The University of Wisconsin-Platteville scored 21 fourth quarter points, including the go-ahead touchdown with 1:48 left, to hand the Buena Vista football team a heartbreaking 21-14 defeat on Saturday afternoon. The game was the season-opener for both teams.
BVU jumped on the board first when senior quarterback Matt Pearey (Guthrie Center, Iowa/Guthrie Center) hooked up with fellow senior Eric Bertelsen (Polk City, Iowa/North Polk) on 51-yard touchdown strike, capping an 11-play, 84-yard drive, giving BVU a 7-0 lead with just more than five minutes left in the opening quarter.
That's the way the score stayed until the third quarter, as both defenses came up big throughout much of the second quarter. With nearly four minutes gone by in the second half, Pearey, who finished the contest 21-of-40 for 298 yards and a pair of touchdowns, connected for his second touchdown when he found Trent Svendsen (Harlan, Iowa/Harlan) in the end zone for a 19-yard score. Zach Kaufman's (Harlan, Iowa/Harlan) point-after-attempt was good, giving BVU a 14-0 advantage.
The defenses again stood up to the test for the rest of the quarter and it wasn't until three minutes into the final quarter that the Pioneers got on the board. Aunton Terry hauled in a 19-yard touchdown pass from John Akim, pulling UW-Platteville back to within a touchdown at 14-7.
After the teams traded punts, the Beaver defense came up with a big play late when Rahn Franklin, Jr. (North Kansas City, Mo./North Kansas City) intercepted his second pass of the afternoon and returned it nine yards to the BVU 31 yard-line with 6:41 left in the contest. But the Pioneer defense faced the challenge, forcing BVU into a three-and-out situation.
UW-Platteville took over at its own 40-yard line and went 60 yards in seven plays to even the score at 14-all. BVU again was forced to go three-and-out and punted the ball back to the Pioneers, where they took over at their own 28.
On third down and eight, Akim found Aunton on short pass, but Aunton would break through a tackle and scampered 70 yards for what proved to be the game-winning score with 1:48 to go.
The Beavers, however, were not about to back down, as Cory Donscheski (Dunlap, Iowa/Boyer Valley) caught a pass and broke through two tacklers and raced all the way down to the Pioneer 10 yard-line with under a minute to play. Then, on fourth-and-goal from the 10, Pearey hooked up with Svendsen again, but the play was downed at the one yard-line, resulting in a turnover on downs with 0:27 seconds left. The Pioneers then took a knee as time expired.
The two teams combined for nearly 900 yards of total offense, including 642 threw the air. Donscheski led BVU on the ground with 43 yards on 10 carries. Alex Moss (Manchester, Iowa/West Delaware) was right behind with 39 yards on 13 carries, as the Beavers totaled 102 yards rushing.
Bertelsen hauled in three passes for 97 yards and one touchdown, with Svendsen finishing with 80 yards on nine catches.
Defensively, the Beavers were led by Brian Bode's (Schaller, Iowa/Schaller-Crestland) 14 total tackles, as Alan Bladt (Shelby, Iowa/A-H-S-T) followed with seven, and three others tallying six.
Buena Vista falls to 0-1 on the year and will be off next Saturday before returning to action on September 20th with its conference opener at home versus Simpson College. The game will also be Family Weekend at BVU. Kick-off inside of J. Leslie Rollins Stadium is scheduled for 1:00 p.m.