The No. 3 ranked University of Wisconsin-Whitewater football team scored 21 unanswered points over a 15-minute span in the second and third quarters that proved to be the difference on 10/26 in a 49-28 victory at UW-River Falls in a Wisconsin Intercollegiate Athletic Conference contest.
The Warhawks (7-0 overall, 4-0 WIAC) scored with 2:32 to play in the second quarter and added touchdowns at the 11:35 and 2:28 marks of the third to turn a one-score game into a 42-13 advantage.
UW-Whitewater was out-gained 495-429 in total yards by the Falcons (1-6, 0-4), but forced five turnovers, including three interceptions in the second half.
Junior quarterback Zach Oles threw for 211 yards and tied a school record with six passing touchdowns to lead the offense. Junior running back Alex Peete rushed 13 times for 108 yards and one touchdown. Sophomore wide receiver Tyler Holte caught three passes for 70 yards and one touchdown, and junior wide receiver Derek Kumerow posted five receptions for 61 yards and two scores.
Junior linebacker Kaleb Kaminski tallied 13 tackles, while senior linebacker Matt Anderson finished with 12 to lead the defense. Senior defensive back Jacob Frey added nine tackles, and sophomore linebacker Aaron Sturdevant collected nine stops.
After UW-River Falls scored on its opening drive for a 7-0 lead, the Warhawks answered quickly with a nine-play, 53-yard drive that included a 13-yard pass from Oles to Kumerow on fourth down. Holte caught an eight-yard pass from Oles on third down to tie the game at 7-7 with 5:43 on the clock.
Following a punt, Peete recorded a 59-yard touchdown, his ninth of the season, to give UW-Whitewater the lead for good.
After a Falcon field goal, Oles hit freshman wide receiver Sam DeLany for an 18-yard score midway through the second quarter for a 21-10 lead. The drive was set up by a long kick return by junior Ryan Wisniewski.
UW-River Falls drew to within eight on another field goal. UW-W forced a turnover on a fumble recovery by senior defensive back Nate Tranel, and two plays later, Oles hit a wide-open Kumerow for a 27-yard touchdown with 2:32 remaining in the first half. The play was set up by a 43-yard completion from Oles to Holte.
The Warhawks opened the second half with a seven-play, 64-yard drive capped by another Oles-to-Kumerow connection, this one from eight yards out, for a 35-13 score with 11:35 to play in the third quarter.
UW-Whitewater tacked on another score in the third on a 35-yard screen pass from Oles to sophomore running back Jaylon Edmonson with 2:28 left.
Following two touchdowns by UW-River Falls, the Warhawks completed scoring with 2:38 to play in the contest on a 15-yard shovel pass from Oles to junior wide receiver JT Parish.
UW-Whitewater returns home next Saturday, Oct. 26, to take on UW-La Crosse. Kickoff is slated for 1 p.m. at Perkins Stadium.