December 7, 2013

UW-Whitewater rallies in second half to knock off Linfield

More news about: Linfield

WHITEWATER, Wis. – Squaring off in a heavyweight battle of elite NCAA Division III unbeatens, fifth-ranked UW-Whitewater rallied from a 17-0 deficit with 28 unanswered points, knocking off No. 2 Linfield 28-17 in the West Region final of the NCAA Division III playoffs Saturday afternoon at frigid Perkins Stadium.

Jake Kumerow scored three touchdowns in the game's final 2½ quarters, all on medium-range passes from Matt Behrendt.

Linfield (11-1) saw its climb toward a second NCAA championship and fifth national title overall come to an end. UW-Whitewater (13-0) advances to play Mary Hardin-Baylor (Texas) in next week's semifinals. The Crusaders won 45-23 over St. John Fisher (N.Y) in another quarterfinal game on Saturday.

After taking a 17-0 lead, the UWW defense asserted itself, sacking Linfield quarterback Josh Yoder seven times in the second half and holding the Wildcats to 89 yards over the final 30 minutes.

Early momentum belonged to the Wildcats. Linfield scored on its opening possession, moving easily down the field in five plays and covering 66 yards. A 39-yard hookup from Yoder to Evan Peterson gave the Wildcats a first-and-goal opportunity at the UWW 3. Yoder scooted the rest of the way on the next play for the game's first score.

The ensuing kickoff provided Linfield another golden opportunity but the 'Cats failed to cash in. Marcus McLin lost the kickoff in the bright sun and Chad Coburn recovered at the UWW 21. The Wildcats advanced to the 1 in six plays, but on fourth down Coburn bobbled the snap from the Wildcat formation and Linfield turned the ball over on downs.

After an exchange of punts, Linfield pushed inside the red zone once more. A 22-yard field goal by Josh Repp with 1:48 left in the first quarter added to the Wildcats' lead.

Linfield's defense forced a punt, and the 'Cats took over at their own 14-yard line. Yoder and the Wildcats needed five plays to score again with Peterson pulling in a 60-yard bomb down the right sideline. Repp's extra point pushed the Linfield advantage to 17-0 with 12:55 remaining before halftime.

Undaunted, the Warhawks scored two touchdowns within a seven-minute span. Behrendt threw 19 yards to Tyler Huber and then 12 yards to Kumerow, cutting the Linfield lead to three.

With Yoder completing 17 of 19 first-half passes, the Wildcats outgained the Warhawks 309-193 through the opening two quarters. Peterson had four catches for 145 yards at the break.

When play resumed, the Warhawks moved quickly to the Linfield 12 but Eric Kindler missed a 29-yard field goal wide left.

Linfield had a chance to pad its lead early in the third quarter, reaching the Warhawks' 20, but Yoder fumbled and Kyle Wismer recovered. Behrendt passed 25 yards to Kumerow for the go-ahead touchdown with 1:48 left in the third quarter. The duo hooked up again with 12:15 to go, this time from 10 yards away, completing a seven-play, 61-yard drive.

The Wildcats weren't out of it yet. Yoder and the 'Cats pushed their way to the UWW 37 before the drive stalled. A pair of incompletions were followed by back-to-back sacks by Wismer and Mykaell Bratchett with 5:15 to play sent the Linfield offense to the sideline. With the Warhawks defense bearing down, the Wildcats never got past its own 42 the rest of the way.

Behrendt completed 26 of 36 for 275 yards and four touchdowns. Kumerow caught seven passes for 149 yards, often using his considerable advantage in height to pull in passes over the outstretched arms of Linfield defenders.

Yoder ended the day 28 of 37 passing for 374 yards but he was sacked eight times. Held to two catches in the second half, Peterson finished with six receptions for 163 yards. Brian Balsiger pulled in 11 passes for 136 yards.

