Time of Poss.
The No. 12 ranked University of Wisconsin-Whitewater football team started its 2018 season Saturday night with a 38-6 victory at Dubuque (Iowa) in a non-conference affair at Chalmers Stadium in Dubuque.
After the Spartans drew to within one point late in the first quarter, the Warhawks (1-0 overall) tallied 31 unanswered points, finishing the game with 399 yards of total offense and taking advantage of an average starting field position of their own 41-yard line.
Sophomore running back Alex Peete (Ringwood, Ill./Johnsburg) tied a school record with four rushing touchdowns and finished the contest with 23 carries for 77 yards. Sophomore Ryan Wisniewski (Sparta, Wis./Sparta)led the receiving corps with four catches for 134 yards and one touchdown.
Senior quarterback Cole Wilber (Mission Viejo, Calif./Dana Hills) registered 224 yards passing with one touchdown.
Junior defensive backs Garrett Purdy (Naperville, Ill./Central), Nate Tranel (Lancaster, Wis./Lancaster) and senior linebacker Bryce Leszczynski (Milwaukee, Wis./Pius XI) paced a balanced defensive effort with six tackles apiece. UW-Whitewater held Dubuque (0-1) to 186 yards of total offense.
The Warhawks opened scoring midway through the first as Wilber hit Wisniewski for an 88-yard catch-and-run with 7:53 to play in the quarter.
The Spartans responded with a touchdown on their next offensive drive but missed the extra point to draw within 7-6.
In the second quarter, UW-Whitewater took advantage of good field position to add to its lead. Wisniewski caught a 21-yard pass from Wilber on third down early in the drive, and Peete capped the drive with a one-yard plunge on third-and-goal to make it 14-6 with 11:55 remaining.
After a 22-yard punt return by junior Justin Prostinak (Milwaukee, Wis./Lake Country Lutheran), the Warhawks again took advantage of the short field as Peete finished a six-play, 42-yard drive with another one-yard score for a 21-6 lead with 2:28 on the clock.
UW-Whitewater opened the second half with a 52-yard kickoff return by Prostinak that set up a nine-play, 47-yard scoring drive. The Warhawks converted a pair of third downs on their way to the end zone as Peete dashed in from four yards to make it a 28-6 game with 10:38 on the clock.
Later in the quarter, UW-Whitewater found the end zone again. Wilber found senior tight end Bryce Bellefeuille (DeForest, Wis./DeForest) for a 25-yard gain on fourth-and-nine in Spartan territory, and Peete ran in from one yard out three plays later with 3:25 to go in the third.
Sophomore kicker Wojciech Gasienica (Norridge, Ill./Ridgewood) completed the Warhawk scoring with a 27-yard field goal at the 3:33 mark of the fourth quarter. The field goal was set up by an 18-yard pass from sophomore Zach Oles (Palatine, Ill./Palatine) to freshman wide receiver Kendall Gould (Mukwonago, Wis./Waukesha North).
UW-Whitewater opens its home schedule next Saturday, Sept. 8, against Concordia Moorhead (Minn.) at 1 p.m. at Perkins Stadium. Fans are invited to attend the first performance in the Warhawk Concert Seriesstarting at 11 a.m. National country recording artist Eric Paslay will perform live in the Perkins Stadium parking lot.