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MCDONALD'S SWNEWS4U GAME OF THE WEEK (SWC Football): Platteville 14, D5 #2 Brodhead/Juda 6
Hillmen sack #2 Cardinals: Goal line stand in the final minute preserves upset win over Brodhead/Juda
Tyler Sasse
Sophomore Tyler Sasse scoots through the line en rout to a 78-yard touchdown run early in the third quarter of last week's 14–6 upset win over #2 Brodhead/Juda behind blocks from Mason Mandurano (52), Rusty Wruck (62) and Zach McClain (right).

PREP FOOTBALL: Platteville 14, #2 Brodhead/Juda 6

By Steve Prestegard, The Platteville Journal

Hillmen sack #2 Cardinals: Goal line stand in the final minute preserves upset win over Brodhead/Juda

PLATTEVILLE — After Friday’s football game against Brodhead/Juda Platteville head coach Bryce Arneson thanked his players “for giving me, for giving the community, and for giving their parents the game of a lifetime.”

That opinion might get modified depending on what happens the rest of this season, particularly in the next two weeks.

But there is little question that the Hillmen’s 14–6 win over the previously undefeated Cardinals, the second-ranked team in Division 5, was the program’s biggest win in these current players’ careers, and dating back at least to Platteville’s last Southwest Wisconsin Conference title season in 2017.

“I think that this really shows that Hillmen football is back on the up and that we aren’t going to back down to anyone,” said Arneseon. “We know that we can compete with anyone right now and we have to truly believe that. We also need to know that this is a great win, but we still have five games left and we have two more tough ones coming up. This will give us the energy and confidence to go out and compete with any team but we also need to make sure that the job isn’t done yet.”

Platteville defeated — in fact, scored on — Brodhead/Juda for the first time since the Cardinals joined the football version of the SWC in 2021, thanks to a 93-yard scoring drive to end the first half and a 78-yard touchdown run by sophomore Tyler Sasse on the Hillmen’s first drive of the second half.

Despite giving up more yards than Platteville gained on offense, the Hillmen defense held a team that had averaged 38 points in each of its first three games to one trip into the end zone, with five fourth-down stops and two interceptions. Defensive linemen Cam Moore, John Baxter and Zach McClain smothered quarterback Gabe Bockhop on fourth-and-goal from the 4-yard line with 16 seconds left — after the Cardinals had one final chance after a Platteville pass interference on 4th and goal from the 8 —  to set off a wild celebration on the field.

“That was awesome and honestly I blacked out there for a second or two,” said Arneson. “I think with the PI call on the first 4th down, there was a ton of confusion with it being 4th down again, and if we needed to be out there for another play, but when we took that knee to seal the win that was a magical moment. Our guys stepped up after throwing a pick on the 1 yard line, and then allowing them to drive the ball all the way down the field. Our guys just battled and were able to get a program defining win!”

The Hillmen (3–1) are now tied for first place (2–0) with Lancaster in the SWC and possess the SWC’s top scoring defense. 

Some of Brodhead/Juda’s offensive problems were self-inflicted. An offensive pass interference penalty negated a 22-yard touchdown pass to Gunner Boegli on the Cardinals’ first offensive drive, after which the Cardinals failed to convert on fourth-and-27. The Cardinals’ next two drives ended on a one-yard run by Marcus McIntyre on 4th-and-2 on the Platteville 28, and an interception by Garrison Tashner at the Platteville 7.

The Hillmen went no-huddle on their next drive, and that propelled them 93 yards in nine plays and just 2:18 to take the lead for good. Junior quarterback T.J. Pink, who started the game 3-for-10 with an interception, completed eight consecutive passes, hitting Davyn Edge, Lucas Ludlum and Sasse for first downs on consecutive passes. Then after an offside penalty turned 3rd-and-8 into 3rd-and-3 Pink found Ludlum behind Cardinal defensive backs for a 33-yard touchdown pass that after Sasse’s extra point gave Platteville a 7–0 lead with 1:06 left in the first half.

