December 16, 2011

UW-Whitewater Makes it Three Straight in the Stagg Bowl

More news about: UW-Whitewater
In real estate its location, location, location.  In the 2011 Amos Alonzo Stagg Bowl it was field position, field position, field position as UW-Whitewater defeated the University of Mount Union 13-10 Stagg Bowl XXIX at Salem Stadium in Salem, Virginia Friday night as the Warhawks won their third consecutive NCAA III championship and fourth in five years. 
 
The Warhawks ran out of the tunnel surrounded by a smoke machine and fireworks overhead, unveiling new uniforms, black tops with silver numbers, but it was the same old result as the silver looked more like gold when the clock turned to 00:00.
 
Whitewater moved the ball on its opening drive, taking the ball from its 30 into Mount Union territory.  With a third and three at the Mount 14, Matt Blanchard (Lake Zurich, IL/Lake Zurich)'s pass was picked off in the end zone by Chaz Jordan, his second of the season.  The pick was just the fourth of the season for Blanchard, and his first since the third quarter of the October 22 game at UW-Oshkosh.  
 
That was the most offense either team managed in the first quarter, with Mount gaining just 25 yards on two possessions in the quarter, and the Warhawks 79, 52 of those through the air on Blanchard's 5-7 passing.
 
Whitewater's third opportunity on offense began with the last play in the first quarter at their own 28.  A key play on the drive was a pass interference penalty on Jordan that put the ball on the Mount 32.  On the fourth play after the penalty Eric Kindler (Germantown/Germantown) booted a 44 yard field goal with 11:19 to put Whitewater in front 3-0.  It also marked the sixth time in seven Stagg Bowl meetings that the Warhawks drew first blood.  With the score coming on Whitewater's third possession it also marked the longest it has taken either team to score in the previous six meetings.
 
Mount Union's offense responded by moving the ball to Whitewater's 35, but Purple Raider QB Matt Piloto threw his eighth interception of the season, with UW-W's Chris Pendergast (Hartland/Arrowhead) coming down with his second interception of the season at the four yard line.
 
The Whitewater offense moved the ball out to the 48 to preserve field position, and Kris Rosholt (Reedsburg/Reedsburg)'s punt rolled dead at the 14 to pin the Raiders too deep for them to make anything happen with less than a minute left in the half.
 
It marked the third time in the seven Stagg Bowl meetings that the Warhawk defense had kept the Purple Raiders off the board in a half.  Mount Union did not score in the second half of the 2010 game, making it four straight quarters UW-W has blanked UMU, and Mount did not score against UW-W in the first half of the 2007 game.  The Warhawk defense has blanked opponents in 38 quarters this season, more than two-thirds of the play (56 quarters).  Mount Union totaled 59 yards of offense in the first half, 28 on the ground on 11 carries.  Whitewater totaled 142 yards, 60 rushing on 24 carries.  Blanchard completed 8-10 passes for 82 yards.
 
Mount's opening drive of the second half didn't result in any points, but Brandon Mathie's punt was downed at the three in a game where field possession gained in significance as the clock ticked.
 
The battle for field position worked out for the Purple Raiders as their defense held and Kris Rosholt (Reedsburg/Reedsburg)'s punt went out at the UMU 48.
 
It took just one play for Noah Timm (Two Rivers/Two Rivers) to negate that advantage with his team-leading eighth interception of the season, and Piloto's second of the game, to set up the Warhawks at their own 44.  A wideout screen to Tyler Huber (Mukwonago/North Prairie) moved the ball into Raider territory, at the 42.  A sack and a holding penalty moved it back onto the Whitewater side of the field, and after an incomplete pass Rosholt was called on again to pin Mount Union back, and the return yielded no yards and UMU took over at their 16.
 
On first down Warhawk linebacker Ryan Cortez (Palatine, IL/Palatine, IL) sacked Piloto back to the five yard line.  And it got worse for the Purple Raiders, as Piloto was swarmed at the goal line as he tried to pass, forcing a fumble that Cole Klotz (Elm Grove/New Berlin Eisenhower) recovered at the one.  One play later Levell Coppage (Oak Park, IL/Oak Park) scored the 109th rushing touchdown of his career and Eric Kindler (Germantown/Germantown)'s kick made it 10-0 with 4:02 left in the third quarter.
 
The Purple Raiders used 17 plays to move from their 27 to the Whitewater one, and when the UW-W defense denied the end zone Tyler Almeida's 19 yard field goal put Mount Union on the board with 11:23 left  in the game and Whitewater leading 10-3.
 