Linfield rushed for a net 24 yards, losing 64 yards on sacks. The Wildcats outgained the Warhawks 398-378 but lost the turnover battle, tossing one interception and twice fumbling the ball away, all in the second half. The Warhawks lost just one fumble on the afternoon.

Kyle Wright and Dominique Forrest each recorded eight tackles to lead Linfield's defensive charge.

Ryan Cortez was credited with a game-high nine tackles for the Warhawks. John Flood came away with two sacks.

'CAT SCRATCH: Temperature at kickoff was 9 degrees with a 6 mph wind. . . the Wildcats played the game minus leading rusher Josh Hill, who did not travel due to an injury suffered during the Hampen-Sydney game. . . around 50 Linfield parents and fans braved the bitter cold to cheer on the Wildcats from the visiting stands. . .the Warhawks improved to 8-0 in NCAA quarterfinal games. . . for all its postseason success, Linfield remained winless against UW-Whitewater in three attempts . . . Saturday's defeat marked the end of the line for one of largest and most successful senior classes in Linfield history. . . spanning its four seasons, the graduating Class of 2014 prevailed in 41 of 46 contests, won four Northwest Conference championships and six NCAA playoff games. . . Linfield concluded its season with just one loss for the third straight year. . . as a team, the Wildcats set single-season records for rushing touchdowns (50), forced fumbles (18), quarterback hurries (16), and pass breakups (53).

