UW-Oshkosh threw down the gauntlet, and UW-Whitewater answered. UW-W, ranked number one in Division-III football, extended its collegiate football leading win streak to 37 games with a 20-17 victory at J.J. Keller Field in Oshkosh, Wisconsin Saturday. Whitewater, 7-0 overall and 4-0 in the Wisconsin Intercollegiate Athletic Conference, won for the ninth consecutive time against the twentieth ranked Titans, now 5-2 and 3-1.
Oshkosh scored first on a 29-yard field goal by Nate Becker with 9:01 in the first quarter. A 53-yard pass from Nate Wara to Cole Myhra set up the field goal. The 7-0 score did not change the rest of the period. Whitewater did not put any points on the board in the first quarter, marking the first time since October 9, 2010 against UW-Stout in Whitewater, a span of 16 games.
In the second quarter Whitewater senior quarterback Matt Blanchard (Lake Zurich, IL/Lake Zurich) tied the game with 23-yard run at 14:52 to put Whitewater up 7-3.
Oshkosh took the lead on a Charlie Weissman 1-yard run with 12:11 left in the half. The Titan drive was aided by pass interference and personal foul penalties on the Warhawks. Whitewater's Eric Kindler (Germantown/Germantown) knotted the score at 10-10 with a 47-yard field goal at 4:49.
Oshkosh regained the lead on a Jeremy Roach 14-yard touchdown run with just 1:18 left in the half, ending a drive that started on the Titans own 20. The last time the Warhawks went into halftime behind in the score, was the 2008 Stagg Bowl, where the Warhawks trailed Mount Union 24-10.
Oshkosh averaged 7.9 yards per rush and was 3-3 in the red zone in the first half. Whitewater was penalized 3 times for 35 yards, Oshkosh once for 5 yards.
In the third quarter, with Whitewater facing 1-10 at the Oshkosh 20, Blanchard's pass was picked off in the endzone by Charlie Stueck, who returned it to the 12.
Not dissuaded, Whitewater came back to tie the game with a Blanchard to Jason Ford (Palatine, IL/Fremd) 8-yard scoring pass with 1:13 left in the third. The scoring play was set up by a Blanchard to Tyler Huber (Mukwonago/North Prairie) pass that covered 62-yards, taking the ball inside the 10.
In the fourth quarter, Oshkosh faced a third and one at the Whitewater 41 and the Warhawk defense held. The results were the same on UW-O's fourth down attempt.
Whitewater's Levell Coppage (Oak Park, IL/Oak Park), the focus of the Titan defense, was held under 100 yards---until he broke a 47 yard run to the 3 yard line. Kindler followed with the game-winning 17-yard field goal at 1:18.
With little time remaining, Oshkosh took over on their 20. Advancing to the UW-W 40 on a third and thirteen play, Wara threw into the endzone, where he was intercepted by Ryan Wenkman (Wisconsin Dells/Wisconsin Dells) to keep Whitewater's streak alive.
Oshkosh lead Whitewater in first downs 22-20, but the Warhawks held the edge in total offense, 429-362. Blanchard went 17-25 for 209 yards with Huber catching 7 of those balls for 127 yards. Wara was 17-33 for 148 yards. Both quarterbacks contributed to their team's yardage on the ground. Blanchard rushed 14 times for a career high 91 yards and Wara had 14 carries for 54 yards. Coppage lead both teams with 131 yards on 28 carries, moving him within 54 of breaking Justin Beaver's UW-Whitewater and WIAC career record. Garrie Fox lead the Titans with 7 receptions for 50 yards. The defensive leaders were UW-W sophomore linebacker Kyle Wismer (Spring Grove, IL/Richmond-Burton), with 10 tackles and UW-O junior defensive back Austin Blashka, also with 10 tackles.
UW-Whitewater will host its annual Homecoming celebration and Hall of Fame game next Saturday, October 29. Kickoff at Perkins Stadium is 1:00. Tickets for home games can be purchased at the University Center ticket office Monday-Friday during normal business hours. Tickets will also be available at Perkins Stadium on game day.
For additional information: Lance Leipold, UW-W head coach