Thompson's record-setting day leads Pioneers to 63–45 win at UW–La Crosse

Thompson's record-setting day leads Pioneers to 63–45 win at UW–La Crosse

LA CROSSE — Sophomore Wyatt Thompson's record day led UW–Platteville to a 63–45 victory at UW–La Crosse Saturday afternoon in the regular season finale for both teams.

Thompson, a Mount Horeb native, rushed for a school record 316 yards and four touchdowns on 30 carries to lead the the 12th-ranked Pioneers to victory in the highest scoring game in school history. Thompson's record-setting performance eclipsed Mike Genslinger's previous mark of 285 yards set in 2006 against UW–River Falls.

Pioneer head coach Mike Emendorfer also made history on Saturday afternoon, with his 90th career win, breaking a tie with Butch Leitl.

Thompson scored on runs of 3, 58, 11 and 8 yards in the second half to offset a record day by UW–La Crosse quarterback Tarek Yaeggi and hold the Eagles at bay. Yaeggi completed 39 of 66 pass attempts for a new school record 535 yards and four touchdowns to break Bob Krepfle's 1983 single-game school record of 509 yards passing.

UW–Platteville senior quarterback Tom Kelly threw four touchdowns of his own, three in the first half, and rushed for another to stake the Pioneers to a 28–17 halftime led. 

UW–Platteville closed out the regular 8–2 overall and 5–2 in the WIAC and must now await the NCAA Division III playoff comittee's playoff selection announcement on Sunday. There are only six at-large bids available in the 32-team Division III playoff bracket, but the Pioneers are certainly in the converstaion for an at-large bid with only two losses, to No. 3 UW–Whitewater (10–0) and No. 5 UW–Oshkosh (9–1).

UW–La Crosse finished 5–5, 2–5. 

Kelly threw a 5-yard touchdown pass to senior Dillon Villhauer (Oxford, Iowa) to tie the game at 7–7 midway through the first quarter. The senior from Chicago scored on a 1-yard run a minute into the first quater, then threw a 31-yard TD pass to fellow senior Patrick Sheehan (Flossmoor,  Ill.) to make it 21–7 with 11:44 left in the second quarter.

Two and a half minutes later Kelly connected with senior wide receiver Dan Arnold (Fargo, N.D.) to make it 28–7. 

La Crosse answered with a 1-yard TD run by Tyler Jenkins and a 31-yard field goal by Joshua Fischer with 46 seconds left in the half to make it 28–17.

Nick Holcomb hauled in a 66-yard touchdown pass from Yaeggi three minutes into the third quarter to make it a 4-point game.

The UW-Platteville offense got back on track and Thompson bowled in from three yards out midway through the third quarter. Kelly's 9-yard TD pass to Arnold with 1:25 left in the third quarter made it 42–24.

Thompson answered Yaeggi's third TD pass of the day with a 58-yard touchdown run three minutes into the fourth quarter as the Pioneers increased their lead to 49–31. Thompson scored from 11 yards out with eight minutes left in the game, then added an eight-yard TD run with 2:25 left to make it 63–38.

Kelly finished the game 14 of 22 for 137 yards passing. Arnold caught five passes for 60 yards and a pair of touchdowns. 

Sophomore linebacker Ben Mogilevsky (Madison/La Follette) led the team with 10 tackles. Senior Patrick Swanson (Mokena, Ill.) added nine tackles.