UW-Platteville Rout UW-Stevens Point on Senior Day, 51-7
The Pioneers (7-3, 5-2 WIAC) reach the seven-win mark overall and five-win mark in conference play for the first time since 1990 with the win. It was the first time that UW-Platteville rang up 50-plus points on the scoreboard since the regular season finale in 1980 and the most in the series between the two teams since 1972. The win also gives UW-Platteville a share of second-place honors in the WIAC.
The Pointers (4-5, 2-4 WIAC) were held to a season-low 219 yards of total offense in the loss by a suffocating UW-Platteville defense.
After taking a 7-0 lead in the first quarter when Kelly found Ryley Bailey for a 13-yard touchdown pass, the Pioneers put on the board 20 points in the second quarter. In the second quarter, the Pioneers forced three fumbles as well as picked off two UW-Stevens Point passes.
To start the quarter, Pioneer freshman Jaylan Bailey ended an attempt by the Pointers to tie it when he intercepted a pass at the one-yard line. Later in the quarter, after both teams exchanged turnovers, UW-Platteville went ahead 13-0 on a 1-yard touchdown plunge by Lee Vlasak. The Pioneers added to their lead after forcing a fumble on the ensuing kickoff. Working with a short field, Kelly and Bailey connected for their second touchdown of the day to put the Pioneers up 20-0.
The Pioneer defense continued to cause havoc as they sacked UW-Stevens Point quarterback Mitch Beau twice to force a punt. Then, UW-Platteville marched down the field in the final 1:38 of the half. Kelly found Bailey for a 20 and 18-yard reception, respectively and Vlasak ran it down to the six-yard line on a 21-yard rush. Next, Kelly found senior Jake Wiederholt for a touchdown with 33 seconds left in the first half, putting the Pioneers ahead 27-0 at the intermission.
To start the second half, the Pioneer defense forced another turnover when Ryan McWethy tipped a pass and an alert Jacob Zilbar picked up his second interception of the season. UW-Platteville added to its lead when Zach Litchfield made a 44-yard field goal, which ties the fourth-longest in school history, giving the Pioneers a 30-0 lead.
Later in the quarter, UW-Stevens Point got on the board with a 10-yard touchdown pass from Beau to Alex Wallace to trim the UW-Platteville advantage to 30-7. On the Pioneers, next drive, they took advantage of two 15-yard penalties by UW-Stevens Point. UW-Platteville stretched the lead to 37-7 when Kelly found Paul Reit for a 12-yard reception.
Towards the end of the quarter, senior Connor Wilson intercepted his first of two passes for the Pioneers. The interception set up a 12-yard touchdown reception early in the fourth quarter for senior Darin Blaser from Kelly to put UW-Platteville ahead 44-7 with 14:35 left to play. Four plays later, facing a 4th and 1, Wilson was around the ball, again. This time, he picked off his second pass of the day and ran it in from 40 yards out for the final margin.