Wesley vying for first Stagg Bowl
Wisconsin-Whitewater advanced to the NCAA Division III semifinals for the sixth consecutive year with a 20-10 win at previously unbeaten North Central as the Warhawks stretched their winning streak to 28 games. It is the longest streak in NCAA football, regardless of division. The Warhawks also improved to 26-6 all-time in nine NCAA Division III playoff appearances.
UW-Whitewater will be eyeing its sixth consecutive trip to the Stagg Bowl. The Warhawks have won the Division III Championship in two of the past three seasons (2007, 2009).
Wesley held the nation’s top scoring offense to their lowest output since 2007 as the Wolverines downed Mary Hardin-Baylor, 19-9, on Saturday to advance to the NCAA semifinals for the fourth time since 2005. The Wolverines are 15-6 all-time in seven NCAA playoff appearances. They will be vying for their first-ever trip to the Stagg Bowl.
The Warhawks rank in the nation’s top 10 in both rushing offense (276.73 ypg) and defense (50.85 ypg), and outscoring foes by a margin of more than 30 points per game. UWW is registering 485 yards of total offense per game for seventh in the nation, and is also third in Division III with a 1.69 turnover margin. Running back Levell Coppage leads the Warhawks offensively with 138.50 rushing ypg (10th), while quarterback Matt Blanchard boasts the nation’s second-best pass efficiency rating (181.95).
Wesley will look to end the Warhawks’ Stagg Bowl streak with the nation’s top total defense (192.83 ypg), along with Division III’s 10th-best scoring offense (41.83 ppg). Wolverines’ quarterback Justin Sottilare is ranked fourth in Division III in passing efficiency (172.40), and directs an offense that is averaging 475.0 yards of total offense per game -- good for 10th in the nation.
The two programs have met twice with both contests coming in the NCAA semifinals in Whitewater. UWW won the 2005 meeting, 58-6, and followed it up with a 44-7 victory in 2006.