By John Lind
Sports Information Assistant
PORTLAND, Ore. - After a high-flying first quarter of action, the Lewis & Clark football team couldn't keep pace with visiting #9 UW-Platteville, falling 63-34 on Saturday afternoon at Griswold Stadium.
Lewis & Clark falls to 0-3 on the season. UW-Platteville improves to 3-0.
Things looked rough in the early going for Lewis & Clark, who went down 14-0 in the first minute of the game. On the first play from scrimmage the Platteville defense intercepted quarterback Keith Welch and returned it for a touchdown. Several plays into L&C's second drive, the U-W defense forced a fumble and returned it for another touchdown.
With the game in danger of getting out of hand, Lewis & Clark responded with a seven-play touchdown drive to the endzone. With the ball near midfield, Welch found Andrew Frisina for a 44 yard touchdown strike to bring Lewis & Clark within a score.
On the ensuing possession, UW-Platteville drove all the way to the Lewis & Clark one-yard line, but the Pioneer defense mounted a goal line stand to deny a score a force a turnover on downs.
Lewis & Clark didn't wait long to take advantage of the UW-Platteville miscue. The Pioneer offense needed just four plays and 37 seconds to go 99 yards and tie the game at 14. Welch found Bruce Taft for a 60 yard strike on the touchdown.
UW-Platteville responded with a touchdown on their next drive, but Lewis & Clark kept the pressure on by drawing even once again. Starting on their own 25 yard line, the L&C offense went on a 13 play, 75 yard drive that was finished off by a three yard Welch pass to Frisina.
The Pioneers struck first in the second, taking the lead on the first play of the quarter as Welch found Taft in the endzone for a 26 yard strike. The extra point after was blocked, but Lewis & Clark held the lead, 27-21.
However, that's all L&C would score for the rest of the half. UW-Platteville grabbed the momentum, scoring three unanswered touchdowns. The Pioneers of Platteville used a strong passing game combined with the rushing of Lee Vlasak to take the lead into the half, 42-27.
UW-Platteville's momentum continued into the second half, as its consistent offense wore down the L&C defense and led to three more second half scores.
Lewis & Clark found the endzone again near the end of the third quarter. Welch once again connected with Frisina for his third score of the game from six yards out after a 12 play drive that eclipsed 75 yards.
Welch finished 20-37 for 293 yards at five touchdowns through the air. He also led Lewis & Clark in rushing, amassing 45 yards on the ground.
Taft and Frisina were the two top receiving threats for L&C. Coming off last week where Frisina set a new single game reception record for the Pioneers (16), the senior caught five passes against Platteville for 87 yards and three touchdowns. Taft finished with 112 yards and two touchdowns on four receptions.
Josh Cena and Stein Retzlaff were the leading tacklers for the Lewis & Clark defense, finishing with six apiece. Siosifa Tonga finished with 5.5 tackles. Lincoln Boyd had the lone interception for the L&C defense to go along with five tackles, including one tackle for loss.
Lewis & Clark has a bye week next week. The following Saturday, Oct. 5, the Pioneers will open their conference schedule at home against NWC foe University of Puget Sound.