LANCASTER — With Platteville intent on stuffing Lancaster’s explosive option rushing attack, the usually run-oriented Arrows took to the air early and often in Friday’s SWC showdown at LHS.
Platteville continually filled the box with eight defenders and Lancaster junior quarterback Nate Tranel took full advantage, passing his way to a record-setting night.
Tranel completed 12 of 15 passes for a new single-game school record 271 yards and three touchdowns on a variety of bubble screens and downfield aerials. He also added a 43-yard touchdown run on an option keeper with 6:39 left in the fourth quarter to put the finishing touches on a 48–13 Lancaster victory.
Platteville kept it close in the first half and trailed by just eight at the break, 21–13, but three Hillmen turnovers in the second half turned the game into a route.
“We expected our kids to battle and compete and they really did,” said Platteville head coach Scott Statz. “We didn’t show up with the intention of losing or to just play well. We were there to compete and try to win. We were proud of the effort and determination of our kids.”
Lancaster (3–0, 2–0 SWC) drove 68 yards and scored on its opening drive on a Tranel 9-yard touchdown pass to fellow junior Abe Thompson. The big play on the drive was a 58-yard Tranel pass to junior halfback Brett Snider.
Platteville answered with a four-play, 71-yard drive tying the game on a 21-yard Logan Butson to William Cooley swing pass. James Bailie’s PAT made it 7–7. The key play on that drive was a 43-yard halfback option pass from Cooley to senior Brenden Cullen.
Lancaster drove to the Platteville 4-yard-line on the ensuing possession — gaining 56 yards on three Tranel completions — but Blake Wagner recovered a Tyler Glass fumble in the end zone to end the threat.
Following a Platteville punt Lancaster went 69 yards in four plays, the final three all Tranel completions, and took a 14–7 lead on a 43-yard Tranel to Snider TD pass.
Platteville again answered, pulling within a point on a Cooley 1-yard plunge, but a bad snap resulted in a failed PAT and Lancaster led 14–13.
Lancaster added a 2-yard Glass TD run with 1:28 left in the half.
On the very first play of the second half Tranel hit a wide open Glass down the middle of the field. The Lancaster fullback broke a tackle and carried another Platteville defender into the end zone for a 48-yard TD pass.
Two plays later Lancaster sacked Butson and forced a fumble that the Arrows recovered at the Hillmen 17.
Four plays later Snider scored on a 2-yard run to make it 34–13.
Early in the fourth quarter Lancaster sacked Butson once again and forced the third Platteville fumble of the half and returned it to the 6-yard line.
Two plays later junior Andy Ryan scored to make it 41–13 with 6:39 left.
After Platteville turned it over on downs on its next possession Tranel broke loose on the very next play to provide the final points of the game.
“In the second half we didn’t do a good job of protecting the football,” said Statz. “We had three fumbles and continually gave Lancaster short fields, which they converted to points.”
Lancaster remained unbeaten at 3–0 with the win and improved to 2–0 in the SWC.
Meanwhile, Platteville fell to 1–2 overall and 0–2 in the conference with a huge game with River Valley (2–1, 2–0) looming this Friday. The Hillmen, who must play Lancaster, Dodgeville and Valley twice this year, must win four of its final six games to qualify for the playoffs. That means the Hillmen must beat Richland Center, Prairie du Chien and Dodgeville, then either Lancaster or River Valley.
“Being 0–2 in the league does not scare us,” added Statz. “All we want to do is play to our potential for four quarters and the rest will take care of itself. We have the potential of being a good football team and that has not changed. We need to dig deeper and stay together as a team and we will be just fine.”
Lancaster 48, Platteville 13
(from Friday, Sept. 6 @ Lancaster)
Platteville 7 6 0 0 — 13
Lancaster 7 14 13 21 — 48
L: Abe Thompson 9 pass from Nate Tranel (Jake Taylor kick)
P: William Cooley 21 pass from Logan Butson (James Bailie kick)
L: Brett Snider 43 pass from Tranel (Taylor kick)
P: Cooley 1 run (no attempt)
L: Tyler Glass 2 run (Taylor kick)
L: Glass 48 pass from Tranel (kick failed)
L: Snider 2 run (Taylor kick)
L: Ryan 2 run (Taylor kick)
L: Tranel 43 run (Taylor kick)
First downs: P 9, L 13. Rushing: P 37-109, L 32-154. Passing Yards: P 156, L 271. Passing: P 8-21-0, L 12-15-0. Fumbles–lost: P 4-3, L 4-2. Penalties-yards: P 4-46, P 4-30.
Rushing: P: William Cooley 20-64; L: Nate Tranel 10-65, Tyler Glass 16-61. Passing: P: Logan Butson 7-17-0, 113; L: Nate Tranel 12-15-0, 271. Receiving: P: Mitch Knockel 4-63; L: Brett Snider 5-164.