Sep 02, 2017

Bruins Narrowly Fall to No. 15 Pioneers In Season Opener

A Winning Tradition

 
  • One post-season appearance (1960 Crusader Bowl)
  • 20 All-NWC Athletes 
  • 6 NWC Student-Athlete of the Week Awards 
  • 2 D3Football.com Team of the Week (Justin Leatherman, 2014; Lenana Meekisho, 2015)
  • 1 D3Football.com All-West Region Team (Nolan Schuler, 2016 (third team offense)
  • 2 NSCA All-American (Justin Kruse, 2015; Dane Jensen, 2017)
  • 2 NFL Draft Picks 
 

PLATTEVILLE, Wis. --- The George Fox football team nearly upset No. 15-ranked UW-Platteville in the first game of the 2017 season Saturday, but a late field goal gave the victory to the Pioneers by a score of 30-28.  

Recap:

The Pioneers opening drive of 51 yards put them in the red-zone, but the Bruins held their ground forcing the Pioneers to attempt a 27-yard field goal. The Bruins managed to creep through the line after the snap and block the attempt to keep the score still at 0-0.

With newfound momentum, the Bruins opening play was spectacular, as the offense only needed 12 seconds to find the end zone. Senior quarterback Grant Schroeder heaved a deep pass to wide receiver Kenny May, who blew past his defender for an opening 80-yard touchdown to give the Bruins an early 7-0 lead.

Platteville was quick to respond with a 73-yard touchdown of its own, and finished the first half with a 14-7 advantage.

In the second quarter, the top-ranked Pioneers pushed away from the Bruins with 10 more points to go into the half up by 17, 24-7.

The Pioneers continued their scoring in the start of the third with a 23-yard field goal to increase their lead to 27-7. 

Although their backs were against the wall and all hope appeared to be lost, the Bruins turned the tables on the home team. Schroeder connected with veteran receiver Brad Lander for a 17-yard touchdown to close the gap to 27-14 in the third quarter.

Schroeder was at it again in the start of the fourth. The senior quarterback needed just four minutes of play to find pay-dirt with a 19-yard touchdown to put the Bruins down by a score, 27-21.

After an impressive defensive stop that included a sack for a loss and a fumble, the Bruins were back in action with 13 minutes left in the final quarter. Schroeder found Lane Hadley cutting across the field for a 6-yard touchdown, giving the Bruins a 28-27 lead.

Both teams traded possessions back and forth for the next five minutes with neither team wanting to give up an inch.

With just over a minute left in the game, the Bruins held the Pioneers to a three-and-out, but the Pioneers were in field goal range. Pioneers' Michael Pratl stepped up the plate and found the uprights to give the home team a 30-28 lead.

The Bruins tried to rally back, but the game clock was not on their side.

The clock ran down to zero, and the Pioneers held on for the 30-28 final score.

Top Performers:

Schroeder went 18-32 with 271 yards and four touchdowns. May, Hadley, Lander and James Nguyen were all beneficiaries of Schroeder's arm. Jason Santoni provided relief with his foot, going a perfect 4-for-4 in extra point attempt and an average of 40.5 yards in punting. Daniel Campos and Charles Riga both led the defense. Campos had 10 tackles, while Riga posted nine tackles and one sack. 

What Comes Next:

The Bruins have a bye week next week, but will be back in action at home Saturday, Sept. 16, against Redlands at 1:30 pm.