No. 2 Warhawks come from behind to take down No. 8 Pioneers, 30- - WKOW 27: Madison, WI Breaking News, Weather and Sports

No. 2 Warhawks come from behind to take down No. 8 Pioneers, 30-24

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PLATTEVILLE, Wis. (Per UW-Whitewater Athletics) -- The No. 2 ranked University of Wisconsin-Whitewater retained the Miner’s Axe for the 12th consecutive season Saturday with a come-from-behind 30-24 victory over eighth-ranked UW-Platteville in the 22nd annual George Chryst Bowl and the Wisconsin Intercollegiate Athletic Conference opener for both teams.

Trailing 24-20 after a Pioneer touchdown with 10:41 to play in the fourth quarter, the Warhawks (4-0 overall, 1-0 WIAC) marched on a 15-play, 71-yard drive in 6:33 to take the lead at 27-24 with 3:58 on the clock.

UW-Whitewater converted three third downs on the drive, including two inside UW-Platteville’s 25-yard line.

Sophomore quarterback Cole Wilber hit sophomore wide receiver Manny Jones for a 13-yard gain on third-and-10 to get the Warhawks to the 9-yard line. Three plays later, on third and goal, Wilber threw quickly to his left for sophomore wide receiver Canton Larson, who split two blockers in front of him and dove over the goal line for a touchdown.

Two plays into the Pioneers’ ensuing drive, junior defensive lineman Ben Threloff stripped quarterback Tom Kelly and recovered the fumble at the UW-Platteville 24-yard line to set up a 42-yard field goal by junior kicker Will Meyer with 2:42 left in the contest.

The Pioneers (3-1, 0-1) surged into Warhawk territory on the ensuing drive. On first-and-20 from the UW-Whitewater 41-yard line, senior defensive back Mickey Morgan blitzed around the right end and stripped Kelly, forcing the ball back to the UW-Platteville 40-yard line.

Two plays later, senior defensive back Colin Buck sealed the win with his fourth interception of the season on a long pass attempt by Kelly.

Wilber, who finished 14-of-23 for 246 yards and three touchdowns, was named UW-Whitewater’s Offensive Most Valuable Player. Senior defensive lineman John Flood was tabbed the team’s Defensive Most Valuable Player after totaling two tackles for a loss, including 1.5 sacks.

Sophomore Drew Patterson led the Warhawks’ rushing attack with 18 carries for 100 yards. Jones tallied three receptions for 106 yards, including a 68-yard touchdown, and senior wide receiver Marcus Hudson posted five catches for 91 yards and a score.

Buck finished with eight tackles to lead the defense, which recorded six sacks and held the Pioneers to minus-15 yards rushing on 18 attempts, the second straight year the team allowed negative rushing yardage against UW-Platteville.

After the Pioneers scored the first points of the game with 5:58 left in the first quarter, Meyer booted a career-long 48-yard field goal with 2:33 remaining to bring the Warhawks within 7-3.

Following a UW-Platteville punt, Wilber hit Jones from 68 yards out to give UW-Whitewater the lead at 10-7 with 13:52 to play in the second quarter.

The Warhawks registered a 10-play, 91-yard drive on their next possession, culminating with a 25-yard pass from Wilber to Hudson for his second touchdown of the year and a 17-7 advantage with 6:15 left in the period.

The Pioneers found the end zone on their next possession to close to within 17-14 just before the end of the half.

UW-Platteville tied the contest on a 22-yard field goal nine minutes into the third quarter after a big third-down stop by the UW-Whitewater defense.

Meyer connected on a 26-yard field goal 12 seconds into the fourth quarter before the Pioneers took a four-point lead four minutes later to set the stage for the Warhawks’ go-ahead scoring drive.

The UW-Whitewater/UW-Platteville rivalry game is named in honor of former UW-Platteville coach George Chryst, who died suddenly in 1992 after leading the Pioneers to a 79-60-2 record and the 1980 conference championship. The George Chryst Bowl was dedicated in 1995 and the Miner’s Axe became the rivalry trophy.

Chryst’s wife, Patty, congratulated all MVP award winners during a post-game ceremony.

UW-Whitewater returns to Perkins Stadium next Saturday for its second straight game against a top 10 opponent. The team hosts UW-Oshkosh at 1 p.m. during Family Fest on the UW-Whitewater campus.

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