Football Battles for the Bridge Under the Lights
Sep 12, 2015
DUBUQUE, Iowa - The University of Dubuque football team entered the 2015 season knowing their top-ranked non-conference opponents would test them. Saturday night the #25-ranked UW-Platteville Pioneers scored first and would never trail en route to a 31-7 victory under the bright lights of Chalmers Field in front of a near capacity crowd.
UD would begin the Battle of the Bridge Trophy game with two punts and a fumble before Chris Bagley would haul in the reception in the corner of the endzone from 12 yards out to put the first points on the board with 8:46 left of the first half. Quarterback Rio Johnson would complete 24 off 33 passes for 164 yards with his longest of the night being a 14 yard grab by Bagley. Eight receivers were targets for Johnson with Bagley and Dylan Schultz each catching six passes and Dante Marski snatched five passes for 42 yards.
The Pioneer defense stifled the ground game and held the Spartans to just 72 yards. Alec Arvanitakis led with 11 rushes for 29 yards, Dai-Von Vance-Jenkins rushed 10 times for 31 yards and Johnson ran it seven times for 15 yards. Schultz showcased the special teams after he returned six kicks for 162 yards. Brayden Neuendorf had two kick-offs for 71 yards and punter Connor O'Malley stopped two out his four punts inside the Pioneer 20 yard line.
Trevor Stauner led the Spartan defense with 14 tackles including two for losses of seven yards and UD's only sack for loss of six yards. Derek Trotter finished with 11 tackles, Dylan Hastings had nine tackles and two pass break-ups. Larry Harleston chased down the Pioneers quarterback to claim two quarterback hurries.
UD held the edge in possession time 32:14 to the Pioneers 27:46, but trailed in third down conversions 5 of 13 compared to UWP's 6 of 12.
The Spartans fly across the country to face the Pacific University Boxers next week in Forest Grove, Ore. Kick-off is slated for 6:00 p.m. (Pacific Time) or 8:00 p.m. in the Midwest. UD will open the Iowa Intercollegiate Athletic Conference (IIAC) season on Oct. 3 at 1:00 p.m. on Chalmers Field against the Luther College Norse.