By Bryce Meade, UWEC Sports Information
EAU CLAIRE, Wis. (Blugolds.com) - The University of Wisconsin-Eau Claire football team fell to the No. 16 UW-Platteville Pioneers in a conference matchup on Saturday afternoon at Carson Park, 43-8.
After holding the Pioneer offense in check for the majority of the opening frame, the Eau Claire defense finally gave in with under two minutes to go, when Platteville quarterback Colin Schuetz ran in from nine yards out to put the visitors up by seven. Another Pioneer touchdown early in the second quarter put them ahead 14-0.
Austin Belot (Jr. – Neenah) took a handoff 54 yards down to the Pioneer 11-yard line on the first play of the following drive and Conrad Bolz (Jr. – Medford) punched it in from four yards out three plays later. A successful two-point conversion cut the deficit to 14-8.
Following a pair of punts by each team, Platteville put together a 75-yard drive, capped with a Schuetz touchdown pass before halftime to pull ahead 21-8 at the break.
The Blugold defense came up with a stop on the opening possession of the second half, but were unable to capitalize, as they turned the ball over on downs in Pioneer territory when Belot was stopped short on a fourth-and-one. This led to another Schuetz touchdown pass followed by a two-point conversion to extend the lead to 29-8 with 7:46 remaining in the third quarter.
After getting the ball back quickly via punt, the Pioneer offense put together another long touchdown drive that burned the remaining time in the quarter and put Platteville up 36-8. A fourth quarter touchdown made the score 43-8 to close out the game.
Belot totaled 143 yards on 19 carries to the lead the Blugolds on the ground. Josiah Johnson (So. – Minneapolis/St. Anthony Village) completed 19 of 31 pass attempts for 183 yards. Darius Jones (Jr. – Ramsey, MN/Anoka) hauled in two passes for 50 yards and Joe Swanson (Jr. – Osceola) caught five passes for 43 yards. Carmelo Rosado (Jr. – Beaver Dam) totaled 13 tackles and Sam Romanski (Sr. – Wausau/East) added two sacks for the Blugold defense.
The Blugolds fall to 3-4 (1-3 WIAC) with the loss and will travel to Stevens Point next Saturday to take on the UW-Stevens Point Pointers at 1:00 PM. Follow the action on Blugold Game Day or on the 'UWEC Blugolds' app from your mobile device.