Pioneers fall short to Warhawks


Emily Byrns photo

UW-Platteville Pioneers drive for their first touchdown late in the third.

The University of Wisconsin-Platteville football traveled to UW-Whitewater on Saturday, Nov. 4 for the Warhawk’s homecoming. A wet and windy day laid ahead of each team, but that didn’t stop the teams from competing or the fans from attending. The UW-Platteville stands were nearly full with people cheering and rooting on the Pioneers.

The first half of the game was a punting competition to say the least. UW-Whitewater started the game by kicking off to the Pioneers. The Pioneers then responded with a return that brought them to the 43-yard line. Even with this long return, the Pioneers were unable to score as the Warhawks defense blocked the field goal attempt. Each team’s offense played a strong first half, but the defense played stronger. Punt after punt, the defense of both teams put a stop to any form of scoring, resulting in a 0-0 first half score.

When the third quarter rolled around, both teams came alive. The Warhawks were the first on the board, as they rallied for a touchdown early in the third quarter, making the score 7-0 ,Warhawks. The Pioneers responded to the Warhawks with a punt and a fumble at the 14-yard line. The Warhawks recovered the ball and scored again, one minute after their first touchdown, making their lead 14-0.

Still scoreless, the Pioneers punted yet again, but were able to hold the Warhawks to a field goal. With the score now 17-0 with 8:35 left in the third, the Pioneers put themselves in gear for a comeback, scoring a touchdown and extra point to close the gap to 14-7. However, the Pioneers were not done scoring, as they scored another touchdown with 37 seconds left in the third quarter, making the score 17-14.

The fourth quarter was nerve-racking for both teams as each were stepping up their game and doing everything in their power to win. The Pioneers started the fourth quarter with the ball. However, the Warhawks defense drew a scoreless run, resulting in a Pioneer punt. During the punt, UW-Whitewater was penalized, resulting in a 10-yard advantage and a first down for the Pioneers.

The Pioneers looked to make an offensive run, but after Jack Eddy fumble resulted in a Warhawk possession. UW-Whitewater took this fumble recovery to their advantage, as the offense made an impressive run down the field. However, the run was stopped after the Warhawks were called for an ineligible receiver two times in a row, resulting in a loss of yards and a punt. The Warhawks did not take this call lightly, as they were penalized for unsportsmanlike conduct, which led to a first down for the Pioneers. The Pioneers were unable to capitalize, however, putting the pressure on the defense once again. The Pioneers’ defense made the Warhawks really fight as they neared the end zone, holding them once again.

The feeling of achievement was lost soon after, though, as Eddy threw an interception with 3:08 left in the fourth quarter. This gave the Warhawks the ball on the 2-yard line. Then, with 2:43 left to play, the Pioneers sacked the Warhawks quarterback in the end zone resulting in a safety and getting the ball on the 20-yard line. The score was now 17-16, Warhawks.

The Pioneers then ran the ball, but the Warhawks defense held them to fourth down and inches. With less than two minutes to go, the Pioneers decided to go for it but got called for a false start, resulting in a fourth and five. This would be the last time the Pioneers would have a chance to score, which ultimately led to a 17-16 win for the Warhawks.

The Pioneers now find themselves with an overall record of 6-3 going into this weekend’s home game against UW-Stevens Point.