No. 14 University of Wisconsin-Platteville football dropped a 34-13 decision to host No. 16 UW-Oshkosh on Saturday at JJ Keller Field at Titan Stadium on Saturday.
The Pioneers (4-2, 1-2 WIAC) were led by sophomore quarterback Bryce Corrigan, who completed 25 of 41 passes for 203 yards. Corrigan kept the Pioneers alive on many of its scoring drives as they were 4-for-5 on fourth down conversions. Senior running back Hank McIvor ran 17 times for a career-best 92 yards and a touchdown and senior safety Ryan McWethy led the defense with 13 stops on the day.
The Titans (6-0, 3-0 WIAC) were led by senior quarterback Nate Wara, who completed 15 of 21 passes for 236 yards and three touchdowns in the win. Plus, UW-Oshkosh kicker Nate Ray made two field goals and four extra points in the win. The Titans' Tyler Goodman had 11 tackles, including a sack and an interception.
"We made some mistakes against a very good football team," said UW-Platteville head coach Mike Emendorfer. "I give a lot of credit to Pat Cerroni and Oshkosh. They are a very good football team."
UW-Platteville failed to score on its opening possession for the first time all season but answered back on its second possession with a 13 play, 68-yard drive. However, the drive ended when the Titans' Tim Filter intercepted a Corrigan pass in the end zone to answer the early threat by the Pioneers. On the drive, Corrigan and the Pioneers extended the drive twice with third down conversions.
UW-Oshkosh capitalized on the turnover and went ahead on a six-yard touchdown pass by Wara to Zach Kasubowski on the last play of the first quarter. The Pioneers answered with a quick, six play, 64-yard drive to tie the game when McIvor ran it in from 26 yards out. In the drive, UW-Platteville converted a crucial third down when McIvor ran eight yards on a 3rd and 4 play. Two plays later, the Milton, Wisconsin native scored to tie the game.
UW-Oshkosh came back and marched down the field quickly in just 1:07 as Wara found Matt Blackwell for his second touchdown pass of the day on a 30-yard reception to regain the lead, 14-7. The Titans quickly added to the lead after forcing a three and out of the Pioneers when Wara connected with Caleb Voss for a 69-yard touchdown pass to put UW-Oshkosh up 21-7.
Facing a two touchdown deficit, the Pioneers cut the lead to 21-10 when Zach Litchfield culminated a 14 play, 71-yard drive with a 26-yard field goal with 3:18 left in the half. During the drive, again, the Pioneers were big on third down as Corrigan completed a 10-yard pass to Aaron Loferski and a 15-yard pass to Ryley Bailey to give UW-Platteville four new downs. However, the Titans defense clamped down on the Pioneer offense when they moved into the red zone to force the field goal.
With a 21-10 deficit, late in the first half, the UW-Platteville defense registered back-to-back sacks to give the Pioneers ball back before the end of the half. Corrigan moved the Pioneers down the field, including a conversion on a crucial 4th and 1 play. Two more pass plays later, UW-Platteville set up for a 30-yard field goal to end the half that wentwide right to end the half.
After forcing a quick three and out by the Titans to start the second half, again, Corrigan led the Pioneers down the field. This time, he converted two third down plays and another on fourth down to extend the drive. One of the key plays by Corrigan was done by his feet, when he scrambled 10 yards for a first down on a 4th and 5 play. The Pioneers did not get a touchdown but they did come away with points as Litchfield made his second field goal of the game to cut the deficit to 21-13 with 6:17 left in the third quarter.
UW-Oshkosh answered and added to its lead when Ray made his first of two field goals to stretch the lead to 24-13. The Titans defense quickly forced a three and out and the Titans went on a 15 play, 82-yard drive that took the game into the fourth quarter. UW-Oshkosh culminated the drive with a four-yard touchdown run by Cole Myhra to stretch the lead to 31-13. Two plays, they intercepted a Corrigan pass and sealed the win with a 19-yard field goal by Ray.
The Pioneers next come home to face UW-River Falls on Saturday, Oct. 20 at Pioneer Stadium at 3 p.m. for its annual homecoming tilt.