The No. 3 ranked University of Wisconsin-Whitewater football team rushed for 207 yards and registered 21 second-half points Saturday in a 21-17 victory over UW-La Crosse in a Wisconsin Intercollegiate Athletic Conference game in front of 7,522 fans at Perkins Stadium.
Trailing 17-14 five minutes into the fourth quarter, the Warhawks (8-0 overall, 5-0 WIAC) connected on a big play as junior quarterback Zach Oles hit junior wide receiver Ryan Wisniewski for a 57-yard pass down to the Eagles’ 18-yard line. Two plays later, senior running back Jarrod Ware busted up the middle for a 10-yard touchdown to give UW-Whitewater the lead with 8:36 on the clock.
UW-La Crosse (5-3, 3-2) drove 53 yards down to the Warhawks’ 18-yard line. On second-and-10, junior defensive back Mark McGrath tallied his team-leading fourth interception of the year to give UW-W the ball back with 4:41 to play.
UW-Whitewater converted on a third-and-5 on the fifth play of the next drive when Oles hit freshman wide receiver Sam DeLany for nine yards. On fourth-and-5 from the UW-W 41-yard line, the Eagles were flagged for an illegal substitution, and the Warhawks knelt out the clock.
Junior running back Alex Peete led the Warhawks with 26 carries for 145 yards and one touchdown, and Wisniewski collected five receptions for 111 yards. Oles finished with 171 passing yards and one score.
Junior linebacker Kaleb Kaminski led the defense with 10 tackles, including three for a loss. McGrath and senior linebacker Matt Anderson posted seven tackles apiece, and senior defensive back Nate Tranel added six stops.
UW-Whitewater was held scoreless in the first half for the first time this season as UW-La Crosse took a 3-0 advantage into halftime on a field goal kicked on the first drive of the contest. The Warhawks drove deep into Eagle territory on two occasions, but were stymied in both trips.
UW-La Crosse was first on the board in the second half, taking a 10-0 lead midway through the third quarter.
On the ensuing drive, UW-Whitewater drove 85 yards in only six plays as Oles completed two passes to Wisniewski for 48 yards and Peete rushed three straight plays for 40 yards, including a 37-yarder and a 2-yarder for a touchdown with 5:29 remaining in the period.
The Warhawks took their first lead at the 14:14 mark of the fourth quarter as Oles found Holte in the corner for a 10-yard touchdown. The drive was set up by a key defensive stop on fourth down near midfield.
The Eagles took the lead right back at 17-14 with 9:51 to go, setting the stage for UW-Whitewater’s second comeback of the day.
The Warhawks conclude their regular season home schedule next Saturday, Nov. 9, as they host UW-Stout. Kickoff is slated for 2 p.m. at Perkins Stadium.