By Chris Lindeke
Assistant Athletic Director, Strategic Communications and Branding
University of Wisconsin-Whitewater
Saturday, October 9, 2021
No. 3 Warhawk Football Moves to 5-0 With Home Win
Final Statistics: https://uwwsports.com/documents/2021/10/9/25659.pdf
The No. 3 ranked University of Wisconsin-Whitewater football team retained the Miner’s Axe rivalry trophy Saturday afternoon with a 65-21 victory against UW-Platteville in the 26th annual George Chryst Memorial Bowl in front of 15,406 fans at Perkins Stadium, the third-highest attendance in the 50-year history of the stadium.
The Warhawks (5-0 overall, 2-0 WIAC) piled up 630 yards of offense, including 296 on the ground and 334 through the air, and led 44-7 at halftime. The team’s 44 first-half points were the most it scored since November of 2018, when it tallied 50 in the first half of a win against Eureka (Ill.) in the NCAA Playoffs.
Max Meylor, who was named UW-W’s Offensive Most Valuable Player of the game, threw for a career-high 313 yards on 22-of-27 passing with four touchdowns. Ryan Wisniewski caught six passes for 106 yards and two touchdowns to lead the receiving corps.
Egon Hein paced the defense with five tackles, and Niko Lemke totaled 2.5 tackles for a loss, including a pair of sacks. Defensive MVP Thomas Wojnowski collected three tackles and a key interception deep in UW-Platteville territory that set up a Warhawk touchdown.
Following a 60-yard return on the opening kickoff by Wisniewski, UW-Whitewater converted a key fourth down on a run by Peete, and Meylor completed the drive with a 2-yard touchdown run around the right side for a 7-0 lead with 10:57 on the clock.
The Warhawks intercepted Colin Schuetz on the next two drives. Jaden Hendrickson posted the first one with 9:46 left in the first quarter, and Wojnowski collected the second at the 7:22 mark, which led to an 18-yard touchdown pass from Meylor to Preston Strasburg with 6:33 left in the first.
UW-Whitewater added to its lead one drive later. After a three-and-out by the Pioneers (1-4, 0-2), Alex Peete ran straight up the middle untouched past the line of scrimmage for a 57-yard touchdown and a 21-0 advantage with 4:25 remaining in the period.
A blocked punt on the ensuing drive by Daniel Baggett went through the back of the end zone for a safety and a 23-0 UW-W lead with 2:21 to play in the quarter.
Meylor hit Wisniewski for his first touchdown of the day on the next drive, a 14-yarder that capped an eight-play, 59-yard drive for a 30-0 lead with 12:46 to go in the second quarter.
UW-Platteville found the end zone on the next drive, the first points allowed in the first half this season by the Warhawk defense, at the 12:32 mark.
With just under four minutes to play in the quarter, Meylor hit Zach Sherman for an eight-yard score to give UW-Whitewater a 37-7 advantage. On the next offensive drive, the Warhawks added to the lead on a 30-yard pass from Meylor to Wisniewski with 14 seconds until halftime.
UW-Whitewater continued to add to its lead in the third quarter as Peete plunged in from one yard out with 6:46 on the clock for a 51-7 lead.
The two teams exchanged touchdowns the rest of the way. Ryn Ponick capped a 10-play, 75-yard drive with a 1-yard touchdown run at the 10:05 mark of the fourth quarter, and Drake Martin accounted for the final margin with 1:14 to go on a 2-yard touchdown run that completed a nine-play, 75-yard drive.
The Warhawks visit No. 9 ranked UW-Oshkosh next Saturday, Oct. 16, at 1 p.m.