Efficient Warhawks Top Eau Claire
UW-Whitewater put points on the board the first five times they entered the red zone in a 19-10 win over UW-Eau Claire Saturday in Perkins Stadium in Whitewater.
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Whitewater opened the scoring with a six play, 60 yard drive that ended with an Eric Kindler 28 yard field goal at 10:19 in the first quarter. Senior running back Desmin Ward started the drive with a 36 yard run on the Whitewater's first offensive play.
Eau Claire's Josh Albrecht tied the score with a 33 yard field goal at 0:44, at the end of an eight play drive. The Blugolds started the drive at the 50 yard line after linebacker Micah Ruf intercepted a pass.
Kindler gave UW-W a 6-3 lead with 11:59 in the second with a 24 yard field goal. Kindler's kick concluded a 75 yard drive that included a Matt Behrendt to Bernie Tamsett 33 yard pass, and a 27 yard run by Nick Patterson.
Desmin Ward's two yard touchdown run on Whitewater's next possession upped the lead to 13-3 with 5:30 left in the first half. Ward carried the ball the last five plays of the drive, eating up 26 yards.
The Blugolds took the ensuing kickoff at their 22, and in 11 plays cut Whitewater's margin to 13-10. Austin Neu passed to Cody Gerver for 23 yards for the score with just 0:58 left in the half.
The Warhawks took the second half kickoff and marched 65 yards, putting Kindler in range for a 25 yard field goal to put UW-W in front 16-10 with 10:39 left in the third quarter. On a third an eight at the Whitewater 29, Behrendt rushed 36 yards to the Blugold 35 to keep the drive alive.
The only time Whitewater did not score when it was in the red zone came at the end of the game, when the Warhawks ran out the clock with the ball on the Blugold 17.
The final points of the game came on Kindler's fourth field goal of the day, 39 yards with 4:54 left in the game, making it a two score game for the Blugolds. Kindler's four field goals ties the school record, a mark he accomplished most recently September 3, 2011 in a win over UW-La Crosse.
UW-W controlled the ball 34:20 with a ground game that rushed 49 times for 274 yards (5.1 average). Ward accounted for 135 of those on 27 carries. Ward has accumulated 920 yards in nine games this season, and is on track for the twenty-first 1,000 yard season in school history.
Whitewater completed 12 of 18 passes, the fewest passes attempted for UW-W since going 11-16 in last year's playoff win over Franklin College, a string of 12 games.
Austin Neu completed 15-29 for 199 yards for UW-EC, with seven of those caught by Austin Goetsch for 96 yards.
Junior linebacker Ryan Cortez was credited with seven solo tackles, five assists, a sack and a tackle for a loss to lead the Warhawk defense. Linebacker Nick Slade had six solo, five assists and a tackle for a loss for Eau Claire.
Whitewater, 6-3 overall and 4-2 in the Wisconsin Intercollegiate Athletic Conference, will close out the season at UW-La Crosse next Saturday. UW-EC is 3-6 and 3-3 in the WIAC.