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Falcons fall in triple OT

UW-River Falls defensive tackle Justin Parsons (92) celebrates after sacking UW-La Crosse quarterback Nick Anker (9) for a six-yard loss in the first quarter of the Falcons' 49-47 triple overtime loss to the Eagles Saturday at David Smith Stadium at Ramer Field. Parsons, a former Wildcat, finished with four tackles in addition to the sack. Bob Burrows photo

UW-River Falls' hard luck season continues.

The Falcons came out on the short end of a 49-47 score to UW-La Crosse when the Eagles' Travis Brodeau caught a deflected pass in the corner of the end zone for a two-point conversion in the third overtime at David Smith Stadium at Ramer Field Saturday.

UW-RF had take a 47-41 lead on its possession of the overtime period when Taylor Edwards scored his third rushing touchdown on a four-yard run. Teams are forced to go for two points after the second overtime period and Edwards was stopped short on his try, leaving the Falcon lead at six.

La Crosse tied the contest at 47-47 when quarterback Nick Anker hit Alex Maxinoski with a five-yard touchdown pass. Anker looked for Maxinoski again on the two-point conversion attempt and Maxinoski tipped the ball into the air where it was caught by Brodeau to give the Eagles the win.

La Crosse improved to 2-1 in the WIAC and 5-1 overall. The Eagles have now won 17 straight games over the Falcons and won or tied 21 of the past 22 meetings. UW-RF dropped to 0-3 in the WIAC, 2-4 overall, with the Falcons' three conference losses coming by a combined five points.

Things don't get any easier for the Falcons this week as they travel to Whitewater Saturday to take on the second-ranked and undefeated Warhawks.

The Falcon defense held the Eagles to just one offensive touchdown through the first three quarters but led by just four, 24-20, after Edwards' second touchdown of the game, a two-yard run, with 13:51 remaining. The Eagles turned two Falcon punts into touchdowns to keep the score close.

Chad Blair gave UW-RF a 3-0 lead with a 27-yard field goal late in the first quarter and quarterback Ryan Luessenheide scored on a draw play from 13-yards out following an Eagle fumble to make the score 10-0 two minutes later. La Crosse cut the lead to 10-7 on a two-yard touchdown run by Lee Lauters with 9:45 remaining in the half.

Brodeau then blocked a Dustin Samplawski punt and returned it 56 yards for a touchdown. The missed extra point left the Eagles with a 13-10 lead with 4:18 remaining in the second quarter.

UW-RF responded with a 10-play, 67-yard drive that ended with Edwards first touchdown of the game from three yards out. Blair's extra point was good and the Falcons took a 17-13 lead into the half.

Late in the third quarter, Samplawski couldn't handle the snap on another punt attempt from his own two and the Eagles' John Rozek picked it up and carried it into the end zone. This time the extra point was good and the La Crosse led 20-17 after three.

Edwards' second touchdown of the game, and Blair's extra point, put UW-RF back on top, 24-20, with 13:51 remaining. A 12-yard touchdown pass from Anker to Tyler O'Kane gave the lead back to La Crosse, 27-24.

Facing a 4th-and-6 at the Eagles' 27 with 1:29 remaining, Falcon head coach John O'Grady sent freshman kicker Drake Klatt onto the field for his first field goal attempt of the season. The 46-yarder was good with room to spare and tied the score, 27-27, to force overtime.

UW-RF got the ball first in overtime and took the lead when Luessenheide hit Eric Brewster with a 21-yard touchdown pass. Blair's extra point was good to make the score 34-27.

La Crosse took just one play to match the Falcons' touchdown with Anker hitting Brodeau from 25-yards away. The successful extra point tied the score 34-34 and forced a second overtime.

This time La Crosse got the ball first and took three plays to score on a four-yard pass from Anker to Brodeau. The kick gave the Eagles a 41-34 lead.

But the Falcons answered with a 20-yard touchdown pass from Luessenheide to Michael Woodward. Blair's kick tied the score 41-41 and the teams went to a third overtime.

Edwards carried the ball 44 times for 142 yards and three touchdowns while Luessenheide added 89 yards rushing in eight attempts. Luessenheide completed 13-of-32 pass attempts for 152 yards with two touchdowns and one interception. Ryan Hansen caught five passes for 47 yards while Brewster had four catches for 57.

Matt Ainsworth led the Falcon defense with 13 tackles. Ben Arata forced a fumble and Cole Lowell had a fumble recovery while Justin Parsons had UW-RF's only sack.