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Hillmen cruise to easy win
Platteville dominates game that almost didnt take place
12A pla fb barner
Junior A.J. Barner stiff arms a Luther player en route to a 16-yard touchdown run late in the first quarter.

It almost didn’t happen, then it was over in the blink of an eye.

Platteville needed only 14 offensive plays to amass six touchdowns in the first 15 minutes and cruised to an easy 41–0 non-conference victory over visiting Onalaska Luther Friday night in a game that nearly wasn’t played.

“Luther’s head coach called me Thursday night saying that they were looking into forfeiting the game,” said Platteville head coach Ryley Bailey. “They were really banged up and actually had a few more players get hurt during the week that made their numbers pretty thin. On Friday morning, [Platteville AD] Mike Foley and I called the Luther school district and spoke with their AD and head coach. We were able to come to a mutual agreement and get the game played on Friday night.”

The concession was made to go to a running clock if the game were to get out of hand even in the first half. The running clock was put into effect late in the opening quarter after A.J. Barner’s 16-yard run gave the Hillmen a 34–0 lead with 16 seconds left in the first quarter.

Luther (2–2) offered its most defensive resistance on the game’s opening drive, forcing Platteville to run eight plays to cover 60 yards.

Senior Ethan Bernhardt capped the drive with a 21-yard touchdown pass to senior Donovan Blevins.

The Hillmen then scored five more touchdowns on their next six plays.

After a Luther punt and an offensive holding penalty, Barner ripped off a 50-yard TD run.

Then Bernhardt connected on a 2-yard touchdown pass to senior Colemen Brecke after Platteville took over at the 2-yardline after a Luther fumbled snap on a punt attempt.

Bernhardt added a 55-yard bomb to Blevins on Platteville’s next offensive play, and after junior Quinn Kafer recovered a fumble deep in Luther territory, Barner scored from 16 yards out on a sweep around the left end.

Bernhardt capped his night moments later when he threw a wide receiver screen pass to Blevins, that turned into a 43-yard touchdown.

Bernhardt finished the night 8 of 8 for 146 yards and four TDs. Blevins caught three passes for 119 yards, all for touchdowns, and Barner rushed for a team-high 88 yards and two scores on just five carries.

Brecke led the defense with seven total tackles, while Kafar had six tackles, including thee solo stops on kickoff.

“I am really happy that we were able to get the game played,” added Bailey. “I am proud in our teams efforts.  We were able to put it all together from defense, to offense, and special teams.” 

“It was one of our first games where we excelled in all three areas.  It was also a great experience for some of our younger players seeing their first varsity snaps. I also want to recognize Luther and their heart and effort in fighting through the injuries and coming down to play on Friday night. They were a class act program and that shows how well they are coached.”

Platteville (4–0, ranked 7th in Division 4) will open SWC play Friday at winless Richland Center (0–4).


Platteville 41,

Onalaska Luther 0

(from Friday, Sept. 8 @ UW–Platteville)

Luther 0 0 0 0 —   0

Platteville 34 7 0 0 — 41

First quarter

P: Donovan Blevins 21 pass from Ethan Bernhardt  (Zach White kick)

P: AJ Barner 50 run (White kick)

P: Coleman Brecke 2 pass from Bernhardt (White kick)

P: Blevins 55 pass from Bernhardt (White kick)

P: Barner 16 run (kick failed)

Second quarter

P: Blevins 43 pass from Bernhardt (White kick)

Team Statistics

First downs — OL 5, P 14. Rushing — OL 33-69, P: 14-146. Passing (comp-att-int, yds) — OL 1-1-0, 2, P 12-14-0, 182. Fumbles–lost OL 2-2, P 1-0. Penalties-yards OL 2-20, P 2-15. 

Individual Statistics

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Rushing — OL: Connor Peterson 1-41, Erik Rogers 12-36. P: AJ Barner 5-88. Passing — OL: Zach Wilhm 1-1-0, 2. P: Ethan Bernhardt 8-8-0, 146. Receiving OL: Ben Kutz 1-2. P: Donovan Blevins 3-119.