Platteville knocks out Big Foot
There will be no gold ball this season for Walworth Big Foot.
The state title aspirations got blown away Friday night.
Platteville held Big Foot without a touchdown and escaped the blustery WIAA Division 4 quarterfinal game with a shocking 7-2 upset.
The Hillmen held Big Foot to 174 yards of total offense in improving to 8-4 overall and earning a date with unbeaten Manitowoc Roncalli next Friday or Saturday.
Big Foot suffered its first loss of the season in finishing 11-1, and for the nine seniors, it marked the first time in four years they lost a home game.
“There’s not much I can tell these guys right now to ease the pain, especially the seniors,” Big Foot coach Rodney Wedig said.
“You win championships with seniors. I had a great group of them but a small one. I think tonight some of our younger guys made young guy mistakes.”
The wind, with gusts up to 30 mph, made life miserable for the offenses. Neither team did anything offensively in the first quarter before the Hillmen broke through with what turned out to be the only points needed for the win.
Platteville’s William Conley capped off a 65-yard drive into the wind with a 2-yard touchdown run with 1:04 left in the first half. A halfback pass and a Big Foot penalty kept the drive alive.
Wedig used all three of his timeouts on the Platteville scoring drive to try and conserve time for his offense and to take advantage of the wind. The strategy seemed to work as the Chiefs got down to the Hillmen 22-yard line with 10 seconds left. Ian Gallagher, one of the nation’s most highly-recruited placekickers, attempted a 39-yard field but the kick bounced off the right upright and landed harmlessly in the end zone to keep the Chiefs off the board.
Things didn’t go much better offensively for Big Foot in the second half. The Chiefs best drive of the night ended at the Platteville 4-yard line with 5:43 left to play. Daniel Pearce’s 9-yard reception on fourth-and-nine came up two inches short of a first down giving the Hillmen the ball at the four.
“I didn’t think that was a very good spot,” Wedig said of Pearce’s reception, “but that’s not what cost us the game. There are a lot of judgment calls in a game like this. Some go your way and some don’t. We just didn’t execute like we have all season, and a big reason for that is the way they (Platteville) played defensively.”
Big Foot caught a break when the Platteville center snapped the ball over the punter’s head for a safety with 3:46 left to play to make it 7-2.
The Chiefs had one last shot at a game-winning drive, but Platteville’s Chance Kupersmith tipped Brett Morris’ pass out of midair, juggled the ball and finally secured it for a pivotal interception that ended any comeback hopes.
“I was beat on the play initially, but I saw that the ball was underthrown and I was able to make a play on it,” Kupersmith said.
“We knew Big Foot was a run team, but we pride ourselves on our run defense, so we were pretty confident coming in. Our D-line played faster than it has ever played, and that’s what needed to happen against a much bigger offensive line.”
PLATTEVILLE 7, BIG FOOT 2