No. 3 Warhawks hand No. 19 Pioneers first loss, 21-14

No. 3 Warhawks hand No. 19 Pioneers first loss, 21-14

WHITEWATER, Wis. – The No. 19 ranked University of Wisconsin-Platteville football team fell 21-14 to the No. 3 ranked University of Wisconsin-Whitewater Saturday afternoon at Perkins Stadium in the 2019 edition of the George Chryst Memorial Bowl. The two nationally ranked teams entered the fourth quarter tied at 14 apiece, but the Warhawks' 10-yard run and touchdown in the 11th minute proved to be the game winning touchdown.

The gusty game, which saw a steady 20 mph wind throughout, featured the two undefeated teams in the Wisconsin Intercollegiate Athletic Conference (WIAC). The Pioneers (4-1 overall, 1-1 WIAC) held the Warhawks (5-0 overall, 2-0 WIAC) to a seven-point margin which is the narrowest gap any team has achieved in the 2019 season against UW-Whitewater.

Overall, UW-Platteville tallied 237 yards total offense, with 218 yards passing while the quick Warhawk defense held the Pioneers to just 19 yards rushing.  UW-Whitewater combined 137 yards in the air with a staggering 376 yards rushing for 513 yards total offense.

Junior Colin Schuetz passed 19-for-38 for 218 yards and two touchdowns. Senior Wyatt Thompson had a team high 81 yards receiving with five receptions and a touchdown. Junior Donald Allender led the Pioneers with seven receptions for 72 yards and a touchdown.

Freshman kicker Andrew Schweigert was a perfect 2-for-2 on extra points to bring his season record to 24-for-26. 

On defense, senior defensive back Tyler Reinhardt led the Pioneers with 14 tackles while senior defensive back Walter Ollie followed with 10 tackles.  Senior linebacker Jordan Zilbar forced two fumbles to recover both, as senior defensive back Luke Johnson had a team high two pass break-ups.

UW-Whitewater was first on the board after a punt placed the Warhawks on the Pioneer 28-yardline where they combined six plays for 28 yards with a two-yard plunge into the endzone for the 7-0 lead with 00:57 left in the first quarter. 

The Warhawks extended the lead to 14-0 the next possession with a nine-yard pass from Zach Oles to Josh Ringelberg with 7:05 left in the half.

The Pioneers started the next drive on their own 31-yardline after a 23-yard kick return by senior Walter Ollie.  After one failed pass attempt, Schuetz found Thompson for a 69-yard reception and touchdown as the Pioneers closed the gap to 14-7 with 6:46 remaining in the half.

The Pioneer defense made a big stop when Johnson broke up Oles' pass attempt to Derek Kumerow on 3rd and goal. Forced to go for three, UW-Whitewater missed a 28-yard field goal attempt to leave it a one possession game as the teams broke for the half. 

The Warhawks received to start the second half, but their first possession was short-lived when Zilbar stripped Oles for the forced fumble and recovery setting the Pioneers on the Warhawk 48-yardline. 

UW-Platteville was forced to punt, but Zilbar ended the very next Warhawk drive with another forced fumble and recovery on the UW-Platteville 13-yardline. This time, the Pioneers capitalized on the turnover when they combined 10 plays for 90 yards and a touchdown as Schuetz found Allender for an 18-yard catch to tie the game 14-14 with 4:53 left in the third quarter. 

UW-Whitewater's Jarrod Ware's 10-yard rush for a touchdown gave the Warhawks the 21-14 lead with 11:03 left in the game. Punts were exchanged and the Warhawks stopped UW-Platteville twice on down before running out the clock in the final two minutes. 

The annual contest between the Pioneers and Warhawks is named in honor of the late UW-Platteville head coach, George Chryst.  Chryst led the Pioneers to a 79-60-2 record and the 1980 conference championship.  Following Saturday's game, the traveling Miner's Axe trophy (dedicated in 1995) was awarded to the winning team by Chryst's wife Patty as the assembled media voted on the offensive and defensive players of the game.  


2019 Players of the Game

Offense –Donald Allender (UW-Platteville), Zach Oles (UW-Whitewater)
Defense – Tyler Reinhardt(UW-Platteville, Niko Lemke (UW-Whitewater)

The Pioneers will return home next Saturday, Oct. 19 as UW-Stout visits Ralph E. Davis Pioneer Stadium on homecoming weekend with kickoff set for 2 p.m.