Kaleb Blaha: A true dual-threat quarterback
November 12, 2023
Starting quarterback Kaleb Blaha has the UWRF Falcons football team looking like true contenders this season. With only a game left in the regular season, the Falcons sit at 7-2 on the year and are 4-2 against conference opponents. Blaha's success this season can not be understated, but, as with most student-athletes, the path to success is one of longevity and adaptation.
Blaha says he began playing organized football in second grade and has primarily been a quarterback during his football career. During his freshman year of high school, he played on the varsity team as a safety and wide receiver. It wasn't until his junior year that he would be back at the starting quarterback position. Blaha would play quarterback through his senior year, but many universities noted his ability to play other roles as well.
Blaha received offers to play quarterback, safety, and wide receiver. He would ultimately commit to Winona State University before the 2020 season as a receiver. Unfortunately, for many football programs, the Covid-19 pandemic rendered the 2020 season unplayable. Blaha would never play a down for Winona and would soon transfer to UWRF to participate in the 2021 season.
Blaha says that, before he transferred, UWRF had always been a top option on his list. He connected with the coaching staff and with head coach Matt Walker.
In 2021, the Falcons experienced their first winning season in over two decades. Going 9-2 overall and 5-2 in-conference, the Falcons were led by quarterback Kole Hinrichsen to an Isthmus Bowl win. Blaha sat behind Hinrichsen, serving as the backup quarterback until the following year.
Blaha stepped into the leading role in 2022. He would act as a major dual-threat quarterback, netting 2,488 pass yards along with 1,000 rush yards. The Falcons would regress slightly, going 7-4 overall and 4-3 against conference opponents. However, they would win the Isthmus Bowl for the second straight year against Washington University in St. Louis, MO.
With a full year of college experience under his belt, Blaha says he feels more comfortable this year. He has heavily cut down on turnovers through the air this season. He finished his 2022 campaign with 21 passing touchdowns and ten interceptions. Through this year, Blaha has 23 passing touchdowns to only four interceptions. Beyond being the Falcon's primary passer, Blaha carries the team's rushing game.
This season, he has 981 rushing yards and 19 rushing touchdowns. Blaha needs 19 rushing yards against UW-Oshkosh to make this his second straight year with over 1,000 total. On Oct. 28th, Blaha had his best rushing game at the collegiate level against UW-Stout. He went for 301 yards on the ground against a Stout team without answers. This more than doubled his previous single-game record, which was 146 rushing yards. Six of the Falcon's seven touchdowns were scored on runs by Blaha, and they defeated the Blue Devils 49-35. When asked about his situation, Blaha said, "I couldn't ask for anything better. I'm just grateful for it all."