St. Louis, Mo., August 31, 2012 — No. 1 ranked University of Wisconsin-Whitewater broke open a three-point game with 17 points in the second quarter as the three-time defending NCAA Division III national champion posted a 34-0 win at Washington University in St. Louis in both teams season opener on Friday at Francis Field in St. Louis.
The win for UW-Whitewater was its 46th-straight dating back to 2009, the longest active streak in college football and fourth longest all-time. The Warhawks are on win away from tying the University of Oklahoma for third place.
Wisconsin-Whitewater had a 376-55 advantage in total offense, and limited the Bears to just four first downs in the victory. The Warhawks rolled up 235 yards on the ground, led by Desmin Ward's 108 yards on 14 carries and one TD. Ward is the first player since Nov. 6, 2010 (Trevor LaBarge, Case Western Reserve) to gain 100 or more yards on the ground against Washington U.
Washington U.'s defense was the story in the first quarter, limiting the Warhawks to just six first downs and just three points. The lone points of the quarter for UW-Whitewater were a 43-yard field goal by Eric Kindler with 11:43 left.
A 26-yard punt by senior Eric Chalifour resulted in great field possession for UW-Whitewater at the WU 35-yard line midway through the second quarter. Five plays later, Lee Brekke threaded the needle with a 17-yard touchdown pass to Steve Morris to make it 10-0 with 8:15 left before half.
Senior quarterback Dan Burkett was picked off for the second time in the half, this time by Kyle Wismer, to give the Warhawks great field possession at the WUSTL 28-yard line. Ward scored from 19 yards out three plays later to make it 17-0. A 21-yard field goal by Kindler with 17 seconds left made it 20-0 at halftime.
UW-Whitewater outgained Washington U. 238-0 in the opening half of play and did not allow a first down by the Bears. Morris had seven catches for 103 yards and a TD in the first half. Sophomore defensive back Ryan Bednar led the Bears' defensive unit with seven tackles (six solo) in the first half.
Washington U.'s defense held UW-Whitewater's offense in check in the third quarter, but Marcus McLin intercepted Burkett and took it 59 yards for the touchdown with 1:54 left in the third to push the lead to 27-0. The Bears outgained UW-Whitewater 32-17 in total offense in the third quarter. Tyler Huber added an eight-yard rushing touchdown with 12:13 to play in the fourth to round out the scoring for the Warhawks.
Burkett struggled on the night completing 8-of-23 passes for 45 yards and was picked off four times. Senior H-back Trevor LaBarge was the lone bright spot for the Bears offensively hauling in five receptions for 34 yards.
Junior linebacker Peter Lowery and Bednar each had career nights on the defensive end for Washington U., recording 11 tackles and a forced fumble. Junior defensive backAndrew Skalman also had a career-night against UW-Whitewater, registering a career-high six tackles and four pass break-ups.
Washington U. (0-1) takes on Rhodes College on Sept. 8, at 1 p.m., in Memphis, Tenn. The Bears posted a 48-21 win over Rhodes a year ago at Francis Field.
Bear Notebook: This was the first meeting in school history between the two teams … It marked the first game on the new turf on Francis Field … UW-Whitewater has played in the last seven national championship games … Washington U. is 18-6 in season openers under head coach Larry Kindbom.