UW-River Falls struck first, but UW-Whitewater showed why it’s the No. 3 ranked team in the nation with a 49-28 victory over the Falcons in WIAC football action Saturday, Oct. 26, at David Smith Stadium in River Falls.

UWRF took the opening kickoff and marched 70 yards in 13 plays to take a 7-0 lead on a 5-yard touchdown run by quarterback Ben Beckman and Bobby Patterson’s extra point. But Whitewater responded with touchdowns on their first two drives and led 28-13 at the half and 42-13 at the end of three to improve to 7-0 on the season.

Patterson hit a pair of first half field goals, from 28 and 37 yards to keep it a two-score game at the break and Somerset native Max Praschak returned an interception 63-yards for a score midway through the fourth quarter but the Falcons never got any closer than 14 in the second half. Following a 29-yard touchdown pass from Beckman to Jager Reissman with 3 minutes, 35 seconds remaining.

Beckman tied his own school record with 40 completions on 57 pass attempts for 387 yards, one touchdown and one interception. Alex Herink of Hudson was on the receiving end of 15 of those passes for 143 yards and Alex Traxler caught 11 passes for 116 yards while Luke Fugate led the Falcons on the ground with 50 yards on 17 carries.

Praschak led the defense with 11 tackles, 10 solo, and a sack in addition to his 63-yard interception return while Antoin Kaloha also picked off a pass.

The Falcons, now 1-6 overall, 0-4 in the WIAC, will visit UW-Stout (2-5, 1-3) this Saturday, Nov. 2, for a 1 p.m. kickoff