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Falcons can't keep pace with Pioneers

UW-River Falls and UW-Platteville combined for 1,037 total yards of offense, but the Pioneers scored three fourth quarter touchdowns to pull away for a 52-27 victory Saturday, Oct. 6, in Platteville.

The loss was the fourth straight for the Falcons and dropped them to 1-4 overall, 0-2 in WIAC play. Platteville improved to 4-1 overall, 2-0 in the conference.

Junior quarterback Ben Beckman threw for 401 yards and a touchdown but Platteville's Sean Studer ran for 217 yards and five scores, including the last three Pioneer touchdowns to break the game open.

Platteville led from the start but it was a three-point game, 24-21, after Falcon freshman Sam Altena's 11-yard touchdown run capped the opening drive of the second half.

The Pioneers answered with a touchdown to open up a 10-point lead, 31-21, after three and Studer scored twice in the first three minutes of the fourth quarter, aided by a Beckman interception, to make it a 45-21 game.

Anthony Silva capped a four play, 65-yard Falcon drive with a 4-yard run to cut it to 45-27 after a failed two-point conversion with 11:10 remaining, but Platteville responded with a 7-play drive that ate up nearly five minutes before Studer's fifth rushing touchdown of the game.

The Pioneers jumped out to a 14-0 lead before Beckman connected with Alex Herink for a 26-yard touchdown to put the Falcons on the scoreboard two minutes into the second quarter. Tyler Blum scored on a 9-yard run with 6:29 remaining in the half but the extra point kick was blocked and Platteville took a 24-13 lead into the locker room.

Altena's touchdown came on the opening drive of the second half and Beckman found Evan Verhota for the two-point conversion but that's as close as UWRF could get.

Platteville finished with 536 yards of total offense, including out-gaining UWRF 258-96 on the ground. Beckman completed 28-of-41 passes for 405 yards but was intercepted twice Trenton Monson was the Falcon's leading receiver with 12 catches for 166 yards while Herink had four catches for 103 and a touchdown. Altena carried the ball 15 times for 57 yards to lead UWRF on the ground.

Defensively, Ted Androli finished with nine tackles, including eight solo, while Alex Wood came up with his team-leading third interception of the season.

The Falcons will host UW-Stout (3-2, 1-1) for homecoming this Saturday, Oct. 13, at 1 p.m. at David Smith Stadium at Ramer Field.

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Postgame tribute to Farley on homecoming

UW-River Falls will host a Celebration of Life for legendary coach Mike Farley following the Falcons homecoming football game against UW-Stout this Saturday, Oct. 13.

A reception will begin at Don Page Arena from the end of the UWRF football game until the service starts at 5 p.m.

Farley coached the Falcon football team from 1970-88, compiling a 117-71-3 record, the most wins in program history. His teams won eight conference titles, including four straight from 1984-87. He died Aug. 28 at his home in Arizona at the age of 84.

Bob Burrows

Bob Burrows has been sports editor at the River Falls Journal since 1996 and at the Hudson Star-Observer since 2009. Prior to joining the Journal, Burrows served as sports editor with Ledger Publications in Balsam Lake, Wis. A native of Bayonne, N.J. and a U.S. Navy veteran, Burrows attended Marquette University before completing his studies at UW-River Falls in 1992.

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