CRESTVIEW HILLS, KY – The nationally ranked UW-Platteville football team fell 28-34 to Thomas More, a team that has won its league eight of the last ten years, on Saturday in suburban Cincinnati.
The day began strong for the Pioneers forcing a fumble in the Saints' starting drive at their own 37 yard line which resulted in Colin Schuetz finding Mark Johnson for a 20 yard touchdown. The Pioneers led 7-0 five minutes into the game and the Saints unable to convert on fourth and two turned the ball over for Schuetz to find Donald Allender for 43 yard completion. Bo Babich's rush into the end zone and Michael Pratl's kick put the Pioneers ahead 14-0 just six minutes into the first.
On the next UW-Platteville drive, Johnson rushed for a 20 yard touchdown and the Pioneers took an early 21-0 first quarter lead.
The heat and humidity in the air along with the heat brought on by Thomas More would change the landscape of the game in the second quarter with the Saints going 21-0 against the Pioneers. This included a pick-six and 35 yard reception from Thomas More's Justin Post to Logan Winkler.
The Pioneers fired back quickly off the first drive of the second half when Schuetz connected with Allender for a 10 yard touchdown to take a 28-21 lead until the Saints evened the game once more on the next drive.
In the fourth quarter, on fourth and eighth, the Pioneers held the Saints, but a pass interference call moved the chains and opened the door for a 28 yard Thomas More pass into the end zone to give the Saints the lead for the first time of the day and where it would stay until time expired.
The Pioneers outgained Thomas More 448-362 including 372-157 passing, but the Saints were able to hold a 205-76 advantage rushing.
The Pioneers forced two fumbles to the Saints' one and split 1-1 on sacks for the day.
Overall, the Pioneer offense was pressured by 12 broken-up passes, seven TFLs for 24 yards and two interceptions returned for 87 yards and a touchdown.
UW-Platteville's senior receiver Mark Johnson returned to action and paced the Pioneers with two touchdowns, 80 yards receiving and 29 yards rushing. Sophomore Bo Babich rushed eight carries for 26 yards while sophomore receiver Donald Allender led with seven receptions for 113 yards.
Sophomore quarterback Colin Schuetz completed 31 for 53 passes for 372 yards and two touchdowns.
Thomas More's Justin Post went 11-21 for 157 yards and two touchdowns. Bryce Arneson recorded a Post sack for a loss of 10. UW-Platteville's Ben Mogilevsky finished the day with eight tackles, four solo and four assists with Clayton Becker, Cleveland Redd, Travis Hofslien, and Josh Mackie totaling six apiece.
The Pioneers return to action Saturday, Sept. 22 for the first home game of the season in Ralph E. Davis Pioneer Stadium. They will take on the Muskies of Lakeland University at 6 p.m. To buy game tickets or 2018 season tickets, click here.