Warhawks clinch another WIAC crown
If anyone deserves the extra hour of sleep this morning, it’s Justin Beaver.
The University of Wisconsin-Whitewater senior tailback rushed 44 times for 248 yards to lead the Warhawks to a 26-10 victory over UW-Stout in WIAC action Saturday afternoon in Menomonie. Whitewater (8-1, 6-0) clinched its third straight conference title and earned the WIAC’s automatic bid in the NCAA Division III playoffs.
Beaver, a senior out of Palmyra-Eagle High School, began his productive day with a 63-yard touchdown run in the first quarter that gave the Warhawks a 10-0 lead. Whitewater led 20-10 at halftime and did not allow a point in the second half.
First-year Whitewater coach Lance Leipold said the Warhawks once again rode the legs of Beaver to victory.
“You hope to spell him at some point with that many carries, but it never became more than a two-possession game until the end,” Leipold said of Beaver. “But Justin keeps himself in top physical condition. I don’t worry about his carries too much with the shape he’s in.
“Overall, it’s a good win for us. Anytime you go on the road in this conference and come away with a win, you’ve got to be happy.”
Whitewater sophomore Jeff Schebler kicked four field goals as the Warhawks struggled to finish a number of drives.
With the offense struggling at times, the Warhawk defense took over. Brian Borland’s defense limited the Blue Devils to 225 yards of total offense, including only 70 on the ground.
“For whatever reason, the defense hasn’t gotten the credit it deserves,” Leipold said. “Everyone thought the defense would struggle this year without (All-American) Ryan Kleppe, but we’ve gotten a good collective effort all year.
“Brian’s done a great job with the defense. They take a backseat to the offense as far as recognition, but they continue to get the job done.”
The Warhawks, back-to-back DIII runners-up, will finish the regular season at home Saturday against UW-Platteville (2-7, 1-5). Leipold said the conference title is noteworthy, but another long tournament run is the ultimate goal.
“These kids have raised the bar with this program, so there wasn’t a lot of celebrating today,” Leipold said. “Winning conference was one of our goals, but there are many others.
“We’ve got a lot of work ahead of us and I think they understand that.”
UW-WHITEWATER 26, UW-STOUT 10
First downs 16 13
Rushes-yards 55-301 24-43
Yards passing 128 155
Passes 24-9-2 44-15-2
Return yards 84 132
Punts-avg. 7-30.9 8-41.8
Fumbles-lost 1-1 4-4
Penalties-yards 4-40 6-44
Time of poss. 37:04 22:56
UW-Whitewater 10 10 3 3—26
UW-Stout 7 3 0 0—10
WW—Jeff Schebler, 32 field goal, 6:36.
WW—Justin Beaver, 63 run (Jeff Schebler kick), 4:32.
ST—Shawn Korth, 11 pass from Tanner Kattre (Kyle Martin kick), 1:20.
WW—Aaron Rusch, 16 pass from Danny Jones (Schebler kick), 14:56.
ST—Brandon Raciborski, 43 field goal, 8:00.
WW—Jeff Schebler, 35 field goal, 2:33.
WW—Jeff Schebler, 22 field goal, :19.
WW—Jeff Schebler, 29 field goal, 2:41.
RUSHING—UW-Whitewater: Justin Beaver 44-248, Jake Anderson 3-42, Danny Jones 7-13, Team 1/-2. UW-Stout: Kyle Provos 5-25, Andy Reese 7-17, Tanner Kattre 12-1.
PASSING—UW-Whitewater: Danny Jones 9-24-2. UW-Stout: Tanner Kattre 12-35-0, Kyle Provos 3-8-2, Ryan Stanton 0-1-0.
RECEIVING—UW-Whitewater: Aaron Rusch 4-103, Nick Slupski 2-18, Adam Brandes 1-7, Neil Mrkvicka 1-3, Justin Beaver 1/-3. UW-Stout: Shawn Korth 4-46, Calvin White 4-45, Eric Cieslak 2-26, Tanner Kattre 2-3, Patrick Mengelkoch 1-18, Ryan Stanton 1-11, Chase Unbehaun 1-6.