UW–Platteville’s high-octane offense looked to be in mid-season form in Saturday’s non-conference season opener against visiting Buena Vista.
Junior quarterback Tom Kelly (Chicago) was near perfect is his first collegiate start, completing 21 of 25 passes for 277 yards and five touchdowns, all in the first half, as the Pioneers blew away the visiting Beavers 49–13 at Ralph E. Davis Pioneer Stadium.
Kelly, the younger brother of former Pioneer standout quarterback John Kelly (the Pioneers’ starting QB in 2012 and 2013), completed an 8-yard TD strike to junior wide receiver Patrick Sheehan (Flossmoor, Ill.) to cap UW–Platteville’s opening drive. Sophomore Eric Matuszak (Cuba City) added the extra point to put the home team out in front 7–0 with just 2:18 into the game.
The Beavers (0–1) answered with a nine-play, 78-yard drive that was capped by sophomore Cody Mowery’s 3-yard run with 9:08 left in the opening half, but UW–Platteville senior Andrew Robinson (Arcadia) blocked the extra point attempt to keep UWP ahead 7–6.
The Pioneers (1–0) marched right back down the field and took a 14–6 lead when junior Justin Johnson (Menomonee Falls) scored on a 3-yard run in midway through the opening quarter.
Senior safety Logan Emendorfer (Platteville) ended BV’s next drive with a leaping interception at the Pioneer 14-yard line.
The rest of the half was all Pioneers.
Kelly threw four second-quarter touchdowns, the first a 33-yard touchdown strike to senior Mitch Munda (Gurnee, Ill.) that made it 21–6 with 12:27 left in the half.
On the Pioneers’ next possession Kelly zipped back-to-back completions to Munda, then threw a 36-yard TD pass to junior Seth Kaufmann (Wilton, Iowa) to make it 28–6.
After UW–Platteville sophomore Jacob Forney (South Holland, Ill.) recovered a Buena Vista fumble at midfield, Kelly again found Sheehan over the middle from 13 yards out just two minutes later as the Pioneers extended their lead to 35–6 with 6:36 left in the half.
Junior Dan Arnold (Fargo, N.D.), a Division III national qualifier in the 400-meter hurdles this past spring, got in on the scoring barrage when he hauled in an 8-yard TD pass from Kelly in the right corner of the end zone to make it 42–6 with 2:17 left in the half.
Buena Vista’s offense drove to the Pioneer 15-yard-line, but Tyler Stolen’s 32-yard field goal attempt sailed wide left on the second to last play of the half.
UW–Platteville back-up quarterback Jack Eddy (So., Aurora, Ill.) added a 3-yard TD run midway through the third quarter to put the finishing touches on the Pioneer rout.
The Beavers added a meaningless touchdown in the fourth quarter on a 2-yard run by Christian Hovey to complete the scoring.
The Pioneers piled up 491 yards of total offense in the dominating victory. Sheehan hauled in a team-high six passes for 58 yards and two scores. Senior Russell Martin (Carol Stream, Ill.) caught five passes for a team-high 83 yards.
Senior running back Ryan Fish (Madison, Ind.) rushed for a team-high 69 yards on eight carries to lead the Pioneer rushing attack.
The UW–Platteville defense was led by Forney and Brandon Johnson (Jr., Thor, Iowa), who were each in on five tackles. The Pioneers held the Beavers to just 151 yards rushing on 39 attempts.
Next, UW–Platteville travels to the University of Dubuque Saturday, Sept. 12 for a 6 p.m. kickoff in the Dairy Queen Battle of the Bridge rivalry game. The Pioneers won last year’s contest 26-21.
UW–Platteville has won five straight games against the Spartans since the non-conference rivalry was renewed in 2009. The two teams did not play in 2011.
UW–Platteville 49, Buena Vista 13
(from Saturday, Sept. 5 @ Platteville)
Buena Vista 6 0 0 7 — 13
UW–Platteville 14 28 7 0 — 49
P: Patrick Sheehan 8 pass from Tom Kelly (Eric Matuszak kick)
BV: Cody Mowery 3 run (kick blocked)
P: Justin Johnson 3 run (Matuszak kick)
P: Mitch Munda 33 pass from Kelly (Matuszak kick)
P: Seth Kaufman 36 pass from Kelly (Matuszak)
P: Sheehan 13 pass from Kelly (Matuszak kick)
P: Dan Arnold 8 pass from Kelly (Matuszak kick)
P: Jack Eddy 3 run (Matuszak kick)
BV: Christian Hovey 2 run (Tyler Stolen kick)
First downs — BV 19, P 24. Rushing —BV 39-151, P 39-192. Passing Yards — BV 188, P 299. Passing — BV 14-27-1, P 25-30-0. Fumbles–lost — BV 4-2, P 0-0. Penalties — BV 4-40, P 7-54.
Rushing — BV: Mowery 22-138; P: Ryan Fish 8-69. Passing — BV: Troy Beger 11-23-1, 162; P: Tom Kelly 21-25-0, 277. Receiving — BV: Jalen Henningsen 7-123; P: Russell Martin 5-83.