PLATTEVILLE, Wisc. — The George Fox football team nearly opened the 2017 season with the biggest win in program history, but a late field goal thwarted their upset bid, allowing No. 15 Wisconsin-Platteville to escape with a 30-28 victory.
After blocking a field goal attempt on the Pioneers' opening drive, the Bruins scored on their first play from scrimmage as senior quarterback Grant Schroeder hit Kenny May for an 80-yard touchdown pass to make it 7-0 3:16 into the game.
The rest of the first half, however, belonged to Wisconsin-Platteville, which tied the game 59 seconds later and added 17 more points by halftime to take a commanding 24-7 lead.
The Bruins lost a fumble at their own eight-yard line on the first possession of the third quarter, but managed to hold the Pioneers to a field goal.
George Fox followed up with an 83-yard scoring drive, capped by a 17-yard pass from Schroeder to Brad Lander to make it 27-14 less than five minutes into the second half.
Schroeder threw his third touchdown pass of the game, a 19-yard completion to James Nguyen, on the first play of the fourth quarter to bring the Bruins within striking distance at 27-21.
After a Charles Riga sack short circuited Platteville's ensuing drive, Schroeder notched his fourth touchdown pass of the game, this time hitting Lane Hadley from six yards, to put George Fox up 28-27 with 9:45 to play.
The Pioneers answered with a quick drive into Bruin territory, but were stuffed on third down and two at the George Fox 15 yard-line and Michael Pratl missed the ensuing 31-yard field goal attempt with 6:36 remaining to play.
Stymied by a first-down holding penalty, the Bruins were forced to punt the ball back to Platteville with 4:07 left. The Pioneers could not convert on third and five from the GFU 13-yard line, but this time Pratl connected from 27 yards out to make it 30-28 with 1:41 remaining.
The Platteville defense came up big to preserve the win, sacking Schroeder for an 11-yard loss on first down before forcing an incompletion on fourth and five at the George Fox 26 yard line.
The two teams combined for six turnovers and neither cracked 100 yards rushing, but the Pioneers outgained the Bruins 434 to 271, mostly because they ran 89 offensive plays to the visitors' 60.
Schroeder finished 18 for 32 passing for 271 yards, four touchdowns and two interceptions, while counterpart Cade Earl was 37 for 49 for 434 yards, two scores and one interception. Schroeder was also George Fox's leading rusher with 33 yards on 14 attempts, with May hauling four passes for a team-high 97 yards receiving.
The Bruins will be off this weekend before hosting No. 25 Redlands Sept. 16.
Portland State 2, George Fox 0 — The Division-I Vikings got goals from Katie Forsee and Rilee Castilla to take the season opener Aug. 31 at Hillsboro Stadium.
George Fox 4, Beloit 1 — The Bruins got goals from Emma Logan and Abby Anderson late in the first half, but Beloit scored on its first shot of the game off a corner in the 51st minute. Logan added an insurance goal in the 70th minute and Brittany Bravo scored off a rebound five minutes later to make it a rout.
George Fox 2, Hamline 1 (2OT) — Chloe Schumaker recorded her second goal of the game off an assist from Logan in the 118th minute to deliver a dramatic home victory Saturday.
George Fox 3, Olivet 0 — The Bruins got 11 kills from Alyssa Burch in a 25-21, 25-19, 25-13 season-opening win at home Friday in the opening game of the Oregon Trail Classic.
Augsburg 3, George Fox 0 — The Bruins were swept 25-24, 26-24, 25-17 in the first of two home games Saturday. Danyle Dupray led GFU with seven kills.
Gustavus Adolphus 3, George Fox 0 — Dupray posted a team-high eight kills, but it wasn't enough in a 25-20, 25-15, 25-10 loss Saturday in the tournament finale.
Linfield Harrier Classic — Christian Parr placed second overall (20:05.12) in the 6K race to lead the Bruin men to second place with 44 points Saturday at Joe Dancer Park. Western Oregon University was first with 40. The GFU women were also second, scoring 47 points to winner Linfield's 34, as Kayla Moore placed fourth overall (15:37.31) on the 4K course.
Dallas 2, George Fox 1 (OT) — Moises Manon scored for the Bruins to tie the match in the 52nd minute, but Nat Kajiwar scored just under five minutes into overtime to lift the hosts to victory Friday in Dallas, Texas.
Austin 3, George Fox 0 — Three first-half goals were more than enough for the 'Roos to hold off the Bruins at home Saturday.
Texas-Dallas 3, George Fox 0 — The Bruins were once again undone by a three-goal first half Sunday.