Backup quarterback Jack Eddy (So., Aurora, Ill.) threw a 4-yard touchdown pass to senior Russell Martin (Carol Stream, Ill.) on fourth-and-goal with 6:14 left in the game to lift the UW–Platteville football team to a 30–27 Homecoming victory over visiting UW–Stevens Point Saturday afternoon at Ralph E. Davis Pioneer Stadium.
Eddy completed 30 of 47 passes for 375 yards and four touchdowns in his first collegiate start in place of Tom Kelly (Jr., Chicago, Ill.), who suffered an ankle injury in last week’s 17–7 loss at top-ranked UW–Whitewater.
The 12th-ranked Pioneers improved to 4–1 overall and 1–1 in the WIAC with the win, while the Pointers fell to 3–2, 1–1.
UW–Stevens Point scored less than three minutes into the game to take a 7–0 lead on Kyle Larson’s 7-yard touchdown pass to Logan Taylor.
UW–Platteville answered with a 5-yard TD pass from Eddy to junior Dan Arnold (Fargo, N.D.) 49 seconds into the second quarter.
Less than four minutes later Eddy tossed a 14-yard touchdown pass to junior Quinn Buschbacher (Sugar Grove, Ill.) and Michael Pratl (Fr., New Lenox, Ill.) converted the extra point to give the Pioneers a 14–7 lead.
Britton Vernon plowed in from a yard out with 1:47 left in the second quarter to pull the Pointers even at 14–14 going into halftime.
Senior safety Logan Emendorfer (Platteville) thwarted Point’s opening drive of the second half with an interception in the end zone. But after a UW–Platteville punt and a nice return, the Pointers took advantage of great field position and drove 37 yards in six plays to regain the lead. DeJaun Wright 1-yard touchdown run made it 21-14 midway through the third quarter.
The Pioneers answered when Eddy threw a 20-yard touchdown pass to junior Patrick Sheehan (Flossmoor, Ill.) on the ensuing drive as the home team pulled within a point, but Pratl’s extra point attempt sailed wide left and UWSP held a slim 21–20 lead.
Pratl redeemed himself on UWP’s next drive when he booted a 23-yard field goal three minutes into the fourth quarter as the Poineers regained the lead at 23–21 with 11:29 to play.
Larson’s 17-yard pass to Matt Sosinsky gave the Pointers their final lead of the game at 27–23 with 8:46 left in the game.
A gritty 39-yard catch and run by Buschbacher on the next drive gave the Pioneers a first-and-goal at the UWSP 4-yard line. But back-to-back incompletions and a third-down run for no gain made it fourth-and-goal.
After a Stevens Point timeout, Eddy connected with Martin in the right corner of the end zone on hitch route for the eventual game-winning score.
Senior defensive back Jason Flagg (Chicago) intercepted a UWSP pass at the UW–Platteville 34-yard line with 4:51 left.
The Pioneer offense ran off all but four seconds of the game clock before a turnover on downs gave UWSP the ball back at their own 34-yard line. But the Pointers’ final play ended in an illegal forward pass out of bounds on a double lateral play.
UW–Platteville racked up 451 yards of offense in the win, compared to just 327 gained by the Pointers.
Buschbacher finished with a team-high nine catches for 127 yards and one TD. Sheehan also caught nine passes for 115 yards and a score.
Senior linebacker Andrew Belken (East Dubuque) made a team-high 16 tackles, including six solo tackles to lead the Pioneer defense. Sophomore Marty McGrail (Plainfield, Ill.) was in on 15 stops.
UW–Platteville (4–1, 1–1 WIAC) will travel to UW–River Falls (3–2, 2–0) next Saturday for a noon kickoff. The Falcons are 2–0 in the WIAC for the first time since 2001 after a 10–7 victory over UW–Eau Claire on Saturday.
UW–Platteville 30, UW–Stevens Point 27
(from Saturday, Oct. 10 @ UW–Platteville)
UW–Stevens Point 7 7 7 6 — 27
UW–Platteville 0 14 6 10 — 30
SP: Logan Taylor 7 pass from Kyle Larson (Jesse Verveld kick)
P: Dan Arnold 5 pass from Jack Eddy (Michael Pratl kick)
P: Quinn Buschbacher 14 pass from Eddy (Pratl kick)
SP: Britton Veron 1 run (Vervelde kick)
SP: DeJuan Wright 1 run (Vervelde kick)
P: Patrick Sheehan 20 pass from Eddy (kick failed)
P: FG Pratl 23
SP: Matt Sosinsky 17 pass from Kyle Larson (pass failed)
P: Russell Martin 4 pass from Eddy (Pratl kick)
First downs — SP 16, P 25. Rushing — SP 31-108, P 36-76. Passing — SP 19-34-2, 219; P 30-47-2, 375. Fumbles–lost — SP 5-1, P 2-2. Penalties — SP 5-47, P 7-59.
Rushing — SP: DeJaun Wright 14-61; P: Ryan Fish 9-36. Passing — SP: Kyle Larson 19-34-2, 219; P: Jack Eddy 30-47-2, 375. Receiving — SP: Matt Sosinsky 5-57, Logan Taylor 5-33; P: Quinn Buschbacher 9-127, Patrick Sheehan 9-115.