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Falcons loss provides insight on season ahead

October 14, 2021

The UW-La Crosse beat the UW-River Falls on Homecoming Saturday by a score of 45-23. The loss is the first for the Falcons this season after winning their first three games. 

 With the homecoming festivities and the school spirit on full display, the UWRF football team took the field on Oct. 2 to a crowd of about 3,100. With the football team holding their best start to a season since 1996, fans packed into David Smith Stadium. Unfortunately, things did not go according to plan. UWL raced out to an early lead by scoring 14 quick points in the first quarter. The Eagles didn’t stop finding the endzone as they tacked on another touchdown early in the second quarter. 

 With the Falcons facing a three-touchdown deficit, junior wide receiver Andy Groebner got the Falcons on the board with a pass from senior quarterback Kole Hinrichsen. Groebner hauled in another touchdown grab right before halftime but not before the Eagles added another touchdown making the score 28-14.  

 UWL put the game out of reach early in the third quarter by scoring again to balloon the lead to 35-14. After a pair of field goals were traded by both teams, the Eagles added another touchdown to put the final nail in the coffin. The Falcons scored a late touchdown but the damage was done and the Eagles headed back to La Crosse with a victory in the highly anticipated matchup.  

 One takeaway for the Falcons will be figuring out how to improve their third down conversion rate going into the future. The Falcons were 7-20 on third down conversions. Another takeaway is figuring out how to consistently score points while keeping other teams from scoring. The Falcons lead the Wisconsin Intercollegiate Athletic Conference (WIAC) in scoring, averaging 47 points a game, but are second last in points allowed. With tougher opponents ahead, defending the endzone may be difficult. 

 The game marked the first of six WIAC games remaining in the season. The schedule doesn’t get easier as the team hits the road for two games the next two Saturdays. After returning home the Falcons host UW-Whitewater, a powerhouse for Division III football on the Oct. 23. UW-Platteville comes to town the weekend after, before the team plays its final two games on the road, playing UW-Stout before ending the regular season in Oshkosh. 

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