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Warhawks pull away from Falcons

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Gazette Staff
October 11, 2008
— While Michael Zweifel piled up the yards for UW-River Falls on Saturday, UW-Whitewater piled up the points.

The Warhawks erupted for 21 points in the fourth quarter en route to a 52-24 Wisconsin Intercollegiate Conference win over the Falcons.


The defending national champion and second-ranked Warhawks improved to 5-0 overall and 3-0 in the WIAC. Whitewater has now won 24 straight conference games.


“Even though we’re young, we continue to gain confidence,” Whitewater coach Lance Leipold said. “With the margin of victory today and the fact that we played on the road, I just wish we were a little bit more enthused about the victory.”


Zweifel, a Whitewater High graduate, caught 12 passes for 152 yards and a touchdown. The sophomore and last week’s WIAC Player-of-the-Week impressed Leipold.


“Michael’s an excellent receiver at this level,” Leipold said. “He uses his body very well, and because he is so athletic, he’s capable of making plays at any time.


“He’s going to be very tough to contain in this league for the next 22 years. We had what I thought was good coverage on him a couple of times today, and he still went up and made the catch.”


Whitewater got another terrific outing from Levell Coppage. The freshman rushed for 181 yards on 27 carries and scored four touchdowns. Coppage’s 8-yard touchdown run with 3:04 left in the first quarter gave the Warhawks the lead for good at 14-7.


The Warhawks led 24-14 at halftime, but the Falcons got a 40-yard field goal from Jesse Finer early in the third to cut the lead to 24-17. Whitewater answered with 14 straight points on two Coppage touchdown runs to take control, 38-17.


“Levell’s playing well right now,” Leipold said. “He’s seeing the field well and making people miss.


“He’s got a good understanding of what we’re doing, and we’ve been able to limit his carries in the fourth quarter.”


Coppage has scored 12 touchdowns. That ties him for ninth in school history for touchdowns in a season. He improved his average yards per game to 149.4.


Whitewater quarterback Jeff Donovan was efficient once again running the offense. Donovan completed 17-of-24 passes for 181 yards and a touchdown and did not throw an interception.


UW-Whitewater has won 24 consecutive games in conference play.


The Warhawks play at UW-Oshkosh next Saturday, before returning to Perkins Stadium for three straight home games.


WHITEWATER 52, RIVER FALLS 24


TEAM STATISTICS


Whi R. Falls


First downs 338 20


Total net yards 592 370


Rushes-yards 51-411 28-52


Yards passing 181 288


Punt returns 3-1 0-0


Kickoff returns 5-136 8-143


Int. returns 0-0 0-0


Passes 25-17-0 39-22-0


Sacked-yards lost 1-3 4-18


Punts 2-34.0 4-36.0


Fumbles-lost 0-0 0-0


Penalties-yards 5-65 2-20


Time of possession 32:20 27:40


SCORING SUMMARY


UW-Whitewater 14 10 7 21—52


UW-River Falls 7 7 3 7—24


First Quarter


RF—Ryan Hansen, 37 pass from Storm Harmon (Jesse Finer kick), 10:46. W—Levell Coppage, 5 run (Jeff Schebler kick), 8:20. W—Coppage, 8 run (Schebler kick), 3:04.


Second Quarter


W—Nick Slupski, 11 pass from Jeff Donovan (Schebler kick), 7:24. RF—M. Woodward, 4 pass from Harmon (Finer kick), 2:25. W—FG, Schebler, 18.


Third Quarter


RF—FG, Finer, 40, 9:48. W—Coppage, 6 run (Schebler kick), 3:38.


Fourth Quarter


W—Coppage, 1 run (Schebler kick), 13:42. RF—Michael Zweifel, 25 pass from Harmon (Finer kick), 9:28. W—Antwan Anderson, 25 run (Schebler kick), 5:57. W—Jake Anderson, 50 run (Schebler kick), :31.


INDIVIDUAL STATISTICS


RUSHING: Whitewater—Coppage 27-181, Anderson 8-88, Donovan 10-67, Anderson 2-53, Spaulding 3-23, Taylor 1-6. River Falls—Pollock 10-53, Harmon 10-42, Klingelhutz 3-6, Yogerst 1-1.


PASSING: Whitewater—Donovan 24-17-0, Langer 1-0-0. River Falls—Harmon 39-23-0.


RECEIVING: Whitewater—Rusch 7-68,k Slupaski 6-63, Robinson 1-20, Novak 1-12, Brandes 1-12, Coppage 1-6. River Falls—Zweifel 12-152, Hansen 3-45, Woodward 3-29, Bratcher 2-43, Houlton 1-12, Thorseon 1-5, Pollock 1-4.


MISSED FIELD GOALS—None.


Attendance—1,800.



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