Nov. 22, 2008

Courtesy Wisconsin-Whitewater Athletics

The University of Wisconsin-Whitewater defeated Saint John's University 37-7 in a National Collegiate Athletic Association Division III first round playoff game Saturday in Perkins Stadium in Whitewater, Wisconsin.

Saint John's scored on their first possession, driving 76 yards in 12 plays.  The drive ended with an 11-yard TD pass from Joe Boyle to Jakob Reding at 7:02.

Whitewater's ensuing drive ended with pass that was intercepted by Ethan Eid at the Whitewater 43.  Saint John's was stopped, and on their punt attempt the snap sailed over Russell Gliadon's head and the Warhawks recovered at the SJU 21.

Five plays later, with UW-W at the Johnnie's six, Nick Kotsmith forced a fumble and SJU recovered at the 2.  The Warhawk defense held, and the quarter ended 7-0 Saint John's.  SJU's punt from deep in their zone gave UW-W the ball at the Saint John's 36, and after eight plays Jeff Schebler got UW-W on the board with a 19 yard field goal with 10:12 left in the half, 7-3 SJU

The same formula worked on the next series, with the Warhawk defense forcing a three and out, and UW-W taking over the ball at the SJU 45.  Schebler also ended that drive with a field goal, this time from 32 yards at 5:16 to narrow the margin to 7-6.

The Warhawk defense played a key role again in Whitewater's third score, with Anthony White forcing a fumble out of bounds at the four, and after the resulting SJU punt Whitewater took over at the 29.  Schebler kicked his third field goal, this time from 41 yards, with 1:55 left to give UW-W its first lead, 9-7.

Saint John's defense rose to the occasion, stopping UW-W on a second and goal at the one as time ran out in the first half.

When UW-W's Levell Coppage, twentieth in NCAA III rushing statistics with 128.6 yards per game, went out early in the second half, and it looked like it might be a lot more of Schebler in the second half.

But sophomore Antwann Anderson scored on his first carry of the second half, going 43 yards to make it 16-7 Whitewater with 11:10 in the third.

Whitewater's defense ended the next SJU drive by recovering a fumble, and the offense took over and went 71 yards in 12 plays for the 23-7 lead.  Jeff Donovan ran the last four yards for the score, at 1:40.

Once again, Whitewater's defense aided the offense, forcing a punt that UW-W took over on their own 49.  Anderson ended the drive with a four yard run, and also set that up with a 42 yard run on the preceding play.  Whitewater led 30-7 with 6:53 left in the game.

Whitewater backup QB Bruce Langer ended the scoring with a 21 yard run, his only run of the day, at 3:24.

Anderson had rushed twice for a total of one yard in the first half.  He finished with a career high 158 yards on 20 carries.  His previous high was 88 yards in a win over UW-River Falls last season.

Whitewater's defense recorded a season high six sacks on the day and forced three fumbles.  SJU managed just 29 yards rushing on 34 attempts.  Whitewater rushed the ball 53 times for 321 yards.  Whitewater also controlled the ball 35 minutes.

Linebacker Kyle Supianoski led UW-W with eight tackles, including one for a loss.  Defensive end Jon Baldwin had two sacks and two tackles for a loss.  The Johnnie's Bobby Klint, a defensive back, led both teams with 12 tackles.  Linebacker Ethan Eid added 11 tackles and an interception for SJU.

Whitewater, 10-1, will advance to the second round of the NCAA III playoffs.  The Warhawks, the defending national champions, will play at the winner of Williamette College versus Occidental College.

Schebler's three field goals added to his NCAA III career record, totaling 56.  The previous record, which he broke last week in the win over UW-Platteville, been held by Ken Edelman of Mount Union (1987-90) for the D3 record.