STEVENS POINT, Wis.—Two big touchdown catches by junior Trevor Whitehead led the seventh-ranked University of Wisconsin-Platteville football team to squeak by UW-Stevens Point, 24-23, on Saturday at Community Stadium.
The Pioneers improve to 6-0 and 3-0 in the WIAC for the first time since 1970, while the Pointers fall to 4-2 and 2-1 in league play.
Whitehead scored the first points of the game with a 30-yard touchdown catch three minutes into the game. UWSP ended the first quarter with a 42-yard field goal. Both teams struggled in the second quarter but the Pioneers managed to end the half with a 25-yard field goal by Zach Litchfield and led 10-3 at the break. The Pointers gained 78 yards of total offense in the second quarter and the Pioneers recorded 63 total yards.
In the Pioneers' opening drive of the second half, senior John Kelly was intercepted at UW-Platteville's 11-yardline. The Pointers took advantage of the Pioneer miscue and tied the game 10-10. Junior Bryce Corrigan came off the bench and led UW-Platteville to a six play 65-yard drive. Senior Lee Vlasak capped the drive off with a seven-yard rushing touchdown, 17-10.
UWSP tied it back up, 17-17, on a 10 play drive on the Pointers first drive of the final quarter. UWSP forced a Pioneer three and out and then scored three plays later; but a missed extra point by Jesse Vervelde made it a 23-17 game. With 3:13 left to play, John Kelly converted two of Pioneers' four third-down conversions. On second and 11 yards to go, the Pioneers executed a wide receiver screen to Whitehead, who took it for a 32-yard touchdown, 23-23. Litchfield then drilled the go-ahead extra point, 24-23. Junior Jacob Zilbar intercepted a Mitch Beau pass, sealing the Pioneers 24-23 victory.
Whitehead finished with 10 catches for 161 yards and two touchdowns, followed by Ryley Bailey with nine receptions for 88 yards. Kelly completed 22-33 for 239 yards with two touchdowns and two interceptions. Corrigan completed 7-13 for 56 yards.
The Pioneers return to Ralph E. Davis Pioneer when they welcome UW-Stout on Oct. 26 at 2:30 p.m. The matchup between UW-Platteville and the Blue Devils will be televised on Fox Sports Wisconsin and Fox Sports North Plus.