Top-ranked UW-Whitewater overcame two early UW-Platteville leads
to beat the host Pioneers 49-17 in a Thursday night special.
The Warhawks scored on two 33-yard pass plays in the second quarter to grab a 21-10 halftime advantage then used a 28-0 third-quarter blitz to put the game away. The Pioneers scored the lone fourth-quarter touchdown on a blocked punt.
The defending national champion Warhawks improved to 4-0 overall with their 19th straight win, while the Pioneers fell to 2-2. It was the Wisconsin Intercollegiate Athletic Conference opener for both teams.
The annual clash of rivals is also played in memory of George Chryst, who coached the Pioneers from 1979 to 1992. Attending media members tabbed UW-Platteville's Nick Anderson and Nick Snyder and UW-Whitewater's Matt Blanchard and Greg Arnold as the players of the game.
Anderson gave the Pioneers an early 7-0 lead on a 23-yard scoring pass to Joe Burkeland, one play after the pair hooked up on a 57-yarder. Blanchard later tied the score at 7-7 on a seven-yard scramble. The Pioneers came back down the field to take the lead at 10-7 on Zach Litchfield's 27-yard field goal.
From then on, it was all UW-Whitewater. Blanchard and Adam Brandes hooked up on the pair of 33-yard touchdowns in the second quarter, making the score 21-10. Levell Coppage rushed for two third-quarter scores, Blanchard hit John Novak with a 16-yard touchdown pass, and Booker Stanely ran in from 55 yards away.
The Pioneers' Aaron Loferski scored after Ryan McWethy blocked a punt. Loferski scooped the ball up on the 15 and ran into the end zone.
Blanchard hit on 24 of 30 passes for 337 yards and three scores, with both Aaron Rusch (9-123) and Brandes (5-104) surpassing 100 receiving yards. Coppage gained 134 rushing yards, while Stanley added 94 for the Warhawks, who out-gained the Pioneers 637-172.
Anderson completed 10 of 23 passes for 184 yards for the Pioneers, who were hurt by three turnovers. Courtney Alexander had 12 tackles for UWP, while Alex Schaefer made nine and Snyder seven, including two for losses.
Arnold had a pair of sacks, including a forced fumble and subsequent recovery for the Warhawks.