DUBUQUE, Iowa - The University of Dubuque football team held a 7-0 lead after the first quarter of action Saturday night, but lost to #9-ranked UW-Platteville by a score of 24-38.
UD would put up points in every quarter of play Saturday evening in front of a near capacity crowd at Chalmers Field. Both teams opened the night with miscues. On the Spartans first play, a pass play to Sean Anderson resulted in a fumble while the third play of the Pioneers opening drive would be intercepted by Dustin Sorrentino. UD marched down the field after the interception and put the first points on the board, a seven yard touchdown strike from Bryan Bradshaw to Tyler Dobratz. Curtis Prull added the extra point to give UD a 7-0 lead.
UW-P responded by scoring on a two yard touchdown run at 12:55 to tie the game at 7-7. Just three minutes later the Pioneers would take their first lead of the night on a 49 yard touchdown pass to Trevor Whitehead. Whitehead would catch another TD pass just prior to halftime on a 22 yard pass with 1:49 on the clock. The Spartans used their timeouts wisely and would kick a 40 yard field goal by Prull to cut the halftime lead 21-10 with just :20 seconds left on the clock.
Defense was the battle early in the third quarter before the Pioneers would score on a 22 yard field goal with 5:38 left. UD's Chris Sanders scampered in from two yards to cut the lead to 24-17. The top-ranked Pioneers would rally again just before the end of the third quarter with 20 seconds left on a 19 yard pass to increase the lead 31-17. UW-P would score on a 22 yard run with 9:15 left in the game before the Spartans Tyler Rutenbeck caught a Bryan Bradshaw pass from seven yards for the final score of the night 24-38. Rutenbeck has caught a touchdown pass in the past seven contests dating back to 2012 for the Spartans.
The Spartans finished with 454 total yards while holding the Pioneers to 504 yards. UD ended with 105 yards rushing with Kyle Acker gaining 55 yards on 14 carries. Bryan Bradhsaw completed 27 of 51 pass attempts for 349 yards and a pair of touchdowns.
Rutenbeck led the receiving corps with eight catches for 166 yards trailed by Sean Anderson who grabbed 12 passes for 111 yards. Doug Lillibridge punted four times for 139 yards, including two inside the Pioneers 20 yard line. Shaun Grewal returned five kick-offs for 90 yards with his longest being for 27 yards.
Blaine Snitker led the Spartans with five solo and four assisted tackles. Darren Myles, Vincent Whipple, and Trevor Stauner all finished with eight tackles. Myles had two pass break-ups and an interception return of 23 yards. The Spartan defense would force passes from three of the Pioneers to be turned over. John Kelly, Bryce Corrigan, and Ryley Bailey all were picked off. Along with Myles, Dustin Sorrentino collected an interception and returned it 12 yards as Oscar White grabbed one and returned it for seven yards. Possession time was nearly equal with UW-P holding a slim edge 30:56 to UD's 29:04.
The Spartans travel to UW-Stevens Point for next Saturday's contest beginning at 6 p.m.