The UW-Eau Claire football team found itself in enemy territory often today with some empty drives, but a 28-yard touchdown from Mitch Schaeuble (Sr.-Wrightstown) to Chris Hull (Sr.-Blaine, MN/Spring Lake Park) with 46 seconds left made it 24-20 as Eau Claire won the first round of the NCAA Championships over St. Norbert College.
The 17th-ranked Blugolds will now play on Saturday and face ninth-ranked Bethel University (MN). The Blugolds also improved to 9-2, their best record since a 10-3 season in 1998. That year was the lone other appearance Eau Claire has had in the national playoffs. The 24th-ranked Green Knights lose their perfect season and have a 10-1 record. This is the eighth time St. Norbert has competed in the NCAA championships and it is the seventh time it has lost in the first round. Four of those losses have come in the final minutes.