halftime.

Hinrichsen would start the second half by throwing his second touchdown pass of the game to Groebner. The junior wide receiver wasn’t done as he found the end zone for a third time when he caught a touchdown pass from freshman quarterback Kaleb Blaha. Groebner would finish the afternoon with an impressive stat line of five receptions for 114 yards and three touchdowns. Hinrichsen was equally impressive as he finished with 263 yards on 22 completions with two touchdown tosses.

The Falcons rushing game was strong as they provided two touchdowns in the second half. Senior running back Luke Fugate scored on an 18-yard scamper followed up by fellow senior running back Anthony Silva scoring on a two-yard run shortly after. The Falcons didn’t find the end-zone again but the damage was done, putting the game out of reach after the two quick scores.

The Falcon defense did their part in the victory as they limited the Bluejays to 151 total yards while holding the offensive scoreless in the second half. The defense also chipped in five sacks and held Elmhurst to a 20% third down conversion rate. Freshman linebacker Isaiah Karels made his impact on the game as he recorded eight tackles. Another freshman, Dylan Brown, helped shut down the Bluejay passing attack as he recorded four pass breakups.

The victory marks three straight opening season victories as they Falcons have not lost a season opener since 2017. Coincidently, their 38 point victory is their largest margin of victory since their 2019 season opener game against the University of Minnesota Morris. Next up the Falcons travel to Conway, Arkansas to face Hendrix College in a non-conference game. Kickoff was on Sept. 11.