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Football team falls by 18 to UW-Platteville

November 2, 2006

After a dramatic come-from-behind victory against UW-Stout in the Homecoming game on Oct. 21, the UW-River Falls Falcons traveled to UW-Platteville looking for a third consecutive victory.

The Falcons were unable to capitalize on chances in the fourth quarter, falling to the Pioneers 28-10.

“It was frustrating. We were in a lot better position than the week before when we won,” senior punter Jovin Kroll said. “We couldn’t score in the fourth. [Platteville] put the game away in the fourth.”

Sophomore wide receiver Josh Grover summarized the game.

“We ran the ball with no problem,” Grover said. “We just couldn’t seem to make the big plays.”

In the first quarter Pioneer Mike Genslinger ran the ball in from the 1-yard line and the extra point by Tony Smidl was good to give Platteville the 7-0 lead at 6:12 of the first quarter.

The Falcons waited until the second quarter to get on the scoreboard. At 13:35, Spasimir Bodurski kicked a 27-yard field goal to pull the Falcons to within four. About 10 minutes later, Genslinger had another 1-yard run to extend the Pioneers lead to 14-3. With 32 seconds left in the half, Jeremy Wolff ran the ball in for a touchdown from the 3-yard line. Bodurski’s kick was good to pull the Falcons to within four for the half.

Both teams played solid defense in the third quarter to keep the score 14-10 going into the final 15 minutes of play.

In the fourth quarter, Genslinger scored another two touchdowns, one off an 8-yard run and another off a 69-yard run. Smidl’s two attempts at extra points were good to solidify the 28-10 win for the Pioneers.

The week before the loss to the Pioneers, the Falcons took charge in the fourth quarter to beat the visiting Blue Devils. The Falcons won 24-20, following an impressive fourth quarter surge by both the defense and offense.

“We ended up making the plays when we need them,” Kroll said. “Stout has lost four games in the fourth quarter, including to us. They’re a team that tends to fall apart in the end.”

Fan support at the Homecoming game was impressive. Students were vocal and really got into the game.

“It’s really important,” Grover said of the fans. “It gives us that extra drive and momentum.”

The final two weekends of the season will not be easy for the Falcons. River Falls has to take on the top two teams in the conference, UW-La Crosse and UW-Whitewater. Last season, Whitewater made it all the way to the Div. III National Championship game, losing by seven. Kroll said it appears that this season, the Whitewater team hasn’t lost a beat.

“They are the top team by far. There are no ifs, ands or buts about it,” Kroll said. “La Crosse is a very solid team. They are in the top of our conference, just below Whitewater. They’ve got a good head coach and they play well for him.”

La Crosse has the most to lose in the final two weeks of the season and the Falcons have a chance at playing the spoiler role.

In the playoffs, the top team in WIAC gets an automatic playoff berth and the other slots are filled by a committee that selects an at-large bid for who they want to see play and who has done well all season.

In the final two weeks, the Falcons are just looking to put together a solid strategy to win the last two games and end the season on a high note.

The Falcons are on the road again this weekend to take on UW-La Crosse.

The game is set to begin at 1 p.m. Saturday. River Falls wraps up the regular season of play on Nov. 11 against Whitewater. Kickoff is set for 1 p.m. at Ramer Field.