The University of Wisconsin-Stevens Point defense had four interceptions and three big fourth-down stops as the Pointers upset No. 5 North Central 34-27 in the team’s Homecoming and Pink Game Saturday afternoon at Community Stadium at Goerke Park.
North Central,2-1, was faced with a fourth and one at its own 47-yard line with 1:30 remaining but the UWSP defense stuffed a quarterback keeper by Tyler Dicken to stop the Cardinals. The Pointers, 3-0, ran out the clock for their first win over a top-10 team since Oct. 25, 2008 when UWSP knocked off second-ranked UW-Whitewater.
The Cardinals also threatened to tie the game earlier in the fourth quarter as the visitors had a first and 10 at the UWSP 14. Following an incomplete pass, Aaron Karlen recorded back-to-back sacks of Dicken to force North Central into a fourth and 22 as the Pointers held firm. Karlen had a career-high 2.5 sacks in the contest and forced a fumble.
North Central took its biggest lead of the game at 24-16 after a 64-yard touchdown pass from Dylan Warden to Zach Pattat on the Cardinals’ first play of the second half. However, UW-Stevens Point scored the next 18 points of the game to earn the win. The Pointers trailed at halftime of all three wins this season.
The UWSP comeback started when Kyle Larson connected with Logan Taylor for an 8-yard touchdown with 6:28 remaining in the third quarter. Taylor set career-highs with 10 receptions and 108 yards in the game and also caught the ensuing two-point conversion to tie the score at 24-24.
On the next North Central drive, Deion Jones recorded his second interception of the game and returned it 36 yards to the Cardinals’ 19-yard line, setting up a five-yard touchdown run by Jake Menzel to give UWSP a 31-24 lead.
After a failed onside kick, the Pointers defense stopped the Cardinals on fourth and one at the UWSP 35. The teams traded field goals in the fourth quarter to set up the final defensive stand by UWSP. Jesse Vervelde made field goals of 28, 43, 26 and 33 yards in the win.
Kyle Larson eclipsed the 300-yard mark for the first time in his UWSP career, finishing 25-of-38 for 302 yards and two touchdowns and no interceptions. Like Taylor, Matt Sosinsky went over the 100-yard plateau by catching nine passes for 145 yards and a score. Sosinsky has at least 100 yards and a touchdown in all three games this season.
North Central outgained UW-Stevens Point 394-376 in the game, including a 163-46 advantage on the ground, but the UWSP defense intercepted Warden three times and Dicken once. In addition to two picks by Jones, the Pointers got interceptions from Zach Vallafskey and Jake Luedtke.
The Pointers controlled the ball for 39:14 and were 12-of-22 on third down, compared to just 1-of-9 for the Cardinals.
Ryan Kent led North Central with 107 yards and a score on 12 rushes. Warden completed just 6-of-16 passes for 175 yards and two touchdowns and three interceptions. Peter Sorenson hauled in four passes for 114 yards, including a 50-yard strike in the first minute of the game.
Through the team’s Pink Game sponsored by MADA and Team Schierl Companies, the Pointers helped raise $50,625 for Bill Schroeder’s Circle of Friends, the Breast Cancer Family Foundation and the Joanne Suomi Memorial Fund.
UWSP travels to River Falls to face the Falcons,1-2, Oct. 4 at 2 p.m in the Wisconsin Intercollegiate Athletic Conference opener for both teams.
This story was provided by UWSP Sports Information