Battle of the Bridge champs 13 times in a row

Pioneer football goes 2-0 with a win over non-conference rival University of Dubuque 26-21.

Samantha Yingst and Shelby LeDuc

The University of Wisconsin-Platteville Pioneer football team took the field for the 2014 Battle of the Bridge against the University of Dubuque Spartans, Saturday.

This was the first game played at the stadium since the reconstruction of the field following the June 16 tornado. The stadium was filled with a sea of blue and orange as spectators awaited the Pioneers to hit the new turf.

Sophomore wide receiver, Seth Kaufmann, assisted the first score of the game by passing to junior linebacker Alex Johnson, who ran the ball into Spartan territory for a touchdown. The first quarter resulted with a pioneer lead 7-0.

Subsequently, freshman kicker Pat Frio, kicked a field goal at the 25 yard line, making the score 10-0.

In the second quarter, the Spartans recovered the ball via reception and rushed a total of 31 yards for a touchdown building the score 10-7.

In response, senior quarterback, Bryce Corrigan, completed a pass to senior wide receiver Trevor Whitehead who ran the ball 33 yards for a touchdown, giving the Pioneers the lead with 17-7.

The Spartans then covered ground with a 27-yard touchdown into the Pioneer end zone.

The first half concluded with a field goal performed by Frio, which allowed the Pioneers to take a 20-14 lead heading into the second half of the game.

The third quarter began with Bryce Corrigan throwing a 30-yard pass to senior running back Andy Puccini, which resulted in another touchdown for the Pioneers. UW-Platteville attempted to rush instead of kicking a field goal, but ultimately failed to make the run. The third quarter ended with the score 26-14.

Despite the best efforts of the Pioneer defense, the Spartans came back running the ball 42 yards for a touchdown making the score 26-21.

The fourth quarter ended as the clock ran out after the Pioneers obtained three first downs, allowing the Pioneers victory 26-21.

Pioneer football head coach Mike Emendorfer, is content with the turnout of Saturday’s game and the performance of his team.

“First and foremost we really appreciate everyone that rallied together and allowed us to get back out here as a team,” Emendorfer said. “I am, overall, very impressed with how we handled the adversity during camp and these two weeks into the season. We played well as a team and did an awesome job running the ball the way that we did.”

Emendorfer said that he is especially impressed with standout players Puccini and Johnson.

During the duration of the game, Puccini averaged 6.7 yards for 30 carries, obtained a 30-yard touchdown reception and rushed a total of 202 yards.
In regards to what the players can do to prepare for the game against North Central College, Sept. 20, Emendorfer believes it is about an overall attitude.

“We are looking at the NCC game as another non-conference game,” Emendorfer said. “We are two nationally ranked teams playing against eachother. We need to get into game condition state. It needs to happen so that we can be mentally and physically ready.”