STEVENS POINT - The University of Wisconsin-Platteville football team ended a pair of losing streaks in a 26-3 win over host No. 23 UW-Stevens Point on Saturday afternoon in Community Stadium.
UW-Platteville (2-0) snapped a 20-game losing skid to the Pointers and won in Stevens Point for the first time since 1988. The Pioneers dominated the game, outgaining UW-Stevens Point by a 318 to 171 margin.
UW-Stevens Point (1-1) was held to nine first downs in the game, registering just three in the second half.
The Pioneers featured a balanced attack in the win, rushing for 161 and throwing for 157. The top ball carrier for UW-Platteville was junior Lee Vlasak, who ran 32 times for 119 yards and two touchdowns. Quarterback Nick Anderson was 9-for-14 for 152 yards and a touchdown in the win. Anchoring the defense, in his first start, was Bronzun Kyles, who made six tackles including three for minus 12 yards and a fumble recovery. Also, in his first start, Connor Wilson shared in team-high honors with six stops despite leaving his jersey in his Platteville locker.
UW-Platteville got on the board on its second possession when Anderson found an open Aaron Loferski for a 36-yard touchdown pass to put the Pioneers up 7-0. The 36-yard touchdown pass by Anderson is the longest since a 57-yard strike to Joe Burkeland against UW-Whitewater in the fourth game of the season, last year, on Sept. 30.
Early in the second quarter, Pioneers’ punter Zak Brinkman pinned UW-Stevens Point at its own six-yard line. Three plays later, the Pioneers added to its lead when they tackled UWSP quarterback Casey Barnes in the end zone for a safety to extend the lead to 9-0. The last time that the Pioneers recorded a safety was on the final play of the game, last fall, against UW-Stout on Nov. 6.
With a 9-0 lead, the Pointers got on the board with a 51-yard field goal by Jered Fohrman to culminate a 15 play, 56-yard drive, midway through the second quarter. The Pointers had a chance to add some momentum when they picked off an Anderson pass but an alert Darin Blaser forced and recovered a fumble to preserve possession for the Pioneers. The Pioneers came right back and marched down the field going on a five-play, 53-yard drive over the final 59 seconds as Vlasak scored from a yard out for his first of two touchdowns. The touchdown put the Pioneers ahead by a 16-3 margin at the halftime break.
To start the second half, the Pioneers added to their lead when Vlasak scored his second one-yard touchdown plunge on the afternoon to stretch the lead to 23-3. With a 20-point lead, early in the fourth quarter, the Pioneers stretched its lead by three points when Zach Litchfield hit a 47-yard field goal for the second longest field goal in school history.
With the offense clicking on all its cylinders, the UW-Platteville defense held UW-Stevens Point to just 78 yards of total offense in the second half to seal the victory.
The contest is a non-conference game as the two teams will meet up, later in the season, on Nov. 12 at Pioneer Stadium for the annual WIAC encounter.
UW-Stevens Point 3
(from Saturday, Sept. 10 @ Stevens Point)
UW-Platteville 7 9 7 3 - 26
UW-Stevens Pt. 0 3 0 0 - 3
P - Aaron Loerski 36 pass from Nick Anderson (Zach Litchfield kick)
P - Safety
SP - FG Fohrman 51
P - Lee Vlasak 1 run (Litchfield kick)
P - Vlasak 1 (Litchfield kick)
P - FG Litchfield 45
First downs - P 18, SP 9. Rushing - P 46-161, SP 36-64. Passing yards - P 157, SP 107. Passes - P 10-16-1, SP 9-16-0. Fumbles lost - P 0-0, SP 2-2. Penalties-yards - P 4-13, P 4-50.
Rushing - P: Lee Vlasak 32-119; SP: Ingram 8-34. Passing - P: Nick Anderson 9-14-0, 152; SP: Barnes 9-16-0, 107. Receiving - P: Aaron Loferski 6-121; SP: Mullins 2-39.
NOTE: For more UW-Platteville sports visit the Pioneer website at www.uwplatt.edu/athletics/