UW-Whitewater completes unbeaten regular season
UW-Whitewater’s football team has accomplished a lot in Lance Leipold’s three seasons as head coach.
The Warhawks won an NCAA Division III championship in Leipold’s first year in 2007 and have won the Wisconsin Intercollegiate Athletic Conference title all three years.
But Saturday’s 58-21 thrashing of UW-La Crosse capped Whitewater’s first unbeaten regular season under Leipold.
“We’re on a good roll right now,” Leipold said in a classic understatement. “And what I’m most pleased with is how we go about our business. We’re not arrogant or cocky, we’re just playing good hard-nosed football.
“The key today was coming out strong from the start and not letting up. We squandered a couple of scoring chances early, but we came out to start both halves with a scoring drive.”
Whitewater (10-0) will open up postseason play at home on Saturday.
The 32-team NCAA Division III bracket will be announced at 2 p.m. today on ESPNews.
Defending NCAA Division III champion Mount Union (Ohio) likely will earn the No. 1 seed. The Warhawks are in line for the No. 2 seed.
The Warhawks had 594 yards of total offense against the Eagles. Whitewater quarterback Jeff Donovan threw for 259 yards and three touchdowns, while tailback Levell Coppage rushed for 144 yards and two touchdowns.
Coppage has 24 touchdowns this season, which ties him for first in the Warhawk record book with Justin Beaver.
The sophomore also broke Beaver’s school record of 44 career rushing touchdowns.
Coppage also has rushed for 1,434 yards.
Whitewater led 23-7 at halftime and pushed the lead to 37-7 after three quarters.
“We played very sound on both sides of the ball,” Leipold said. “La Crosse was playing heavy man-to-man defensively, and that allowed Jeff to take some shots deep.
“And it was good to get Antwan (Anderson) 18 carries. We’re going to need him in the playoffs.”
WHITEWATER 58, LA CROSSE 21
First downs 21 17
Rushes-yards 40-313 32-98
Yards passing 281 190
Passes 24-14-0 35-21-2
Return yards 102 234
Punts-avg. 2-40.0 5-32.0
Fumbles-lost 1-1 2-1
Penalties-yards 2-25 5-41
Time of poss. 28:03 31:57
Whitewater 14 9 14 21—58
La Crosse 0 7 0 14—21
W—Jordan Wells, 4 pass from Jeff Donovan (Jeff Schebler kick), 9:22. W—Wells, 61 pass from Donovan (Schebler kick), 6:09.
LC—Lee Lauters, 1 run (Dylan Rude kick), 12:37. W—Adam Brandes, 4 pass from Donovan (Schebler kick), 8:23. W—Safety, punt blocked out of bounds.
W—Levell Coppage, 2 run (Schebler kick), 3:38. W—Coppage, 4 run (Schebler kick), 1:17.
W—Antwan Anderson, 3 run (Schebler kick), 13:48. W—Anderson, 5 run (Schebler kick), 10:09. LC—Brock Larson, 1 run (Rude kick), 8:18. W—CJ Miller, 8 run (Schebler kick), 4:43. LC—Nate Ward, 9 pass from Dan Trussoni (Rude kick), 1:28.
RUSHING—Whitewater: Coppage 15-144, C.J. Miller 4-76, Antwan Anderson 18-69, Matt Blanchard 3-16. La Crosse: Larson 9-62, Lauters 18-28, Trussoni 2-6, Church 3-2.
PASSING—Whitewater: Donovan 22-13-0, Blanchard 2-1-0. La Crosse: Anker 27-17-2, Trussoni 8-4-0.
RECEIVING—Whitewater: Brandes 4-98, Wells 3-78, Coppage 2-49, Rusch 2-16, Ford 1-22, Anderson 1-11. La Crosse: Bordeau 7-43, Keeney 4-77, Maxinoski 3-29, Steffen 3-16, Sellers 2-6, Slovensky 1-10.