Football Blanks Albion in NCAA First Round
The 59 points is the most Whitewater has scored in an NCAA playoff game since defeating Lakeland College 70-7 November 21, 2009 in Whitewater. It is the most points Whitewater has scored in any game, regular season or playoff, since topping UW-River Falls 63-14 October 23, 2010 in River Falls.
On the third play of the game UW-W defensive back Noah Timm (Two Rivers/Two Rivers) intercepted Spencer Krauss' pass at the Albion 38 and returned it to the 11. Four rushes by Levelll Coppage, including a two yarder for the touchdown, put UW-W in front 7-0 after Eric Kindler (Germantown/Germantown)'s extra point at 11:31.
Albion's next possession lasted just three plays, with Krauss picked off again, this time by linebacker Greg Arnold (Big Bend/Mukwonago) at the 13. Two plays, finishing with Coppage for two for the touchdown at 9:33, with a Kindler PAT made it 14-0 Whitewater.
Following the kickoff the Britons' first play from scrimmage was a fumble forced by defensive end Anthony Dowery (Saint Francis/Milwaukee South) that Warhawk Chris Pendargast recovered at the 15. Two plays later, and another two yards by Coppage, and UW-W was up 21-0 with 8:37 in the first half. Thanks to the defense, UW-W's offense scored three touchdowns on just eight plays.
UW-W got in one more score before the quarter ended, taking the ball from their own 34 to Albion's 21, where Kindler kicked a 38 yard field as time ran out in the first quarter with UW-W in front 24-0. The points were preceded by a fake field goal. Facing a fourth and four from the 37, the snap went to Kindler who passed to Bernie Tamsett (Waterford/Waterford Union) for nine yards. It is the first pass thrown by Kindler, a sophomore.
Albion started the second quarter at their 36, and three plays later made their first incursion on the Whitewater side of the field. The Warhawk defense stiffened, and a Sage Alward punt was blocked by Jaren Borland (Fort Atkinson/Fort Atkinson), and picked up by Borland who ran down the left sideline 56 yards to up the margin to 31-0 Whitewater with 12:00. Whitewater's last blocked punt for a touchdown was Antwan Anderson (Madison/Madison Memorial)'s 40 yard return versus UW-La Crosse October 4, 2008 in Whitewater.
The next time the UW-W offense was on the field it went 60 yards to the Albion 20. Kindler came on for the field goal, but Albion's Chris Wasczenski blocked it and the ball was recovered by Mike Vandermus.
The Briton's next drive lasted six plays, and the exchange set Whitewater up on their own 29. Seven plays. and 56 seconds later, Blanchard connected with Tyler Huber (Mukwonago/North Prairie) for a 33 yard touchdown and a 38-0 lead with 0:33 seconds left in the half.
Whitewater took the opening drive of the second half to the Albion 14, but Albion's Vandermus blocked Kindler's kick and the ball rolled out of bounds.
The next Warhawk drive covered 67 yards in five plays, with Lee Brekke (Sun Prairie/Sun Prairie) hitting Zach Howard (Oak Park, IL/Oak Park, IL) for 25 yards, and Howard's first collegiate touchdown, with 6:22 on the clock for a 45-0 UW-W lead.
Albion kept the ball for eight plays, but it ended with UW-W linebacker Ryan Cortez (Palatine, IL/Palatine, IL) forcing a Krauss fumble that Borland picked up and returned 54 yards for his second score of the day. Whitewater led 52-0 with 2:28 left in the third quarter. Borland's fumble return for a TD is Whitewater's first since November 17, 2007 when Ryan Ogrizovich ran in from 15 yards out in a game against Capital University in Perkins Stadium.
Whitewater's last drive was "the Byron Stanford (Chicago, IL/Mount Carmel) drive". Whitewater's backup tailback carried the ball all six plays of the drive, totaling 85 yards. The sixth play was a 57-yarder to give UW-W a 59-0 lead with 8:39 left in the game.
Whitewater's defense limited Albion back Clinton Orr, Albion's all-time rushing leader, to 51 on 22 attempts. The teams had just one punt (Albion) between them. Stanford led all rushers with 114 yards on nine carries. Blanchard was 12-18 for 168 yards, the one TD and no interceptions. Luke Menzel (Sheboygan Falls/Oostburg) caught five passes for 70 yards. Krauss was 16-30 for 133 yards with two interceptions. J.C. Cruse caught 5 passes for 30 yards, and Tyler White had 57 yards on four receptions. Albion junior free safety Nate Ross led both teams with 11 tackles.
UW-Whitewater, 11-0, will play Franklin College (IN), a 24-21 winner over Thomas More in another first round game, next Saturday in a NCAA playoff second round (sweet sixteen) game. The location of that game will be announced late Sunday.