RIVER FALLS, Wis. – The University of Wisconsin-Platteville football team used a 28-0 halftime lead to cruise past UW-River Falls, 49-7, at Ramer Field on Sunday in River Falls, Wis.
The Pioneers improve to 5-0 and 2-0 in the Wisconsin Intercollegiate Athletic Conference (WIAC) for first time since 1976, while the Falcons fall to 0-5 and 0-2 in conference play.
UW-Platteville came out of the games firing on all cylinders and dominated the first quarter on both sides of the ball. On the opening possession of the game, senior quarterback John Kelly conducted an eight-play 70-yard touchdown drive. Sophomore Andrew Robinson intercepted the ball on the Falcons' first possession giving the Pioneer offense the ball on the UWRF's 28. Kelly capitalized on the UWRF miscue with a two-yard rushing touchdown putting the Pioneers up 14-0. The defense held the Falcons to just 28 yards of total offense in the opening quarter while UW-Platteville's offense produced 159 yards of total offense.
The Falcons finally got into Pioneer territory with just less than 10 minutes left in the half and their drive sputtered out on a third-down sack by Alex Schaefer and Evan Constant. A punt by UWRF's Will Jensen pinned the Pioneers on their own three-yard line. Kelly orchestrated a nine-play 97-yard touchdown drive, to go up 21-0. UW-Platteville then got the ball one last time with 54 seconds till halftime. A 38-yard run by Lee Vlasak put the Pioneers in Falcons territory and Vlasak capped the half off with a four-yard rushing touchdown, 28-0. UW-Platteville scored on four of its five first half possessions.
UWRF finally scored with 6:31 left in the third quarter but the Pioneers responded with a touchdown of their own in just over two minutes to go up 35-7. UW-Platteville made UWRF pay for another miscue, scoring one more time in the third-quarter and taking a 42-7 lead. An eight-yard touchdown pass from Bryce Corrigan to Quinn Buschbacher early in the fourth-quarter sealed the 49-7 victory.
Kelly ended the day with four passing touchdowns for a 379 yards. Senior Paul Reit caught 13 of Kelly's 41 passes for 193 yards and a touchdown. Fellow senior Ryley Bailey hauled in nine passes for 109 yards and a touchdown, while Trevor Whitehead had two of his three receptions go for touchdowns. Vlasak finished the afternoon with 80 yards rushing and Andy Puccini recorded 52 rushing yards on 10 carries.
Defensively, sophomore Andrew Belken recorded a game-high 12 tackles including two tackles for a loss, a sack, a forced fumble and a recovered fumble. Junior Jacob Zilbar totaled nine tackles whileYoel Wonsey recorded eight tackles with one for a one-yard loss.
UW-Platteville stays on the road, and travels to UW-Stevens Point on Oct. 19 with kickoff set for 2 p.m.