Top-Ranked Warhawks Grind Out Victory Over Titans
Top-ranked and defending national champion UW-Whitewater had two 125-yard runners as it captured its 24th straight game with a 48-21 decision over the UW-Oshkosh football team on Saturday (Nov. 6) at J.J. Keller Field at Titan Stadium.
Levell Coppage broke the 100-yard barrier for his seventh consecutive contest as he totaled 150 yards and two touchdowns on 29 carries. The Warhawks (9-0/6-0 WIAC) also got 127 yards and a score on 16 attempts from Booker Stanley. UW-Oshkosh (4-5/3-3 WIAC) obtained the most points and yards (320) against UW-Whitewater this season.
UW-Whitewater possessed the ball for more than 39 minutes, including 5:30 on the opening drive. Coppage took a handoff on 10 of the 12 snaps, running for 66 yards and a three-yard touchdown. By the end of the first quarter, Coppage had moved into second place in WIAC history for rushing yardage. He now owns 4,575 yards, passing UW-Oshkosh's Andy Moriarty and only trailing former Warhawk Justin Beaver (6,584).
Paul Coburn and Justin Budiac each notched a first-down catch as the Titans responded with a 79-yard march. On back-to-back plays, UW-Oshkosh used some trickery and got the ball to Garrie Fox. After his 27-yard reception, Fox caught a 14-yard halfback pass from Cole Myhra to equal the score with 6:42 on the clock.
The first period featured 35 points, including a pair of touchdowns 16 seconds apart. On the ensuing kickoff, Shane Covington booked an 86-yard kickoff return to retake the lead. UW-Whitewater then forced a turnover on downs and took the ball 60 yards for another score. Adam Brandes snared an 11-yard pass from Matt Blanchard in the corner of the end zone to put the Warhawks up, 21-7.
The Titans' offense got rolling when Craig McClelland threw a reverse pass to Coburn for a gain of 33 yards. On the next play, Jake Dostalek refused to go down as he bullied his way in for a six-yard touchdown run. Neither squad got on the scoreboard for the next 15 minutes, with UW-Oshkosh's defense stuffing a fourth-and-one play in its own territory.
UW-Whitewater had a 12-play possession net three points late in the half to take a 24-14 lead. Early in the third quarter, Coppage rushed on three straight snaps and picked up 20 yards. Brandes then provided the exclamation point by breaking free over the middle for a 46-yard touchdown catch. The Warhawks' advantage was 31-14 with 11:22 to play in the third quarter.
Putting together their longest drive of the day, the Titans took the ball 80 yards in eight plays. Nate Wara ran for seven yards and connected with Budiac for 13 more. From the UW-Whitewater 40-yard line, Wara drilled a pass to McClelland, who cut across the field and bolted all the way to paydirt. The extra point pulled UW-Oshkosh within 10, but it would get no closer.
Stanley handled the Warhawks' next touchdown drive all by himself. He carried 58 yards on the first play to reach the two-yard line. Stanley then barreled in on his next carry to make it 41-21. Early in the fourth quarter, Coppage beat all Titan defenders to the pylon for a seven-yard touchdown and the final score of the contest.
While his offense ran for 325 yards, Blanchard completed 14-of-19 throws for 165 yards. Only two Warhawks marked a catch, with Aaron Rusch totaling eight grabs for 65 yards and Brandes six for 100 yards. Max Ford compiled eight tackles to pace UW-Whitewater, which succeeded on 12-of-18 third downs.
Wara finished 22-of-31 for 217 yards, but he was sacked four times. As Dostalek led Titan runners with 46 yards on eight carries, Budiac snatched six passes for 38 yards. UW-Oshkosh went 0-for-4 on fourth down, while its leading tackler was Taylor Goodman with 12 stops. The Titans, who last eclipsed 21 points against UW-Whitewater in 2000, also received 10 tackles from Frank Martin.
UW-Oshkosh wraps up its season with a contest at UW-Stout on Nov. 13 in Menomonie.