Pioneers Lose to UW-Oshkosh, 24-3
No. 25 University of Wisconsin-Oshkosh posted a 24-3 win over the University of Wisconsin-Platteville on Saturday afternoon at Ralph E. Davis Pioneer Stadium.
The Pioneers (3-3, 1-2 WIAC) utilized two quarterbacks in the game with juniors Nick Anderson and John Kelly in the loss. Junior running back Lee Vlasak was the top offensive threat with a team-high 44 yards rushing and 31 yards receiving. Four Pioneers had double digit tackles including junior linebacker Nick Snyder with a team-high 14. Also with double-digit tackles were freshman Jacob Zilbar, who had 12 tackles, senior Jesse Lindemulder added 11 stops and senior Ryan McWethy had 11 tackles. The four were a key reson in how the Pioneers held the Titans to 107 yards of total offense in the second half. In 2011, all three of the losses for the Pioneers have been to ranked teams.
The Titans (5-1, 3-0 WIAC) scored two touchdowns in the first quarter to build an early 14-0 advantage. Featuring a no-huddle offensive attack and also utilizing two quarterbacks, UW-Oshkosh gained 400 yards of total offense in the win.
UW-Oshkosh took a 14-0 lead in the first quarter on a pair of touchdown runs by Justin Budiac. In the second quarter, the Titans stretched the lead to 17-0 when Nate Becker made a 26-yard field goal.
Early in the third quarter, the Pioneer defense stopped UW-Oshkosh on fourth down to energize the homecoming crowd. Kelly marched the Pioneers down the field, converting a third down and fourth down in the process. To start the drive, Vlasak broke loose on a season-long 21-yard run. The Pioneers cut into the lead when sophomore Zach Litchfield made a 36-yard field goal, trimming the UW-Oshkosh lead to 17-3.
With the points on the scoreboard, the momentum began to swing toward UW-Platteville when Zilbar forced UW-Oshkosh reserve quarterback Nick Olla to fumble. An alert junior safety Dave Daino recovered the ball for the Pioneers. Then, Kelly took the Pioneers down to the six-yard line as a potential touchdown pass was ruled incomplete on fourth down and kept UW-Platteville off the scoreboard.
Facing a 17-3 deficit, the Pioneers elected to go for it on 4th down throughout the fourth quarter. On their second drive of the final quarter, UW-Oshkosh added its final touchdown when they converted on two third downs and a 4th and goal from the 1.
The Pioneers will continue the rigors of the WIAC when they travel to UW-River Falls for its next game, Oct. 22 at 1 p.m.