UWSP football wins season opener in double overtime
The University of Wisconsin-Stevens Point (UWSP) football team outlasted St. Norbert to win its season opener in double overtime at Community Stadium at Goerke Field Saturday, Sept. 2.
The game was tied at 27-27 entering the second overtime, when St. Norbert scored on an 11-yard touchdown pass to take a 33-27 lead, before UWSP senior defensive lineman Tanner Beaman blocked the extra-point kick.
On the ensuing possession, senior quarterback Ryan Swigart threw a 25-yard touchdown pass to sophomore wide receiver Jonte Webb, and freshman kicker Hayden Neidert kicked the extra point to give the Pointers a 34-33 win.
Coming off a 6-4 record a year ago, the Pointers opened up at home against St. Norbert, who they beat 37-14 last season.
Following a 93-minute delay to start the game due to weather, St. Norbert scored on a nine-yard touchdown pass with 2:29 remaining in the first quarter to take a 7-0 lead.
UWSP then turned the ball over on downs on the St. Norbert one-yard line, and St. Norbert drove 99 yards in 14 plays, capped by an eight-yard touchdown run, to take a 14-0 lead with 4:53 remaining in the second quarter.
The Pointers came back and scored on a 15-yard touchdown pass from Swigart to junior wide receiver Steve Herra with 1:42 to go in the second quarter, but St. Norbert kicked a 19-yard field goal on the final play of the first half to carry a 17-7 lead into halftime.
Swigart connected with senior wide receiver Jerry Williams on a six-yard touchdown pass with 8:20 left in the third quarter to make it 17-13 after the extra point kick was locked, while St. Norbert added a 36-yard field goal to take a 20-13 lead with 4:24 to play in the third quarter.
It stayed that way into the fourth quarter, when Webb caught a five-yard touchdown pass from Swigart with 7:43 left in the fourth quarter to tie the game at 20-20.
UWSP’s next drive ended with a fumble at the St. Norbert 32-yard line with 2:49 to play, while the clock ran out on St. Norbert in regulation following a completion to the Pointer 37-yard line, to send the game into overtime.
On the Pointers’ first play of overtime, Swigart threw a 25-yard touchdown pass to senior wide receiver Nick Schroeder to give the team a 27-20 lead, St. Norbert scored on a two-yard touchdown run on its overtime possession to send the game into double overtime.
There, St. Norbert had the ball first and was faced with third and goal from the UWSP 11-yard line, when it completed a 13-yard touchdown to take a 33-27 lead, before Beaman blocked the extra-point kick.
On UWSP’s first offensive play of the second overtime, Swigart connected with Webb on a 25-yard touchdown pass to tie the game at 33-33, and Neidert followed with the extra-point kick to give the Pointers the 34-33, double-overtime win.
Swigart completed 23-of-32 passes for 374 yards, with five touchdowns and two interceptions, Williams caught nine passes for 201 yards and one touchdown, Herra had five catches for 80 yards and one touchdown, Webb caught four passes for 31 yards and two touchdowns, and sophomore running back Evan Dux had 60 yards rushing on 18 carries.
In addition to the blocked extra point, Beaman had 10 tackles to lead the defense, while senior defensive back Blake Lehman finished with nine tackles.
The Pointers are scheduled to play at Albion (Mich.) at 5 p.m. Central Saturday, Sept. 9, and will have a week off before they play Adrian (Mich.) in the Spud Bowl at Community Stadium at Goerke Field at 4 p.m. Saturday, Sept. 23.