Pioneers Crush Muskies to Begin Season
The University of Wisconsin-Platteville Pioneers left no doubt in this contest, scoring 56 points in the first half in a dominating 80-13 victory over the Lakeland University Muskies. The Pioneers produced 571 total yards of offense led by Michael Priami, who completed 11 of 14 passes for 1995 yards and four touchdowns. Robby Michael had a tough day in the air, throwing for 146 but did gain 112 yards and two touchdowns on the ground.
UW-Platteville got rolling from the start, taking the opening kickoff and moving 71 yards in five plays before taking a 7-0 lead. Priami began the season with a 41-yard completion to Brandt Stare and found Stare two more times on the drive, including for a 17-yard touchdown.
The Muskies were forced to punt on their first possession of the season, but a 20-yard punt gave the Pioneers the ball at the Lakeland 31. It took Priami just one play to make it 14-0, finding Stare for the touchdown.
On their third possession of the game, UW-Platteville moved 30 yards in four plays to extend the lead to 21. Zackary Blazek scored from two yards out for his first touchdown of the season. The Pioneers offense continued to roll, scoring on each of the five drives in the first quarter. Priami found Stare for the third touchdown of the season for both to make it 28-0, and Pioneers’ quarterback connected with Ryan Doherty to make it 35-0 with 3:31 left in the quarter.
UW-Platteville put together their longest drive of the half near the end of the first quarter, moving 63-yards in eight-plays to make it 42-0 at the 1:50 point of the second quarter. Tag Habedank scored from one yard out.
Lakeland responded with a 10-play drive, moving 66 yards to the UW-Platteville nine, but the drive ended on fourth and five when Michael’s pass fell incomplete. The defense forced a punt, but Ryan Christensen stripped the ball on the return, recovering it at the Lakeland 38. Three plays later Zackary Bothun scored from four yards out to make it 49-0.
On their next possession, the Pioneers put together another eight-play drive, this time moving 72-yards. Habedank scored his second TD of the contest, plunging in from one-yard out to send the teams to locker rooms with UW-Platteville leading by 56.
The Muskies came out of the locker room looking to get this offense going and they did, scoring on their first drive of the half. Michael started the possession with a 22-yard scamper and then found Xaviar Thomas for 52 yards to the UW-Platteville 14. On the next play, Michael kept the ball, racing for the end zone for his first TD of the year.
On the first possession of the half for UW-Platteville, Markese Collins intercepted a Carl Richardson pass at his own three. Lakeland moved to their own 38 before turning the ball over on downs, and Platteville made them pay, scoring on their next possession to make it 63-7. Richardson scored from three yards out.
The Muskies scored their second touchdown of the season on their next possession. Michael led an 11-play, 75-yard drive. Twice he converted fourth downs, including on fourth and eight at the UWP 13, when he kept the ball and scored to make it 63-13.
That would be all the offense the Muskies could produce. UW-Platteville added 17 points in the fourth quarter. Nathan Shackelford had an 18-yard touchdown run and McKade Jelinek scored from three yards out.
Michael finished 13-32 passing for 146 yards and he rushed 20 times for 112 yards and two scores. Thomas had two catches for 87 yards. Justin McMahon led the team with seven tackles and Karlis Ozols had the lone sack as part of a four tackle day.
The Lakeland University Muskies (0-1) look to get into the win column next week when they travel to Storm Lake, IA to take on the Buena Vista University Beavers. Kickoff is scheduled for 1:00 PM.
By Robert Pannier