Warhawks Extend NCAA's Longest Win Streak
Stout had a chance to jump in front. The Blue Devils' first possession began at their 27. Seventeen plays, and 8:50, later their chance ended with a field goal attempt that hit the post and bounced out.
Whitewater finally solved the Stout defense, ranked fourteenth in total defense in the NCAA III statistics, midway through the second quarter. An exchange gave UW-W field position at the Stout 49 and, despite two holding penalties against the Warhawks, junior quarterback Matt Blanchard went 4-4 on a drive that ended with his two yard scoring pass to Aaron Rusch at 9:40. It was Rusch's 23rd scoring reception of his career, third on UW-W's all-time list and two behind Jim Leszczynski (25, 2002-2005). The score marked the longest UW-W has gone without a touchdown to start a game since October 24, 2009 when Levell Coppage scored with 6:44 left in the second quarter in Whitewater's win over UW-River Falls.
Stout responded on their next drive, covering 69 yards on 15 plays, and eating up 7:09 on the clock. Facing first and goal from the one, Stout QB Ross Carey attempted a sneak, fumbled the ball, but offensive tackle Tyler Butzler recovered it in the end zone to tie the game with 2:25 left in the half.
Taking over at their 20 after a kickoff, UW-W covered 75 yards in 14 plays to salvage a 22 yard field goal by Eric Kindler with seven seconds left to send the Warhawks into the locker room leading 10-7.
The ten points is the fewest scored by UW-Whitewater in a first half since held to ten by Linfield College December 12, 2009 in the NCAA III championship semifinal game. Whitewater also managed just 39 yards rushing in the half, the team's lowest total since UW-W rushed for 39 against Wittenberg University December 5, 2009 in the quarterfinals of the NCAA III playoffs.
Whitewater took the opening kickoff of the second half and went 80 yards on 11 plays to take a 16-7 lead after the extra point failed. The scoring play was a Blanchard to Rusch twenty-four yard reception as UW-W faced a third and sixteen.
Stout went three and out, and Whitewater was stopped at their own 48. Kris Rosholt punted for the Warhawks, downing the ball at the one on a 51 yard punt, his second punt of the day downed at the one.
UW-W's defense held, and after the exchange the Warhawk offense needed just six plays to make it 23-7. Coppage, the all-time rushing scoring leader in UW-W and WIAC history, sprinted 31 yards for the score with 2:55 left in the third.
The Warhawk defense stymied Stout with two sacks on the next series, giving the ball back to UW-W's defense on the Blue Devil 40 yard line.
A holding penalty set Whitewater back, but Coppage raced 46 yards on the second play before getting tripped up at the four. Two plays later Coppage made it 30-7 with 1:42 left in the third.
Whitewater limited Stout to 61
yards rushing on 26 attempts, and the Blue Devils went 17-36 for
177 yards through the air. UW-W got to the Stout QB three
times for sacks. After having just 30 yards rushing in the
first quarter, and 54 at the half, Whitewater wound up with 255
yards on 40 attempts. Coppage accounted for 163, 143 coming
in the second half. Blanchard went 22-30 for 213 yard, 2 TD's
and no interceptions. Adam
Brandes caught ten passes, surpassing his previous
collegiate high of 6 versus UW-Platteville in 2009. The last
time a Warhawk receiver caught at least ten passes was November 7,
2009 , when Jordan Wells grabbed 12 against UW-Oshkosh.
Warhawk linebacker Lane Olson
had nine tackles, and defensive end Jon
Baldwin recorded a pair of sacks. The Warhawk
offensive line did not give up a sack in the game.
Stout's Carey went 17-35 for 177 yards, no touchdowns and no interceptions. Tight end Patrick Mengelkoch caught six tosses for 80 yards. Blue Devil linebacker Ryan Pearcy led both teams with 14 tackles, six of them solo.
UW-W has defeated UW-Stout nine games in a row. The victory increased UW-W's win streak overall to twenty. The Warhawks had entered Saturday's play tied with the University of Alabama at nineteen, but Alabama lost to South Carolina 35-21 Saturday. Whitewater has earned eighteen straight wins at home, and twelve in a row in the WIAC.
UW-W is 5-0 overall, 2-0 in the WIAC. The Warhawks will play at UW-Eau Claire October 16 at 3:00. Stout is 3-2 overall, 1-1 in league play. The Warhawks will not play at home again until October 30, the annual Homecoming and Hall of Fame game, with UW-Stevens Point in Perkins Stadium for a 1:00 kickoff. The Blue Devils host UW-Stevens Point on the 9th.