#9 Pioneers pass Falcons' test

#9 Pioneers pass Falcons' test
Ninth-ranked UW-Platteville beat host UW-River Falls and its nationally ranked defense 24-14 Saturday as the Pioneers remained undefeated.
The victory sets up Saturday's Homecoming showdown with third-ranked and defending NCAA Division III national runner-up UW Oshkosh. Kickoff at Ralph E. Davis Pioneer Stadium is at 2 p.m.
To reach the clash of the undefeated teams, the Pioneers first had to solve a Falcon defense that ranked second in NCAA III in rushing defense at 32.5 yards per game and fifth in scoring defense at 8.8 points per game. 
The Pioneers did so, out-gaining the Falcons 397-247, with 262 in the air and 135 on the ground. 
Sean Studer ran for 91 yards on 13 carries and two scores. He reached the end zone on a five-yard run, the lone score in the first half, and a 64-yard sprint in the third quarter for a 14-0 lead.
The Falcons (3-2, 1-1 in the WIAC), off to their best start this century, tied the contest on a Travon Hearns' 13-yard pass to Patrick O'Leary and a Hearns' five-yard run. 
Michael Pratl broke the tie in the fourth quarter with a 35-yard field goal, and Jack Eddy connected with Wyatt Thompson for a 15-yard scoring pass with 2:39 to play. Luke Johnson intercepted Hearns on the first play after Thompson's TD, sealing the win for the Pioneers.
Eddy completed 20 of 38 passes for 262 yards, with Mark Johnson catching 10 passes for 152 yards. Tim Jansen grabbed five receptions for 62 yards.
Michael Diggins, the WIAC's leading rusher, gained 96 yards for the Falcons but needed 25 carries for those 96 yards with a long run of 13 yards. Chandler Crary and Dakota Tomkins each had nine tackles to lead the Pioneer defensive effort.

Both UW-Platteville and UW Oshkosh bring in 2-0 WIAC marks into Saturday's Homecoming game. The Pioneers are 5-0 overall, and the Titans 4-0.

By Paul Erickson, Director, UW-Platteville Communications, 608.342.1194, pr@uwplatt.edu