The Hillmen defense started the second half by ending an 11-play drive by the Cardinals on a 4th-and-16 incomplete pass one play after Brodhead/Juda lost 10 yards on a fumble. Sasse ran for four yards and no gain, and then on third-and-6 raced through the defense and down the visitor sideline for his 78-yard touchdown run that extended the lead to 14–0 with 5:42 left in the third quarter.

Sasse’s 121 yards on 13 carries is the most yardage by a Hillman so far this season. The Hillmen’s 180 rushing yards were also their most by far this season.

Brodhead/Juda finally scored on a 19-play 83-yard drive that started following the kickoff and ended 8:48 later with an 10-yard touchdown pass from Bockhop to Boegli with 9:14 left in the fourth quarter, making the score 14–6 after the missed extra point.

Platteville then ran 16 plays to go 66 yards, but an interception at the 1-yard line ended the chance to seal the game and set up a much more dramatic finish.

On the second play Bockhop found Boegli for a 53-yard completion to the Platteville 42, but three plays later Tashner intercepted a pass at the Platteville 20 with 2:10 left. A punt return four plays later set up Brodhead/Juda at the Platteville 48 with 49 seconds left.

Bockhop found Boegli for a 42-yard pass to the Platteville 6, but Bockhop lost two yards on a sack and threw an incomplete pass. A pass interference penalty on 4th-and-goal from the 8 pushed the ball to the 4 and repeated fourth down, but the Hillmen defense rushed Bockhop up the middle to get the sack and end the game.

“I think our guys dug deep and fought for every last inch,” said Arneson. “To stop a team like that on multiple fourth downs (throughout the game) is something special and gritty. I told our kids all week that we need to show the amount of work that we have put in this summer and show them that we aren’t the same Hillmen football team. Especially on the defensive side of the ball, we have guys that are playing out of their minds and need to continue the great work.”

Pink found the going harder than in his three previous games, but ended up 13 for 24 for 147 yards and one touchdown, completing passes to eight different receivers.

Bockhop was 9-for-22 for 187 yards, one touchdown and two interceptions.

Platteville plays at Prairie du Chien Friday at 4:45 p.m. The game time is because the officials are also working a game at Seneca Friday night. Regardless of result the next Hillmen home game, against Lancaster Sept. 22, is likely to be for a share of first place, in addition to being Senior Night and Platteville’s last scheduled home game at Ralph E. Davis Pioneer Stadium.

“I wish that we didn’t need to start our game earlier, but I do think that it shows the need for officials,” added Arneson. “I know that we have an official on our staff and that he updates us on the shortage that they are having. I plead to anyone that loves the sport of football but any sport in general to please be an official because all sports but especially football is growing and we need the officials. 

“The message to the team will be that even though we are starting earlier, that we still have a job to complete and can’t let this be a distraction in our end goal of the night.”

Platteville 14, Brodhead/Juda 6
(from Friday, Sept. 8 @ UW–Platteville)
Brodhead/Juda....0 0 0 6 —   6
Platteville..............0 7 7 0 — 14
Second quarter
P: Lucas Ludlum 33 pass from T.J. Pink (Tyler Sasse kick), 1:06
Third quarter
P: Tyler Sasse 78 run (Sasse kick), 5:42
Fourth quarter
P: Gunner Boegli 10 pass from Gabe Bokhop (kick failed), 9-14
Team Statistics
First downs — BJ 20, P 13. Passing (comp-att-int, yds) — BJ 9-22-2, 187; P 13-23-2, 147. Rushing — BJ 46-164-0, P 24-180. Fumbles–lost BJ 0-0, P 0-0. Penalties-yards BJ 8-45, P 7-68. 
Individual Leaders
Passing — B/J: Gabe Bockhop 9-22-2, 187; P: T.J. Pink 13-23-2, 147.
Rushing — BJ: Bockhop n/a; P: Tyler Sasse 13-121.
Receiving — BJ: Boegli n/a; P: Lucas Ludlum 2-52, Tyler Sasse 3-42.
Tackles — P: Riley Donahoe 12, Lucas Ludlum 11, Dylan Weigel 9, Logan Day 8, Davyn Edge 7.