The bad news is UW-Platteville bid goodbye to 22 seniors before its 34-16 victory over UW-Stevens Point Saturday. The good news is Mark Johnson is not one of those seniors.
Johnson caught 16 passes for 275 yards and three touchdowns to lead the Pioneers to their seventh victory. The junior finished the season with 93 receptions and 1,218 yards, both new school records.
The big offensive day enabled the 2017 seniors to become just the fifth class in school history with at least seven victories all four seasons.
After the Pointers converted a turnover into a 3-0 lead, Johnson scored on 66- and 43-yard passes from Jack Eddy. Bo Babich added a five-yard touchdown run in the second quarter, one play after the Pioneers forced a fumble on a punt return.
UWSP then scored twice, slicing the Pioneer halftime lead to 20-16. Mitchell Neubauer connected with Jerry Williams on a 46-yard scoring play, and Hunter Thornton scooped up a fumble and ran 67 yards for a TD.
The Pioneers put the game away in the fourth quarter on another Babich five-yard TD, and an Eddy to Johnson seven-yard scoring connection.
The Pioneers outgained the Pointers, 463-309. Eddy completed 28 of 50 passes for 355 yards and the three touchdowns. The UW-Platteville defense picked off Neubauer four times, with Luke Johnson getting two, and Ramos and Marty McGrail with one each. Luke Johnson also forced a fumble.
UW-Platteville finished 7-3 overall and 4-3 in the Wisconsin Intercollegiate Athletic Conference, and UWSP went 4-6, 1-6. The 2017 seniors depart with a four-year record of 30-11 and an NCAA III playoff appearance last fall.
By Paul Erickson, UW–Platteville, Director, Communications, 608.342.1194, firstname.lastname@example.org