HAMPDEN-SYNDEY, Va. — The third phase was the most important for the UW-Platteville football team on Saturday.
After a long road trip and a slow start, the special teams gaffes by Hampden-Sydney helped the Pioneers — ranked No. 13 in the d3football.com poll — survive a scare and stay unbeaten with a 38-29 win.
The Tigers muffed three punts, all of which led to Platteville scores, and had two mishandled punt snaps that gave the Pioneers great field position. The errors erased a 13-0 first-quarter lead for Hampden-Sydney, and allowed the Pioneers to play relatively conservatively in the second half with their backup quarterbacks.
Starting quarterback and freshman Cade Earl was brought down hard on a sack late in the second quarter and appeared to injure his knee. He didn’t return, and junior Tyler Blang came in. Blang made one deep throw, hitting Zack Rappel for a 32-yard touchdown in the third quarter to cut the Tigers’ lead to 29-28, but mostly handed off.
Hampden-Sydney held Platteville to 328 yards of offense — a low number for the Pioneers’ aerial attack — but its offense was shut out in the second half.
Platteville running back Wyatt Thompson had two rushing touchdowns.
Whitewater 40, Washington (Mo.) 21
ST. LOUIS — It looked like a repeat of a frustrating trend the Warhawks have executed this season. In their first two games this year, everything they did well offensively had been overshadowed by devastating turnovers.
At Washington, junior quarterback Cole Wilbur had two first-half interceptions and Whitewater faced a 14-13 deficit entering the fourth quarter. But the Warhawks (1-2) figured things out over the final 15 minutes, outscored its opponent 27-7 and earned their first win of the season.
Wilbur finished with three passing touchdowns, two of which came in the fourth quarter. Junior Ronny Ponick had 190 yards and a TD on 24 carries filling in for injured junior Drew Patterson.
River Falls 30, Missouri Baptist 9
ST. LOUIS — Senior Michael Diggins led the charge for the Falcons (2-1), gaining 168 yards and scoring twice on 21 carries as River Falls picked up a road win.
The Falcons jumped out to a 14-0 first-quarter lead, scoring on a 16-yard pass from Travon Hearns to Trenton Monson and then a 3-yard plunge by Diggins. The Spartans (0-3) were out of sorts all day, committing 12 penalties for 151 yards.
River Falls held Missouri Baptist to minus-26 rush yards, and tallied a safety in the third quarter.