University of Wisconsin-River Falls capped off its 2022 season defeating Washington University-St. Louis (Mo.) 31-24 during the second annual Culver's Isthmus Bowl at Bank of Sun Prairie Stadium, the program's second consecutive bowl victory.
**Release courtesy of Wisconsin Intercollegiate Athletic Conference
SUN PRAIRIE, Wis. -- University of Wisconsin-River Falls capped off its 2022 season defeating Washington University-St. Louis (Mo.) 31-24 during the second annual Culver's Isthmus Bowl at Bank of Sun Prairie Stadium, the program's second consecutive bowl victory.
The Falcons, who wrap up the season with a 7-4 overall record, were powered by a 24-point second quarter and solid defense, including a 50-yard interception return by Aaron Borgerding for the game-winning score. Jake Halsey also led the defense with three sacks and a blocked punt.
Quarterback Kaleb Blaha totaled 348 yards of total offense to win the Isthmus Bowl MVP, following in the footsteps of 2021 Falcon graduate Kole Hinrichsen, who broke a UW-River Falls single-game record with 44 completed passes, throwing for a career-high 347 yards to lead the Falcons over WashU in the inaugural Isthmus Bowl in Verona, Wis.
Blaha finished the season with 3,488 yards of total offense, a UW-River Falls single-season record. Ben Beckman previously held the record, totaling 3,408 in 2019.
A busy first half featured a combined five turnovers, and after WashU took a 7-0 lead in the first quarter, the Falcon offense exploded for 24 points in the second quarter alone.
Blaha got the Falcons on the board first with his 14th rushing touchdown of the season, and added a 36-yard touchdown pass to Mason Van Zeeland to give UW-River Falls its first lead of the game. Defensive lineman Frank Hartman got the call on a redzone rush, punching in his second touchdown of the season before a season-best 36-yard Justin Scheberl field goal gave the Falcons a 24-7 halftime lead.
WashU came out of the locker room scoring on its first drive of the second half to cut the UW-River Falls lead to 24-14, where it stood heading into the fourth quarter.
The Bears notched a field goal to open the fourth quarter scoring to come within one score, down 24-17, but the Aaron Borgerding pick-six put the Falcons back up 31-17 with 8:53 left in regulation.
WashU put the pressure on the Falcons at the end of the fourth quarter, scoring with four minutes left to cut the scoring to 31-24 and forcing a UW-River Falls turnover on downs during the ensuing possession. The Falcons shut down the Bears during their final chance to tie the game to seal the win.
UW-River Falls had four interceptions and 11 tackles for loss, one interception each from Borgerding, Isaiah Karels, Andrew Schumacher, and Dylan Brown. Michael Brown led the team with eight tackles.
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