An exchange, with a poor Mount Union punt, favored Whitewater in the battle for field position, setting up the Warhawks at the Mount 43.
 
Whitewater inched the ball down the field, using seven plays to set up Kindler for a 30-yard field goal that made it 13-3 Whitewater with 5:34 remaining.
 
Mount Union's next drive broke the pattern, both because the drive went 72 yards and because one offensive play made a difference.   Mount started on their 28, with Piloto connecting with Chris Denton on the longest offensive play of the game, a 33-yard pass that moved the Purple Raiders to Whitewater's 19.  Four plays later Piloto hit A.J. Claycomb with an eight yard pass and the PAT shortened Whitewater's lead to 13-10 with 3:20 left in the game.
 
Whitewater went three and out, and it may have been appropriate that Rosholt rolled his punt out of bounds at the Mount Union 16 and the Purple Raiders got the ball back with 2:09 on the clock.
 
Mount faced a fourth and two at their twenty, and the Raiders kept their hopes alive with a short pass to the sidelines that gained the first down and stopped the clock.  But no more.  The Warhawks did not give up another yard, and a fourth and ten pass attempt was incomplete.  Whitewater took over at the Purple Raider 34 with just over a minute left, and a third consecutive Amos Alonzo Stagg Bowl trophy was headed back to Whitewater.
 
The Warhawk defense, the number one defense in the Division III playoffs, even with shutouts in two of four playoff games, may have come up with its best performance of the season.  Mount Union was limited to 49 yards rushing on 27 attempts, and other than one play, kept Purple Raider receivers in front of them, content to limit yardage and extend the field. 
 
UW-Whitewater also won the turnover battle, with one given up and three taken by Warhawk defenders.  UW-W rolled through the five game playoffs with one turnover, while opponents gave up the ball 12 times.
 
In 39 Stagg Bowls a team has won three consecutive Stagg Bowls four times.  Augustana College won four crowns (1983-1986), Mount Union did it twice (1996-1998 and 2000-2002) – and now UW-Whitewater joins that elite group.
 
Statistically, linebacker Kyle Wismer (Spring Grove, IL/Richmond-Burton) led Whitewater with 10 tackles and 1.5 tackles for a loss.  Fellow 'backer Ryan Cortez (Palatine, IL/Palatine, IL) had nine tackles, a sack, and two tackles for a loss.  Sophomore defensive end Loussaint Minett (Whitewater/Whitewater) picked the biggest stage for a breakout game, earning Stagg Bowl Most Valuable Player honors.  Minett, a hometown Whitewater High School product, was credited with three tackles, a sack, a tackle for a loss, a quarterback hurry – and the key fumble forced.
 
