The no. 18 University of Wisconsin-Platteville Pioneers football team (6-2, 3-2 WIAC) defeated the UW-Eau Claire Blugolds 24-17 in Eau Claire, Wisc. The win at Carson Park was the Pioneers first since 1995.
Sophomore quarterback Bryce Corrigan went 35-47 for 278 yards and two touchdowns, pacing the Pioneer offense.
An injury to senior starting left tackle Colton Friemuth and sophomore center Brian Lurquin resulted in a retooled left side of the offensive line. Freshman Ethan Fiene filled in at left tackle, junior Jayson Eddy assuming the duty at left guard and starting left guard junior Brian Johnson moving to center.
Despite the shuffle, the Pioneers gained 94 net yards on the ground, led by senior Hank McIvor with 95 yards on 19 carries, including a 22 yard run for a touchdown in the fourth quarter that put the Pioneers ahead for good. McIvor's 19 carries was the most for any Pioneer in the 2012 season.
Corrigan spread the ball around masterfully on the afternoon. Five different Pioneers had five or more catches, led by junior Paul Reit and freshman Quinn Buschbacher, who had eight catches apiece.
Reit caught a 19 yard pass from Corrigan right with four seconds remaining in the second quarter to put the Pioneers ahead just before the half. Buschbacher put the first points on the board for the Pioneers after hauling in a 10 yard toss from Corrigan with 2:50 left in the first quarter.
The Pioneer defense had another strong performance in the contest, holding Blugolds star running back Joel Sweeney to 3.1 yards per carry. The Pioneers especially limited the Blugolds on third down, allowing only two conversions on 13 attempts.
Blugold quarterback Austin Neu was sacked three times by the Pioneers, once each by senior Corey Marks, junior Alex Schaefer and sophomore Jacob Zilbar. Senior defensive back Tommy Magna intercepted Neu on the last drive of the game to seal the Pioneer victory.
The Pioneers return home Nov. 3 for a conference matchup with UW-Stout. The game against the Blue Devils will be Senior Day for the Pioneers. The Pioneers have 17 seniors that will be honored before the game.