EAU CLAIRE, Wis. (Blugolds.com) – The University of Wisconsin-Eau Claire football team hosted No. 10 UW-Platteville for another Wisconsin Intercollegiate Athletic Conference (WIAC) match-up on Saturday, with the Blugolds falling short, 34-14.
The Pioneers got on the board first with a 26-yard pass play in the first quarter but the Blugold defense would hold the rest of the opening quarter.
The defense would force two Pioneer turnovers in the second quarter, as Ryan Ames (Sr. – Shakopee, MN) and Drew Hurley (Jr. – Chatfield, MN/ Chosen Valley) tallied interceptions on back-to-back Pioneer drives. But Blugold miscues still resulted in points for Platteville as they took a 21-0 lead into the locker room.
The Blugolds would take the momentum at the start of the third quarter, as the defense forced a fumble that was recovered by Jalen Thomas (Fr. – Flossmor, IL/Bloom Trail) at the Pioneer 41-yard line. The offense converted the turnover into points as JT DenHartog (Jr. – Hopkins, MN) punched it in from three yards out to put Eau Claire on the board.
The next Pioneer drive was again cut short, this time by an interception by Brandon Rosado (Fr. – Beaver Dam, WI) at the Platteville 45, but the Blugolds would not be able to capitalize.
Platteville would put together another drive at the end of the third and would find the end zone once again four minutes into the final frame to take a 28-7 lead.
Eau Claire responded with a 74-yard touchdown strike from DenHartog to Tyler Paulson (So. – Sugar Grove, IL/Kaneland) but the Pioneers would score once more to take the 34-14 win.
DenHartog finished the day 7-13 for 126 yards and ran for another 45. Brian Kulaga (Jr. – Riverside, IL/Riverside-Brookfield) led the Blugolds with 93 yards rushing on 18 carries. Paulson led the receivers with 100 yards on two catches.
Leading the way on defense was Sam Romanski (Jr. – Wausau, WI/East) and Victor Martinelli (Fr. – Milton, WI), recording 12 and nine tackles, respectively. They each tallied 2.5 tackles for a loss and Martinelli had two sacks and a blocked extra point.