Dec. 11, 2008

Courtesy of Wisconsin-Whitewater

UW-Whitewater advanced to the semifinals of the National Collegiate Athletic Association Division III championship with a 34-17 win over Wartburg College in a quarterfinal game played at Perkins Stadium in Whitewater, Wisconsin Saturday.  UW-W, 12-1, will travel to Belton, Texas to face the University of Mary Hardin-Baylor, 12-1, December 13 at noon.

Box Score
Photogallery, credit to Joy Kowald 
Photogallery, credit to Tom Fick

With Whitewater leading 20-17 early in the fourth quarter, Wartbrug set up for the game-tying field goal, from Whitewater's 15 yard line.  Warhawk linebacker Kyle Supianoski blocked the attempt and Troney Shumpert recovered the ball at the fifty yard line. 

Whitewater added two TD's in the fourth quarter to put the game out of reach.

Supianoski also figured in the first score of the game, forcing a fumble that he recovered at the Wartburg 35.  After four plays Jeff Schebler, the all-time field goal leader in Division III, kicked a 36 yard field goal to give UW-W a 3-0 lead at 11:49 in the first quarter.

Later in the first quarter Antwan Anderson rushed for a seven yard TD, culminating a seven play, fifty-eight yard drive to make it 10-0 at 4:15.

Early in the second quarter Wartburg took advantage of a fumbled punt, recovering the ball at Whitewater's 39.  Spencer Herzber booted a 37 yard field goal at 11:28 to put the Knights on the board, 10-3.

On Whitewater's next possession, the first of the second quarter, Jeff Donovan connected with Matt Gifford for 58 yards to set up four yard TD pass to Jordan Wells.  Whitewater led 17-3 with 8:54 left in the half.

Wartburg threatened to get the points back right away, marching 65 yards to take the ball to the Whitewater three yard line, but Justin Ankley recovered a fumble to thwart the drive.
Wartburg was not denied the next time around, returning a punt to the Whitewater eleven and then scoring on a four yard run by Lamar Harvey to make it 17-10 Whitewater with 1:42 in the half.

Starting at their own 40 after the kickoff return, Whitewater managed the clock to squeeze in a 38 yard field goal by Schebler with one second remaining in the half, 20-10.

Wartburg used just one play, a 57 yard Nick Yordi to Matt Gustafson pass, to close the margin to 20-17 with 7:19 in the third.  This set the stage for Supianoski's big play.

The Warhawks gained a little breathing room with a Donovan to Wells 13 yard TD pass at 11:51 in the game to make it 27-17, and linebacker Jace Rindahl returned an interception, his second of the day, 45 yards for the final score of the game at 3:49.

Whitewater took advantage of four Knight turnovers, while UW-W had one (as mentioned, led to a Wartburg score)..  The Warhawk defense limited Wartburg to 49 yards rushing, 1.5 per attempt.  Wartburg gained 205 yards passing, on 12-35 attempts, while Whitewater was 10-21 for 151 in a cold, stiff wind. 

UW-W's Anderson, making his second collegiate start, carried the ball 31 times for 151 yards.  Wells led Whitewater with five receptions for 56 yards.  Defensive end Jon Baldwin and Supianoski led the Warhawks with eight tackles apiece, with three of Baldwin's coming behind the line of scrimmage.

Safeties Jason Lansing and Kyle Goodchild were the leading tacklers in the game, totaling 13 and 11 respectively for the Knights.  Ryan Hoerner and Gustafson both had three receptions for the Knights, with Hoerner's totaling 75 yards and Gustafson's 62.

Mount Union, 13-0 will host Wheaton College, 11-2, in the other semifinal Saturday.  Mount Union defeated Cortland (NY) 41-14, and Wheaton topped Franklin College 45-28.  The winners of the December 13 games will advance to the Stagg Bowl, the Division III championship, Saturday, December 20 in Salem, Virginia.

Wartburg, champion of the Iowa Intercollegiate Athletic Conference, ends the season 10-3.  Saturday's game was the first time Whitewater and Wartburg had met in the sport of football.

For more information: Lance Leipold, UW-W coach