PRAIRIE DU CHIEN — A pair of early turnovers couldn’t derail a determined Platteville rushing attack in Friday’s SWC opener at Prairie du Chien.
The Hillmen shook off two early giveaways and piled up 336 yards and seven touchdowns rushing to pull away for an easy 48–13 victory over the overmatched Blackhawks, who went 3–1 in their non-conference schedule.
Senior halfback Jacob Bernhardt rushed for 155 yards and three touchdowns to lead the Platteville attack.
Fellow senior Ryan Weber had a career-best night, adding 83 yards and three first-half TDs of his own, including an interesting 63-yard first-quarter touchdown just two minutes into the game that put Platteville in front for good.
Weber bobbled the initial handoff from senior quarterback Blake Wagner and juggled the ball in the air as he rounded the left end of the line. But the 219-pound fullback secured the ball and showed great speed as he outran the Prairie du Chien defense down the Platteville sideline for six points. Senior Tyler Brookens’ extra point made it 7-0.
Weber scored on a 1-yard run early in the second and later on a 14-yard run with 29 seconds left in the half that made it 34–7. He also caught a 23-yard pass.
“We thought going into the game that we could run the ball on them and our fullback’s workload just kind of happened,” said Platteville head coach Scott Statz. “We take what the defense is giving each week and dive and trap were there. Ryan had a good game, but he would be the first to tell you he can get better as well.”
Bernhardt scored on a 24-yard run with 4:37 left in the first to make it 13–0.
He added a 25-yard touchdown run in the second quarter and scored from three yards out on Platteville’s first drive of the second half to make it 41–7 just 2:38 into the third quarter.
Junior halfback Jason Withrow capped the Platteville scoring with a 4-yard run with 5:57 left in the third to make it 48–7 and turn on the running clock.
Prairie du Chien closed out the scoring with a 4-yard TD pass from Brogan Potter to Casey Hogenson on the final play of the game against Platteville’s second-string defense.
As good as the Hillmen offense was Friday night, Statz was most please with the play of his defensive unit.
The Platteville defense forced eight three-and-outs in the game and recovered a fumble.
Prairie du Chien’s lone scoring drive of the first half came after a Platteville fumble near midfield.
The Blackhawks covered 53 yards in eight plays — 30 coming on one Potter to Hogenson pass — with fullback Peyton Hall going the final 11 yards to make it 13–7 on the final play of the first quarter.
“The key to the game was our defense,” said Statz. “We finally played very consistently, did our job, and really ran to the ball well. We thought Chance Kupersmith played especially well on the outside.
Platteville (3–2, 1–0 SWC) will final return home to Pioneer Stadium this Friday when Richland Center comes to town. The Hillmen played “home” games against Holmen on Sept. 28 at Cuba City and Viroqua on Sept. 5 at Potosi.
UW–Platteville’s Ralph E. Davis Pioneer Stadium was damaged by this summer’s tornadoes on June 16. Parts of the stadium seating, as well as light towers and the entire field turf had to be replaced.
“We have played nine games on the road in a row, so we are sure looking forward to playing a true home game at Ralph E. Davis,” said Statz. “Richland Center is a solid team and we must continue to improve this week if we are to reach our potential. The kids did a really good job of preparing and listening this week and that will be a key all season. We finally played well for four quarters.
Platteville 48, Prairie du Chien 13
(from Friday, Sept. 19 @ Prairie du Chien)
Platteville 13 21 14 0 — 48
Prairie du Chien 7 0 0 6 — 13
P: Ryan Weber 63 run (Tyler Brookens kick)
P: Jacob Bernhardt 24 run (kick failed)
PdC: Hall 11 run (Dylan kick)
P: Weber 1 run (Brookens kick)
P: Bernhardt 25 (Brookens kick)
P: Weber 14 run (Zach White kick)
P: Bernhardt 3 run (White kick)
P: Jason Withrow 4 run (White kick)
PdC: Hoganson 4 pass from Potter
First downs — Pla 15, PdC 9. Rushing — P 42-336, PdC 18-33. Passing Yards — P 37, PdC 105. Passing — P 2-4-1, PdC 12-30-0. Fumbles–lost — P 2-2, PdC 1-1. Penalties-yards — P 6-50, PdC 3-17.
Rushing — P: Jacob Bernhardt 14-155, Ryan Weber 7-83, Jason Withrow 10-55; PdC: Hall 5-14. Passing — P: Blake Wagner 1-3-1, 23, Cody Schambow 1-1-0, 14; PdC: Potter 12-30-0, 105. Receiving — P: Ryan Weber 1-23; PdC: Hogenson 11-105.