The win extended Whitewater's win streak, the longest active string in college football, to 45 games, three consecutive 15-0 seasons, also the fifth longest win streak in the history of NCAA football, two short of tying the University of Oklahoma's 47 game win streak compiled under Bud Wilkinson 1953-57.
Sep. 1: All times Eastern
7:00 PM
Coast Guard at Anna Maria
7:00 PM
Defiance at Baldwin Wallace
Live Stats
7:00 PM
Washington and Lee at Johns Hopkins
7:30 PM
Trine at Manchester
8:00 PM
Millsaps at Belhaven
Sep. 2: All times Eastern
TBA
Muhlenberg at Wilkes
6:00 PM
Mass-Dartmouth at Mount Ida
6:00 PM
Delaware Valley at Wesley
7:00 PM
N.C. Wesleyan at Stevenson
7:00 PM
Western New England at Springfield
7:00 PM
Fitchburg State at Becker
Video Live Stats
7:00 PM
Albright at Salisbury
7:00 PM
WPI at MIT
7:00 PM
Salve Regina at Worcester State
7:00 PM
Bridgewater State at Curry
7:00 PM
Morrisville State at St. Lawrence
10:00 PM
Adrian at Pacific
Sep. 3: All times Eastern
TBA
Endicott at Framingham State
TBA
Kean at Christopher Newport
TBA
King's at Moravian
Live Stats
TBA
Lebanon Valley at Franklin and Marshall
TBA
Marietta at Denison
TBA
McDaniel at Catholic
TBA
Wisconsin Lutheran at Trinity Int'l
TBA
Sewanee at Kenyon
TBA
UW-Platteville at George Fox
Live Stats
12:00 PM
Washington U. at Carnegie Mellon
Live Stats
12:00 PM
Chicago at Case Western Reserve
12:00 PM
Husson at Alfred
12:00 PM
SUNY-Maritime at Maine Maritime
Video
12:00 PM
Cortland at Heidelberg
12:00 PM
Otterbein at Buffalo State
12:00 PM
Ursinus at Bethany
1:00 PM
Plymouth State at Castleton
Live Stats
1:00 PM
RPI at Norwich
1:00 PM
Randolph-Macon at Dickinson
1:00 PM
Oberlin at Kalamazoo
1:00 PM
Emory and Henry at Ferrum
1:00 PM
Wooster at Washington and Jefferson
1:00 PM
Alfred State at William Paterson
1:00 PM
St. Vincent at Alma
1:00 PM
Concordia (Wis.) at Finlandia
1:00 PM
Olivet at St. John Fisher
1:00 PM
Rowan at Widener
1:00 PM
Hobart at Brockport
1:00 PM
Union at Ithaca
1:00 PM
Susquehanna at Lycoming
1:00 PM
Utica at Misericordia
1:00 PM
TCNJ at UW-Whitewater
1:30 PM
Wilmington at Bluffton
1:30 PM
Monmouth at Hope
1:30 PM
Bridgewater at Gettysburg
1:30 PM
Muskingum at Waynesburg
1:30 PM
Juniata at Grove City
2:00 PM
Lakeland at Carroll
Video Live Stats
2:00 PM
UW-Stevens Point at St. Norbert
2:00 PM
Austin at Hendrix
2:00 PM
Maranatha Baptist at Martin Luther
Live Stats
2:00 PM
Millikin at Greenville
Live Stats
2:00 PM
Eureka at Knox
Live Stats
2:00 PM
MacMurray at Rockford
Live Stats
2:00 PM
Gustavus Adolphus at Westminster (Mo.)
Video Live Stats
2:00 PM
UW-La Crosse at Luther
2:00 PM
Beloit at Lake Forest
2:00 PM
Concordia-Moorhead at Jamestown
2:00 PM
Crown at Hamline
Live Stats
2:00 PM
Carleton at Macalester
2:00 PM
Bethel at Dubuque
2:00 PM
St. Scholastica at St. John's
Live Stats
2:00 PM
St. Olaf at Grinnell
2:00 PM
Buena Vista at Mayville St.
2:00 PM
Simpson at UW-Stout
2:00 PM
Aurora at Carthage
2:00 PM
UW-River Falls at Coe
2:00 PM
Ripon at Concordia-Chicago
2:00 PM
Elmhurst at Loras
2:00 PM
Huntingdon at Louisiana College
2:00 PM
North Central (Ill.) at Robert Morris-Chicago
2:00 PM
Benedictine at Wheaton (Ill.)
2:00 PM
John Carroll at UW-Oshkosh
2:30 PM
Southern Virginia at Earlham
Live Stats
4:00 PM
La Verne at Puget Sound
Live Stats
4:00 PM
Central at Whitworth
5:00 PM
Hartwick at Western Connecticut
6:00 PM
Wabash at Albion
6:00 PM
Maryville (Tenn.) at Berry
6:00 PM
Augustana at Mount St. Joseph
6:00 PM
Thomas More at Franklin
Live Stats
6:00 PM
Hampden-Sydney at Averett
6:00 PM
Redlands at Trinity (Texas)
7:00 PM
Hiram at Westminster (Pa.)
7:00 PM
LaGrange at Birmingham-Southern
7:00 PM
Thiel at Allegheny
7:00 PM
Capital at Wittenberg
7:00 PM
Shenandoah at Gallaudet
Live Stats
7:00 PM
Illinois College at Rose-Hulman
Video Live Stats
7:00 PM
Hanover at Centre
7:00 PM
Geneva at Frostburg State
7:00 PM
Nichols at Westfield State
7:00 PM
Greensboro at Guilford
Live Stats
7:00 PM
Hardin-Simmons at Southwestern
7:00 PM
Anderson at North Park
7:00 PM
Ohio Wesleyan at Mary Hardin-Baylor
7:00 PM
East Texas Baptist at Texas Lutheran
7:10 PM
St. Thomas at UW-Eau Claire
Video Live Stats
8:00 PM
Willamette at Rhodes
8:00 PM
Cornell at Iowa Wesleyan
Live Stats
8:00 PM
Augsburg at Northwestern (Minn.)
Live Stats
8:00 PM
Southwestern Assemblies at Howard Payne
8:00 PM
Sul Ross State at UT-Permian Basin
Dec. 18: All times Eastern
Final
Mount Union 49, at St. Thomas 35
@ Salem, Va.
Box Score Recap Recap Photos