If two high school football teams play each other for the third time in a season again, and you’re asked to pick a winner, here’s a tip:
Base your selection more on the second meeting of the two teams than on their first meeting.
Meeting number three between Platteville and Dodgeville at Ralph E. Davis Pioneer Stadium Friday, a 34–0 Hillmen win, was more like meeting number two, a 36–0 Platteville win Oct. 4, than meeting number one, a 48–45 Dodger win Aug. 30.
The win advanced Platteville (6–4), the third seed in Division 4 Group C, to Level 2 at second-seed Brodhead/Juda (8–2, 4–1 Rock Valley South) Friday at 7 p.m. The winner will play either first-seed Walworth Big Foot or fifth-seed Clinton in Level 3 next weekend.
The Hillmen defense — which has given up 27 points to teams not named Lancaster over the past six games — held Dodgeville to 157 yards total offense, and kept the Dodgers out of the end zone on their two trips into the red zone.
“Once again our kids played very well defensively,” said Hillmen coach Scott Statz. “Dodgeville averaged almost 35 points per game this season, and to post back-to back shut-outs vs. them is a testimony to how well we are playing defensively. Our defensive players and coaches are preparing awfully hard and the reward has been good play on Friday nights.”
The theme of the game was set on Dodgeville’s first two series of the game. The Dodgers took the opening kickoff, took six minutes and 16 plays to gain 70 yards, and scored no points. Four plays from first-and-goal at the Platteville 3-yard line resulted in a run for no gain, an incomplete pass, a sack of quarterback Austin Larson, and another incomplete pass.
The Dodgers got the ball back at the Platteville 32 after an interception by Travis Hendrickson, but on third-and-9, defensive back Derek Schambow picked off a Larson pass at the 3-yard line, returning to the Platteville 10.
“We didn’t flinch early on when they drove the ball inside our 10-yard line and that had a big impact on the game,” said Statz.
Schambow’s interception started a 12-play 90-yard scoring drive that included Schambow catches of 13 and 22 yards, the latter on third-and-11, a 24-yard William Cooley run, and Cooley’s one-yard touchdown run. James Bailie’s extra point gave Platteville a 7–0 lead with 8:54 left in the first half, the only score of the first half.
Similar to the second Hillmen–Dodger game, Platteville took little time to add to its lead after the half. Cooley’s 55-yard run on the second play of the third quarter set up Cooley’s 14-yard touchdown run to extend the lead to 14–0 74 seconds into the half.
Unlike the previous two Dodger games, the Hillmen special teams got into the act. Bailie pounced on a fumbled punt snap on the end zone, then added the extra point to extend the lead to 21–0 with 2:36 left in the third.
Cooley’s 60-yard touchdown run with 9:30 left in the fourth quarter extended the lead to 28–0. Jake Bernhardt added a 1-yard touchdown run to end a 13-play 47-yard drive that ate 6:19 of the fourth quarter.
Cooley led Platteville with 264 of Platteville’s 310 rushing yards.
“Our offensive line, tight ends, and fullbacks really stepped up,” said Cooley. “That was the challenge this week and they responded. I thought our tailbacks ran very hard as well.”
Platteville will face a familiar postseason opponent in Brodhead/Juda Friday. Since 2000, the Cardinals have beaten the Hillmen three times — 49–21 in Level 2 in 2004, 66–35 in Level 1 in 2005, and 55–20 in Level 1 in 2011.
“Brodhead will be a great challenge for us,” said Statz. “They are big, physical, and well-coached. If we play great defense, take care of the football, and tackle well … we will be right in the mix.
“Our schedule has prepared us for games like this. I would not bet against our group right now; we are healthy, confident, and playing pretty well.”
Platteville 34, Dodgeville 0
(from Friday, Oct. 25 @ UW–Platteville)
Dodgeville 0 0 0 0 — 0
Platteville 0 7 14 13 — 34
P: William Cooley 1 run (James Bailie kick)
P: Cooley 14 run (Bailie kick)
P: Bailie fumble recovery in the end zone (Bailie kick)
P: Cooley 61 run (Bailie kick)
P: Jacob Bernhardt 1 run (kick failed)
First downs — D 9, P 16. Rushing — D 22-34, P 41-310. Passing Yards — D 123, P 84. Passing — D 13-31-2, P 7-13-1. Fumbles–lost — D 8-46, P 11-80. Penalties-yards — D 8-46, D 11-80.
Rushing — D: Logan Yeager 15-54; P: William Cooley 26-264. Passing — D: Austin Larson 12-30-2, 114; P: Logan Butson 7-13-1, 84. Receiving — D: Travis Sigg 8-72; P: Derek Schambow 4-50.