comments powered by Disqus
Sep. 3: All times Eastern
7:00 PM
Anna Maria at Coast Guard
7:00 PM
Franklin and Marshall at Lebanon Valley
7:00 PM
Ursinus at Millersville
7:30 PM
Manchester at Trine
Live Stats Video
8:00 PM
Belhaven at Millsaps
8:00 PM
Bethel at UW-Stout
Sep. 4: All times Eastern
7:00 PM
Salisbury at Albright
Live Stats
7:00 PM
Gettysburg at Bridgewater (Va.)
7:00 PM
St. Lawrence at Morrisville State
7:00 PM
MIT at WPI
Live Stats Video
7:00 PM
Westfield State at Nichols
7:00 PM
Becker at Fitchburg State
Live Stats Video
7:00 PM
Stevenson at N.C. Wesleyan
7:00 PM
Mount Ida at Mass-Dartmouth
Live Stats Video
7:00 PM
Curry at Bridgewater State
Live Stats
7:00 PM
Wilkes at Muhlenberg
7:00 PM
Averett at Washington and Lee
Live Stats Video
8:30 PM
Luther at UW-La Crosse
Sep. 5: All times Eastern
12:00 PM
Hobart at Dickinson
12:00 PM
Norwich at RPI
12:00 PM
Heidelberg at Cortland State
12:00 PM
Maine Maritime at SUNY-Maritime
12:00 PM
St. John Fisher at Thomas More
Live Stats
12:00 PM
Alfred at Husson
Live Stats Video
12:00 PM
Framingham State at Endicott
Live Stats
12:00 PM
TCNJ at Christopher Newport
12:00 PM
Worcester State at Salve Regina
Live Stats
12:00 PM
Grove City at Juniata
Live Stats Video Audio
12:00 PM
Westminster (Mo.) at Southwestern Assemblies
1:00 PM
Delaware Valley at Montclair State
1:00 PM
Lycoming at Susquehanna
Live Stats Video Audio
1:00 PM
William Paterson at Alfred State
Live Stats
1:00 PM
Alma at Finlandia
1:00 PM
Springfield at Western New England
1:00 PM
Ferrum at Emory and Henry
Live Stats Video Audio
1:00 PM
Earlham at Olivet
Live Stats
1:00 PM
Wabash at Hampden-Sydney
Video Audio Audio
1:00 PM
Washington and Jefferson at Wooster
Live Stats
1:00 PM
Rowan at Widener
1:00 PM
Ithaca at Union
1:00 PM
Brockport State at Oberlin
1:00 PM
John Carroll at St. Vincent
1:00 PM
Johns Hopkins at Randolph-Macon
1:00 PM
Castleton State at Plymouth State
1:00 PM
Methodist at Apprentice
1:00 PM
Waynesburg at Muskingum
Live Stats
1:00 PM
Case Western Reserve at Chicago
Live Stats Video
1:00 PM
Carnegie Mellon at Washington U.
Live Stats Video
1:30 PM
Centre at Hanover
1:30 PM
Buffalo State at Otterbein
1:30 PM
Wittenberg at Capital
1:30 PM
Illinois Wesleyan at Franklin
Live Stats Video
1:30 PM
Berry at Maryville (Tenn.)
Live Stats Audio
1:30 PM
Monmouth at Hope
Live Stats Audio
1:30 PM
Bethany at Mount Union
Live Stats
1:30 PM
Bluffton at Wilmington
2:00 PM
Buena Vista at UW-Platteville
Live Stats
2:00 PM
North Park at Concordia (Wis.)
Live Stats Video
2:00 PM
Kenyon at Sewanee
2:00 PM
Rockford at Lawrence
2:00 PM
Wisconsin Lutheran at Lake Forest
Audio
2:00 PM
Carthage at St. Norbert
2:00 PM
Wheaton (Ill.) at Coe
2:00 PM
Jamestown at Concordia-Moorhead
2:00 PM
Macalester at Carleton
2:00 PM
Minnesota-Morris at Hamline
2:00 PM
Northwestern (Minn.) at St. Olaf
2:00 PM
Dubuque at St. John's
Live Stats Video Audio
2:00 PM
Illinois College at Aurora
2:00 PM
UW-River Falls at Simpson
2:00 PM
Hendrix at Austin
2:00 PM
Southwestern at Hardin-Simmons
2:00 PM
Knox at Eureka
2:00 PM
Maranatha Baptist at Martin Luther
2:00 PM
St. Scholastica at Ripon
2:00 PM
Louisiana College at Huntingdon
2:00 PM
Loras at Elmhurst
3:00 PM
Pacific at College of Idaho
3:30 PM
Beloit at Concordia-Chicago
4:00 PM
George Fox at La Verne
4:00 PM
Puget Sound at Claremont-Mudd-Scripps
Live Stats
4:30 PM
Misericordia at Utica
Live Stats Video Audio
5:00 PM
Western Connecticut at Hartwick
5:00 PM
Defiance at Adrian
Live Stats Video
6:00 PM
Moravian at King's
6:00 PM
Birmingham-Southern at LaGrange
Live Stats
6:00 PM
UW-Stevens Point at Albion
6:00 PM
Redemption Christian College at Southern Virginia
Live Stats
7:00 PM
Guilford at Greensboro
Live Stats
7:00 PM
Allegheny at Thiel
7:00 PM
Gallaudet at Shenandoah
Live Stats Live Stats Video Audio
7:00 PM
Kalamazoo at Rose-Hulman
Live Stats Live Stats Video
7:00 PM
Westminster (Pa.) at Hiram
7:00 PM
Marietta at Denison
7:00 PM
Anderson at Taylor (Ind.)
7:00 PM
Mary Hardin-Baylor at Ohio Wesleyan
7:00 PM
Frostburg State at Geneva
7:00 PM
UW-Oshkosh at Robert Morris University (Ill.)
7:00 PM
Greenville at Millikin
7:00 PM
Trinity (Texas) at Howard Payne
7:00 PM
Texas Lutheran at Sul Ross State
7:00 PM
Mount St. Joseph at Augustana
7:10 PM
St. Thomas at UW-Eau Claire
7:30 PM
Catholic at McDaniel
7:30 PM
Benedictine at Central
8:00 PM
McMurry at East Texas Baptist
8:00 PM
Lakeland at Carroll
8:00 PM
Augsburg at Wartburg
8:00 PM
Gustavus Adolphus at Crown
8:00 PM
Iowa Wesleyan at Cornell
Maintenance in progress.