Pioneers salute seniors in final 2018 game

Pioneers salute seniors in final 2018 game

The game: The University of Wisconsin-Platteville closes its 2018 campaign by playing host to No. 4 UW-Whitewater in Ralph E. Davis Pioneer Stadium. Saturday's George Chryst Memorial Bowl will celebrate the 2018 senior class and honor Veterans Day in conjunction with the Wisconsin National Guard.

The records: UW-Platteville is 4-5 overall and 2-4 in the WIAC while UW-Whitewater is an undefeated 9-0, and 6-0 in the conference.

The George Chryst Memorial Bowl: Every year since 1993, the Pioneers and Warhawks have played in the George Chryst Memorial Bowl. The annual contest is named for former University of Wisconsin-Platteville coach George Chryst, who died suddenly in 1992 after leading the Pioneers to a 79-60-2 record and the 1980 conference championship. Following the game, the two teams gather at midfield, and Chryst's widow, Patty, will present the offensive and defensive players of the contest, as voted upon by the assembled media.

This is the 111th meeting between the two teams and the 26th edition of the George Chryst Memorial Bowl game.  The Miner's Axe trophy was dedicated in 1995 and is the rivalry trophy presented to the winning team each year.

The coaches: Mike Emendorfer is UW-Platteville's all-time winningest coach and reached the 100 win mark with the 20-6 triumph over UW-Stevens Point on Sept. 29. He has taken the Pioneers to their only two NCAA III playoff berths in school history, in 2013 and 2016. Emendorfer is the WIAC's active leader in victories.  Kevin Bullis is in his fourth season as the head coach of the Warhawks.  Under Bullis' leadership, the Warhawks have collected 42 All-WIAC honors, 21 All-West Region accolades and 17 All-American awards. He owns a 40-6 record at the helm and is 28-2 against conference competition.

The Pioneers: UW-Platteville held a one-point lead in the final minute last Saturday, but UW-Stout drove 76 yards in 14 plays and scored the go-ahead touchdown with four seconds remaining as the Pioneers suffered their fourth straight loss, 38-33, in Menomonie. UW-Platteville held a 26-21 lead heading into the fourth quarter before the Blue Devils closed with 17 fourth-quarter points.

UW-Platteville continues to lead the WIAC in pass offense averaging 268.4 yards per game. Junior Brett Geisz started his second career game with the Pioneers last week at UW-Stout and went 22 of 35 attempts and sits second in the WIAC for pass efficiency.  Senior running back Sean Studer sits third in the WIAC with 77.5 yards averaged per game and sophomore quarterback Colin Schuetz leads the league with 246.3 yards passed per game. 

On the Pioneer defense, sophomore Eric Siedenburg sits fourth in the league and is averaging 9.0 tackles per game with senior Ben Mogilevsky averaging 7.6 per game.  Senior Clayton Becker leads the defense in sacks  with 7.5 for a loss of 52 yards and has stacked up 62 tackles with 12 TFLs for the seasons.

On special teams, senior kicker Michael Pratl is 36 for 37 attempts on PATs on the year. 

The Warhawks: Last Saturday, the Warhawks sealed the WIAC championship outright with a 59-7 triumph over UW-Stevens Point. UW-Whitewater tallied a season-high 565 yards of total offense, including a season-best 305 yards through the air. The Warhawks held the Pointers to 60 yards rushing and a 2-of-14 conversion rate on fourth down.

The Warhwaks who lead the conference in both total offense and total defense, are led by Cole Wilber who has completed 116 of 207 attempts with seven interceptions this season.  Wilber's primary target is Ryan Wisniewski with 29 receptions this season for six touchdowns and an average of 60.0 yards per game. Alex Pete has stacked up 165 carries with 14 touchdowns and averages 94.3 yards per game.

On defense, the Warhawks' Jacob Erbs leads with 24 solos, 21 tackle assists and five TFLs. Defensive end, Harry Henschler,  has tallied up 33 tackles, 12.5 TFLs, 6 sacks for a loss of 24 yards, and two forced fumbles.

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2018 Seniors:

2 Michael Pratl

6 Donovan Nathaniel

8 Clay Becker

11 Mark Johnson

12 Connor Fedderly

14 Cleveland Redd

15 Tim Jansen

16 Ben Mogilevsky

23 Anthony Metallo

25 Sean Studer

32 Josh Mackie

34 Connor Foley

38  Dakota Tomkins

51 Tom Dougherty

61 Robert Otto

94 David Landstrom