Streak snapped in homecoming game

Pioneers are defeated in head to head match up against the UW-Oshkosh Titans


Tai Pham photo

The Pioneers huddle together during a time out to discuss their strategy.

The University of Wisconsin-Platteville football team took part in a NCAA Division III top-10 match up with rival UW-Oshkosh on Oct. 14 at Ralph E. Davis Pioneer Stadium. The Titans gave the Pioneers their first loss of the season, dropping the ninth ranked team to a record of 5-1 with a 2-1 record in conference play. The Titans won the game by a score of 28-14 and maintain an unblemished record. Along with the game, homecoming attracted more students and families to the university. Senior business administration major and linebacker Colin Griffin explains that homecoming is not an event that phases the players or their preparation.

“In regards to preparation during homecoming week, nothing really changes,” Griffin said. “Ever since high school, coaches said to never let homecoming change your mindset. It is just another football game for us as a team. The same goes with college. Yes, there is a lot of extra stuff such as the parade and other activities that lead up to game time but we don’t pay attention to any of it.”

The Pioneers and Titans faced bouts of rain throughout Saturday afternoon and it reflected in both team’s number of passing yards. Both teams achieved about the same amount of yards as one another through the air but the difference running the ball was much greater. The Titans created 225 yards rushing, while the Pioneers were only able to come up with 56. Running the ball so effectively allowed the Titans to maintain the clock and gave their own offense 10 more minutes of ball control.

Even through the defeat at the hands of the third ranked team in Division III football, some of the players had very notable contributions. In the first half, the Pioneers were unable to score on offense but sophomore defensive back Luke Johnson returned an interception 47 yards for a touchdown during the second quarter to tie the game at 7. Senior linebacker Chandler Crary also provided support on the defensive side of the ball. Crary recorded a season high 17 tackles including 2 for a loss.

Next Saturday, the Pioneers will travel to UW-Eau Claire to challenge the Blugolds. This game could be a great opportunity for the Pioneers to bounce back. UW-Eau Claire is 1-5 and have lost their last four games. However, Griffin assures that no game is an automatic victory.

“Just like any UW team, they all pose a threat,” Griffin said. “The moment you get cocky and think you are way better than a certain team is when they can catch us off guard and possibly beat us. There are cases of this every year with big upsets but no one can be taken lightly in this conference.”

The Pioneers return home to play a game against UW-La Crosse on Oct. 28. This game encourages the audience to wear pink to support breast cancer research and promote awareness.