UW-Platteville Outscores UW-Eau Claire 31 to 7 in Final 45 Minutes for 31-21 Win
In the win, the Pioneer defense held the Blugolds to 154 yards in the final three quarters. Leading the charge was Nick Snyder, who finished with a game-high 11 tackles. Freshman Jacob Zilbar added his first interception, late in the fourth quarter, to go along with eight tackles. For the day, Nick Anderson was 21 for 32 with 235 yards and four touchdowns and Roscoe ran 11 times for 78. Six different Pioneers caught a pass including Darin Blaser caught seven passes for 85 yards and two touchdowns in the win.
The Pioneers (5-3, 3-2 WIAC) were trailing 14-0 when freshman Jaylan Bailey stepped in front of an Austin Neu pass in the end zone. The rookie ran the interception back 30 yards and energized his teammates. Following the interception, eight plays later, junior quarterback Nick Anderson threw the first of four touchdown passes when he found senior Jake Wiederholt on a 30-yard touchdown strike.
The Blugolds (4-4, 2-3 WIAC) came back to take a 21-14 lead when Neu completed a 29-yard touchdown pass to Max Goetti with 1:26 left in the first half. It was his third touchdown pass of the half.
UW-Platteville changed up its offensive alignment in the second half, featuring Chad Roscoe at running back and Lee Vlasak at wide receiver. The alignment paid immediate dividends as Roscoe ran the ball on the first three plays of the second half. The senior from Aurora, Illinois picked up 42 yards, taking the ball down to the Eau Clare 25. After a sack by the Blugolds, the Pioneer tandem of Anderson and Blaser connected for a 33-yard pass and catch touchdown to tie the game at 21.
On the Blugolds first possession of the second half, UW-Platteville's Nick Snyder blocked the UW-Eau Claire punt to force a six-yard punt. With Halloween, just two days away, the Pioneers pulled off their second trick play of the game when upback Corey Marks took a fake punt and ran three yards to continue the drive. After an 18-yard rush by Roscoe, Anderson connected on his fourth touchdown pass of the game when Paul Reit split a pair of UW-Eau Claire defenders in the end zone for a 26-yard touchdown reception. The touchdown reception put the Pioneers ahead for the first time on the afternoon.
With the offense clicking, the effort of the defense cannot go unnoticed as they held UW-Eau Claire to 32 yards - just three rushing and its only first down coming via penalty in the third quarter. The Pioneers recorded 180 yards compared to their Blugolds counterparts and 11 first downs.
In the fourth quarter, UW-Platteville stretched its lead to 10, when Zach Litchfield made his seventh field goal of the season from 28 yards out. The Pioneers kept the Blugolds out of the end zone for the remainder of the game and limited them to 48 yards in the final 15 minutes for the win.
Next, the Pioneers take to the road to face UW-Stout on Saturday, Nov. 5 at 2 p.m.