Football surives early scare, wins 63-34

Junior+receiver+Trevor+Whitehead+%2881%29+breaks+a+tackle+and+gets+into+endzone+on+Sept.+14+against+Dubuque.+Whitehead+caught+two+scores+at+Lewis+and+Clark%2C+giving+him+four+touchdown+receptions+on+the+season.+

Jeremy Williamson

Junior receiver Trevor Whitehead (81) breaks a tackle and gets into endzone on Sept. 14 against Dubuque. Whitehead caught two scores at Lewis and Clark, giving him four touchdown receptions on the season.

Exponent Sports Staff, General Reporter

The Pioneers finished their out-of-conference schedule with their highest scoring output of the season, posting a 63-34 win over Lewis & Clark College in Portland, Ore. on Sept. 21.

No. 9 University of Wisconsin-Platteville survived a wild first quarter in which the teams combined for 42 points.

UW-Platteville started the scoring quickly, forcing a turnover on Lewis & Clark’s first play from scrimmage as junior Rob Austin took an interception 25 yards for a touchdown.

The Pioneers followed up with a fumble recovery for a touchdown, making the score 14-0 after just a minute of play.

Lewis & Clark answered with a seven-play, 100-yard drive, capped off by a 44-yard touchdown pass.

After forcing a Pioneer punt, Lewis & Clark tied the game at 14, manufacturing a 99-yard march, ended by a 60-yard touchdown toss.

Less than a minute later, Pioneer senior quarterback John Kelly found junior receiver Trevor Whitehead for a 17-yard touchdown, putting them up 21-14.

Lewis & Clark tied the game again with a minute remaining in the first quarter after a 13-play drive, then took the lead, 27-21, after picking off Kelly and scoring a touchdown on the first play of the second quarter.

The Pioneers’ special teams blocked the extra point, and this seemed to spark both sides of the ball.

UW-Platteville’s defense started to contain Lewis & Clark’s offense, and the Pioneers’ offense started rolling, scoring 21 unanswered points to put the score in their favor at halftime, 42-27.

Whitehead caught his fourth touchdown of the season in the second quarter, and senior receiver Ryley Bailey caught his first two touchdowns of the season, issuing receptions of 12 and 21 yards, respectively.
The Pioneers scored on their opening possession after the break, as Kelly took a run in from three yards out.

The defense put the clamps on Lewis & Clark, limiting the deep passing game that had hurt them early on and allowing just 108 yards in the second half, almost all of which came on Lewis & Clark’s last scoring drive, a 12-play, 75-yard effort.

A 13-yard connection from Kelly to senior running back Lee Vlasak and a 32-yard grab from junior quarterback Bryce Corrigan to junior receiver Bryan Whitehead ended the day’s scoring.

With the scoring outburst, the Pioneers are averaging just under 48 points per game this season, and senior kicker Zach Litchfield garnered his second WIAC Special Teams Player of the Week award for his 9 extra points.

The quarterback battle between Kelly and Corrigan that has surrounded the team during the out-of-conference schedule seemed to have been sorted out, as Kelly was given most of the playing time against Lewis & Clark.

Kelly went 27 of 37, passing for 313 yards and five total touchdowns, including his rushing score, while Corrigan threw for 118 yards on 13 of 17 passing and two scores.

The Pioneers have their bye week this week, giving the team a chance to rest before they begin their WIAC schedule at home with the Homecoming game at 3 p.m. Oct. 5 against the University of Wisconsin-Eau Claire.