La Crosse, Wis. - The University of Wisconsin-La Crosse football team fell 40-10 to 14th-ranked UW-Platteville Saturday afternoon at Roger Harring Stadium at Veterans Memorial Field Sports Complex in the Eagles' home opener. UW-L drops to 2-3 overall and 1-1 in the WIAC while UW-Platteville improves to 4-1 overall and 1-1 in the conference. The Pioneers have won the last four meetings with the Eagles.
UW-L took the opening kickoff to lead 7-0 as Jared Stan scored on a five-yard run with 12:32 remaining in the first quarter. He had 52 yards rushing on the drive as the Eagles went 73 yards on six plays in 2:28.
UW-Platteville, ranked 14th on D3football.com and 16th in the American Football Coaches Association (AFCA), tied the game on its first possession as Bryce Corrigan threw a nine-yard touchdown pass to Paul Reit. The Pioneers went 65 yards on seven plays in 3:07.
Stan fumbled on the Eagles' next drive with the Pioneers' Jacob Zilbar recovering the ball at UW-L's 29-yard line. Hank McIvor scored three plays later on a 24-yard run to give UW-Platteville a 13-7 advantage. Zach Litchfield's extra-point was blocked by Kyle Spieker. The Pioneers went 29 yards on three plays in 1:27 to take the lead.
UW-L was forced to punt on its next possession and UW-Platteville went 77 yards on six plays in 2:48 to take a 20-7 lead as McIvor scored on a 13-yard run with :16 left in the first quarter.
Adam Pannier cut the lead to 20-10 with 12:01 left in the second period as he converted a 23-yard field goal attempt. It was his first career field goal. UW-L went 66 yards on eight plays in 3:10.
UW-Platteville fumbled on its next possession as Jake Meckstroth recovered at the UW-L 29-yard line, but the Eagles were later forced to punt.
Corrigan gave UW-Platteville a 27-10 lead as he hit Ryley Bailey on a two-yard touchdown pass with 1:55 left in the half. The team went 80 yards on 12 plays in 5:32. The Pioneers maintained the 27-10 halftime lead.
Both teams were forced to punt on its first possessions of the second half, but UW-Platteville took a 33-10 lead with 7:26 remaining in the third quarter as Travis Nelson scored on a three-yard run. The Pioneers led 33-10 at the end of the third quarter and later finished the scoring with 11:17 left in the game as Corrigan threw a 18-yard touchdown pass to Reit to make it 40-10.
UW-L finished with 253 yards of offense, including 65 rushing and 188 passing. The Eagles had 14 first downs, but finished 0-for-11 on third-down.
Stan led UW-L with 72 yards rushing on 15 attempts (4.8 average). Andy Sires was 17-of-30 passing for 188 yards. He was sacked five times. Tony Bilderback caught six passes for 58 yards while Jake Welch had four receptions for 29 yards. Jeff Haffemann finished with three catches for 72 yards.
UW-Platteville totaled 528 yards of offense, including 113 rushing and 415 passing. The Pioneers finished with 29 first downs and were nine-of-13 on third-down. UW-Platteville won the time of possession Saturday, 38:03 to 21:57.
McIvor had 62 yards rushing and two touchdowns on 15 attempts. Corrigan finished 37-of-43 passing for 412 yards and three touchdowns. He completed his first 15 attempts of the game. Reit tied a WIAC single-game record with 18 catches, finishing with 167 yards and two touchdowns. UW-River Falls' Michael Zweifel caught 18 passes versus UW-L (Nov. 3, 2007) while UW-Superior's Tim Mowery finished with 18 receptions against UW-Stevens Point (1981).
Bailey had nine catches for 85 yards and one touchdown Saturday for the Pioneers while Trevor Whitehead caught five for 105 yards.
Brett Benson (nine unassisted) and Meckstroth led UW-L with 12 tackles each. Benson had one forced fumble while Meckstroth recorded a fumble recovery. Max Nicholson totaled 11 tackles while Jack Leahy finished with nine.
Dave Daino led UW-Platteville with eight tackles, including one forced fumble. Nick Snyder had seven tackles, including 1.5 sacks. Bronzun Kyles had 2.0 sacks.
UW-L returns to action Saturday, October 13 at UW-Eau Claire at 11:30 a.m.