Pointers Get First Conference Win
Andy Hesse
ahess342@uwsp.edu

Sophomore quarterback Mitch Beau led the University of Wisconsin-Stevens Point football team to a 31-10 victory over the University of Wisconsin-River Falls, the Pointers’ first win in conference.

Beau got the start in place of fellow sophomore Casey Barnes, who suffered an injury in Point’s homecoming game.

“I was a little weary,” said Beau of his first start for the Pointers.

The Falcons came out running with senior back Taylor Edwards carrying the ball 10 times. The drive occupied most of the first quarter and concluded with a touchdown pass from senior quarterback B.J. Letourneau to Edwards from four yards out.

Thanks to a harsh wind, Point began their opening drive with good field position at their own 38-yard line. The Pointers struggled to move the ball and faced a fourth down.

As Point lined up in punt formation on the Falcon 40-yard line, head coach John Miech decided to fake the punt.

Junior punter Brandon Matznick rushed the ball 40 yards all the way down to the six-yard line, setting up a first and goal. Senior running back Cory Flisakowski took advantage of the momentum and punched into the end zone to tie the game at 7-7.

The Falcons continued to run the ball on the ensuing drive, initially finding success reaching Point territory. Penalties for River Falls prevented the momentum of their drive and they soon faced 4th and 25, forcing them to punt.

Wind again caused problems for River Falls’ special teams when their punt sailed short and Point was able to return it to the Falcons’ 41-yard line.

Stevens Point was unable to take advantage of their field position, forcing them to punt the ball. However, Matznick was able to pin the Falcons on their own one-yard line. The short field put added pressure on Letourneau and he threw an interception across the middle to senior defensive back Joe Mleziva. Mleziva would return the interception for a pick-six and give the Pointers a 14-7 advantage.

River Falls again moved into Point territory but Letourneau was sacked twice, taking them out of field goal range and giving the ball back to Point.

Mitch Beau connected with senior wide receiver Mike Mullins for 17 yards and Flisakowski contributed with a 35-yard run, taking Point inside the red zone.

After River Falls stuffed Point on third and one, senior kicker Jered Fohrman connected for a 39-yard field goal, giving UWSP a 10-point advantage.

With 1:30 remaining in the first half, River Falls failed to not only move the ball but to drain the clock. The Falcons gave Point the ball with under a minute remaining, plenty of time for Beau and his offense.

Beau connected with junior wide receiver Marc Young on a key fourth down play. The following play, Beau went back to Young for a 21-yard touchdown before the end of the half. Following the Fohrman extra point, UWSP would go into halftime leading 21-7.

Point opened the second half with the ball, but a stingy Falcon defense stopped them. River Falls moved the ball to the Pointer 20-yard line but soon faced fourth down. The Falcons were held to a 37-yard field goal, making the score 24-10, UWSP.

Unsuccessful drives followed for both teams before Point started rolling again.

A Beau 12-yard scramble on third and nine kept the drive alive. Despite his ability to make plays with his feet, Beau said he does not look to run.  

“I try to stay in the pocket and go through my reads,” Beau said. “I've been asked about (scrambling) a lot.”

Point would drive to the five-yard line and face third down when Beau hit junior wide receiver Theo Maglio for the touchdown. The 31-10 score put pressure on River Falls with little time left in the fourth quarter.

River Falls failed to put points on the board during their next drive and gave Point the ball after a failed fourth down conversion.

Junior running back Keith Ingram rushed for a 43-yard gain on Point’s next drive, putting them in field goal range once again. Facing a fourth down, Fohrman attempted a 41-yard field goal, which River Falls would block.

Following the blocked kick, River Falls was unable to move the ball for the remainder of the quarter and after taking over on offense, the Pointers would run off the remaining 1:45.

With the win, UWSP improved to 1-2 in Wisconsin Intercollegiate Athletic Conference Play and 3-3 overall. The next test for the Pointers is a showdown at the University of Wisconsin-Eau Claire this Saturday at 1:00 p.m.​