PLATTEVILLE, Wis. – The eighth-ranked University of Wisconsin-Platteville football team and UW-Stout combined for 1,006 total yards of offense, but the Pioneer defense forced four turnovers to help outlast the Blue Devils, 59-35, on Saturday at Ralph E. Davis Pioneer Stadium.
The Pioneers (7-0, 4-0 WIAC) totaled 561 total yards of offense, while the Blue Devils (2-5, 0-4 WIAC) tallied 445.
The Blue Devils opened the game with a nine play 79-yard touchdown drive. UW-Platteville's senior running back Lee Vlasak carried two Stout defenders in to the end zone on a fourth down and four play, tying the game up at 7-7. The Pioneers couldn't take advantage of an interception by junior linebacker Jacob Zilbar. But after a quick three and out by the Pioneer defense, John Kelly completed a 29-yard pass to Ryley Bailey then a 19-yard pass to Paul Reit to put UW-Platteville at Stout's two yard line. Vlasak walked in for a one-yard rushing touchdown giving the Pioneers a 14-7 lead.
UW-Stout tied the game up early in the second quarter, but the Pioneers responded with a six-play 79-yard drive regaining the lead 21-14. The Blue Devils were knocking at the door to tie it back up the very next drive, but on third and goal junior Rob Austin picked off a pass fromHank Kujak two yards in the end zone and put the Pioneers on Stout's own 15 yard line. Kelly then connected with Trevor Whitehead for the second time on the day giving the Pioneers a 28-14 lead into halftime.
UW-Platteville offense made a couple of halftime adjustment that paid off right away as the Pioneers scored on their first two drives of the third quarter to go up 42-14. After UW-Platteville's second touchdown to open the second half, the Blue Devils and the Pioneers traded scores to end the third quarter with the Pioneers ahead 49-28. The Pioneer defense made enough stops down the stretch to secure the 59-35 victory.
Kelly threw for 330 yards with five touchdowns and used his legs, adding 79 rushing yards. Whitehead totaled six receptions for 47 yards and three touchdown catches. Bailey recorded his third 100-plus receiving yard game of the season with eight catches for 108 yards. Reit and Russell Martin each tallied 73 receiving yards. Junior Andy Puccini was the Pioneers leading rusher with 81 yards and a touchdown. Vlasak ended up with 72 yards rushing and three touchdowns (two rushing and one receiving). Defensively, Yoel Wonsey recorded a team-best 10 tackles and recovered a fumble. Austin finished his day with five tackles, two interceptions and three pass breakups.
UW-Stout's Adolfo Pacheco rushed for 194 yards on 28 carries and three touchdowns. Kujak totaled 262 yards passing, but threw three inceptions to go with his two touchdown passes.
The Pioneers travels to seventh-ranked UW-Whitewater on Saturday, Nov. 2 for a battle between a pair of unbeatens. Kickoff is set for 1 p.m. and will be featured on Fox Sports Wisconsin and Fox Sports North.