Top 10 teams collide for Pioneers’ Homecoming

Top 10 teams collide for Pioneers’ Homecoming

The game: The University of Wisconsin-Platteville, ranked seventh in the country, plays host to third-ranked UW-Oshkosh Saturday in the Pioneers' Homecoming game. Kickoff at Ralph E. Davis Pioneer Stadium is at 2 p.m.

The records: The two teams are tied atop the WIAC with 2-0 records along with UW-La Crosse. The Pioneers are 5-0 overall, and the Titans are 4-0.

The rankings: UW-Platteville is ranked seventh in the American Football Coaches Association poll and ninth in the latest rankings. UW Oshkosh is third in both polls.

The coaches: Mike Emendorfer is UW-Platteville's all-time winningest coach, compiling a 95-92 record in his 19th season. He has taken the Pioneers to their only two NCAA III playoff berths in school history, in 2013 and 2016. Emendorfer is the WIAC's active leader in victories. Pat Cerroni is in his 11th year as UW Oshkosh's coach with an 81-34 record. He has guided the Titans to three NCAA Division III postseason appearances, with a national runner-up finish a year ago.

The Homecoming history: The Pioneers are 45-38-4 all-time in Homecoming games, with five straight victories. The Titans were the Pioneers' very first Homecoming opponent, back in 1924. UWO captured a 24-0 victory. Emendorfer has an 11-7 Homecoming record, including his very first Homecoming game, a 27-14 stunner over powerhouse UW-La Crosse that snapped a 24-game WIAC losing streak.

The Pioneers: UW-Platteville improved to 5-0 Saturday with a 24-14 win over UW-River Falls and its nationally ranked defense Saturday. The Falcons, off to their best start this century, 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 outgained 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. After UWRF tied the contest, Michael Pratl gave the Pioneers the lead for good with a 35-yard field goal. Jack Eddy connected with Wyatt for a 15-yard scoring pass with 2:39 to play. Luke Johnson sealed the win with an interception on the first play after Thompson's TD.

Eddy completed 20 of 38 passes for 262 yards, with the WIAC leading receiver, Mark Johnson, catching 10 passes for 152 yards. Tim Jansen grabbed five receptions for 62 yards. Chandler Crary and Dakota Tomkins each had nine tackles to lead the Pioneer defensive effort.

The Pioneers have gone 33-11 in conference games since the start of the 2011 season.

The Titans: UW Oshkosh rolled to a 35-0 halftime lead and beat UW-Stevens Point 49-14 for the Titans' 17th win in their last 18 games. The Titans outgained the Pointers 595-314, including 417-98 in the first half. The WIAC's leader in offense gained 300 yards on the ground and 295 through the air.

Former WIAC offensive player of the year Brett Kasper threw four touchdown passes, bringing his career mark to 65, 10th best in league history. He threw a 64-yard TD pass to Sam Mentowski on the game's first play, and the Titans never trailed. In fact, UW-Oshkosh has not been behind in a contest since last year's national championship game. UWO has defeated John Carroll 23-17, Virgina University of Lynchburg 74-7 and UW-Whitewater 37-20.

The Titans lead the WIAC in scoring offense, rushing offense and total offense while having the top kickoff and punt return teams.

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The Next Games: UW-Platteville travels to Carson Park to face UW-Eau Claire next Saturday at 1 p.m. then returns home to play UW-La Crosse on Oct. 28.


 Preview by Paul Erickson, Director, UW-Platteville Communications, 608.342.1194,