W-Whitewater, 8-0 overall and 5-0 in the Wisconsin Intercollegiate Athletic Conference and ranked number one in the Division III polls, defeated UW-Stevens Point 31-16, 4-4 and 2-3, at Perkins Stadium Saturday as Warhawk senior tailback Levell Coppage (Oak Park, IL/Oak Park) made several record book entries. The Warhawks extended their college football leading win streak to 38 games, including 25 in a row at home and 22 in the Wisconsin Intercollegiate Athletic Conference. The 38 game streak moves Whitewater into sixth place for the longest win streak in NCAA history, passing Augustana (1983-85), and Yale (1890-93, 1987-89).
Coppage, with 245 yards on 29 carries against the Pointers, has rushed for 1,101 yards this season, the first back in UW-W and Wisconsin Intercollegiate Athletic Conference history to rush for 1,000 yards all four years of his career. It also gives him 6,776 yards in his career, replacing former Warhawk Justin Beaver as the school and WIAC career rushing leader. And it moves Coppage into third place in the NCAA III record book for career rushing. The 245 yards is his season high, topping the 168 he gained against UW-Platteville, and marks the sixth time in his career he has rushed for at least 200 yards. His most recent 200+ game had been a 299 yard performance in the 2010 Amos Alonzo Stagg Bowl.
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UW-SP totaled 204 yards in the first half, but just 297 in the game as the Whitewater defense held the Pointers scoreless the last forty minutes of the game.
Whitewater received the opening kickoff, and three plays later the Warhawks led 7-0 on a 47 yard run by Coppage at 13:38..
Point responded with an eight play 73 yard drive, the last yard coming on a Ben Wetzel run to make it 7-6 at 10:45. Jered Fohrman missed the PAT, which would prove to be a factor later in the game when the Pointers had to look for two scores.
UW-W came back on the next possession, marching 73 yards on six plays, with Coppage gaining 54 of those on three carries. Coppage broke the career rushing record with his fourth carry of the day, covering 46 yards. Eric Kindler (Germantown/Germantown) made is 14-6 at 8:16.
The ping pong match continued, with the Pointers holding serve (yes a mixed metaphor), covering 56 yards in eight plays to set up a Fohrman 42 yard field goal with 4:32 still remaining in the first quarter and UW-W in the lead 14-9.
With prospects of a Houston-Rice look alike game looming, Whitewater made it 3-3 on possessions, with Matt Blanchard (Lake Zurich, IL/Lake Zurich) hitting Tyler Huber (Mukwonago/North Prairie) with a 57 yard pass for a 21-9 lead with 3:40 left in the quarter.
UW-SP provided the only scoring of the second quarter, with Mitch Beau passing to Theo Maglio for 29 yards with 10:32 to cut their deficit to 21-16.
And that was it for Stevens Point. Whitewater's defense did not allow the Pointers to score in the last forty minutes of the game. UW-SP, which had 204 yards in the first half, finished the game with 297.
The only scoring of the third quarter came the first time Whitewater had the ball in the second half, with Kindler booting a 23 yard field goal with 7:53 remaining for a 24-16 lead.
Coppage provided the last nail with a 40 yard touchdown run with 2:27 left in the game for the final, 31-16.
UW-W defensive back Noah Timm (Two Rivers/Two Rivers) intercepted a Beau pass to end the Pointers' next drive, and linebacker Ryan Cortez (Palatine, IL/Palatine, IL) picked off Beau in the Pointers' last ditch effort.
The Warhawk defense sacked Beau six times, four of those coming in the second half. Five players contributed to the sack total, and UW-W totaled eight tackles for a loss. The six sacks are a season high, and the most since November 20, 2010 and Whitewater's win over Franklin College in the first round of the NCAA III playoffs. Sophomore linebacker Cole Klotz (Elm Grove/New Berlin Eisenhower) led the defense with nine tackles, one sack, and 1.5 tackles for a loss.
Beau led the Pointers with 18 rushes for 53 yards, and he was 13-31 passing for 223 yards. Wide receivers Mike Mullins, 8 for 66, and Maglio, 4-102, were his primary targets. Senior defensive back Joe Mleziva led both teams with 15 tackles, and senior linebacker Curtis Crump added ten.
UW-W will travel to Eau Claire to face the Blugolds Saturday for a 3:00 kickoff. UW-W will close out the regular season at home November 12 at 1:00 with UW-La Crosse visiting Perkins Stadium. For home game ticket information visit the ticket office in the University Center on campus Monday-Friday during normal business hours, or call 262-472-2222.