Pioneers to salute veterans and seniors on Saturday

Pioneers to salute veterans and seniors on Saturday

The Game: The University of Wisconsin-Platteville football team closes its 2019 home schedule on Saturday Nov. 9 at 2 p.m. on both Senior Day and Veterans Day against the Pointers of the University of Wisconsin-Stevens Point in Ralph E. Davis Pioneer Stadium.

Last meeting: Last season's Pioneers defeated the Pointers 20-6 in Goerke Park to open the 2018 WIAC schedule.

The records:  The Pioneers sit 6-2 overall and 3-2 in the WIAC after falling to UW Oshkosh 24-20 last Saturday in Ralph E. Davis Pioneer Stadium.  In all, the Pioneers' two losses come at a combined 11-point deficit.  UW-Stevens Point will enter Saturday's game 3-5 overall and 2-3 in the league while the Pointers come off a 40-12 victory against UW-Eau Claire last Saturday.

The coaches: Mike Emendorfer is UW-Platteville's all-time winning coach, compiling a 107-103 record in his 21 seasons and is the WIAC's active leader in victories. Greg Breitback is wrapping-up his second season with the Pointers after taking the helm of the program from previously serving as head coach at Millersville University (DII) and offensive coordinator at the University of North Dakota. Breitback's Pointers finished 4-6 overall last season.

The Pioneers: UW-Platteville is 40-21 in conference play over the last nine years and will seek out a ninth straight victory over the Pointers on Saturday. Overall, the Pioneers have compiled a 53-18 mark over the previous seven seasons, with a pair of NCAA Division III playoff appearances in 2013 and 2016.

Emendorfer's Pioneers are leading the WIAC in scoring offense with 35.3 points per game while averaging 390.9 yards per contest, including 284.4 in the air. Junior Colin Schuetz leads the WIAC in pass efficiency and has completed 172-of-283 (60.8%) attempts for 2,246 yards and 22 touchdowns in eight games. Senior Tyler Knigge (49 receptions for 663 yards) and junior Donald Allender (37 receptions for 617 yards) are Schuetz's primary targets, while Allender is second in the WIAC in scoring with 10 touchdowns. Senior running back Wyatt Thompson has combined 104 carries for 490 of the Pioneers' 852 rushing yards and six touchdowns.

Freshman kicker Andrew Schweigert leads the WIAC in kick scoring, as has gone 32-for-34 on PATs and 6-for-7 on field goal attempts with a 36-yard long.

On defense, senior defensive back Tyler Reinhardt leads the Pioneers with 64 tackles, six tackles for a loss of 24 yards, four pass break-ups, one sack, and is tied for second in the WIAC with three interceptions and one returned for a touchdown.  Following Reinhardt are senior defensive back Antonio-Jose Ramos who has tallied 48 tackles and senior linebacker Jordan Zilbar who has chipped away at 46 tackles, four sacks for a loss of 25 yards, three forced fumbles, and two fumble recoveries.

UW-Platteville's turnover margin sits third in the nation in NCAA DIII while the Pioneers also lead the WIAC in turnovers gained with eight fumbles and 16 interceptions which ranks them fourth nationally.

The Pointers: UW-Stevens Point is averaging 20.8 points and 333.3 yards per game with 246.4 yards passing and 86.9 yards rushing.  Senior quarterback Matt Urmanski has completed 150-of-265 attempts for 1,860 yards, 12 touchdowns and 10 interceptions. Urmanski will look for senior Jonte Webb (35 receptions for 632 yards) and Devin Baldridge (21 receptions for 264 yards).  Junior running back ShamaJ Williams has combined 107 carries for 484 yards and three touchdowns to lead the Pointers in addition to tallying 26 receptions for another 194 yards.

On defense, junior linebacker Kameron Kryzanski leads the Pointers and sits second in the WIAC with 86 tackles, five pass break-ups, and has seven tackles for a loss of 19 yards. Sophomore lineman Berkley Corvino follows with 72 tackles and has tallied 12 tackles for a loss of 30 yards including three sacks. Junior defensive back Donovan Lucas leads UW-Stevens Point with three interceptions returned for 46 yards and 12 pass break-ups. UW-Stevens Point sits second in the league in pass defense averaging 175.1 yards per game.

Odds and ends:

  • Saturday is Veterans Day at Ralph E. Davis Pioneer Stadium where veterans and active military receive a complimentary ticket at the ticket booth with military identification.
  • UW-Platteville continues to receive votes in the both the D3football.com and American Football Coaches Association (AFCA) polls after being nationally ranked for the last five weeks. The Pioneers' two losses of the season have fallen to No. 3 ranked UW-Whitewater and UW Oshkosh who are both recognized in the recently released Regional Rankings.
  • The 2019 UW-Platteville football team continues its campaign to #SetTheExpectation. A nationally recognized campaign and pledge taken by college athletes that is focused on combatting sexual and physical violence.  Founder Brenda Tracy visited and was an honorary captain last season at a home game.
  • During pregame, a Senior Salute will recognize the 2019 senior class. This year's seniors include:

99, Bryce Arneson

76, Nick Broadhurst

62, Roy Glassey III

87, Samuel Herkert

30, Travis Hofslien

21, Luke Johnson

4, Tyler Knigge

90, Jackson McMahan

6, Walter Ollie

41, Drew Rakers

42, Antonio-Jose Ramos

10, Tyler Reinhardt

92, Alex Rezny

5, Eric Siedenburg

33, Wyatt Thompson

78, Hank Westemeyer

93, Cole Whalen

29, Jordan Zilbar

  • Looking ahead, the Pioneers will wrap-up the 2019 regular season at Ramer Field when they travel to UW-River Falls next Saturday, Nov. 16 at 1 p.m.