Whitewater Warhawks host Albion in opener
The road to Salem, Va., starts Saturday for UW-Whitewater’s football team.
The two-time defending champion and top-ranked Warhawks (10-0) host Albion College (6-4) in the opening-round of the NCAA Division III tournament. Salem is the site of the Amos Alonzo Stagg Bowl, which Whitewater has played in the last six years. Saturday’s kickoff at Perkins Stadium is scheduled for noon.
Whitewater coach Lance Leipold said the intensity level has been turned up.
“There’s a new sense of urgency, especially from the seniors,” Leipold said. “That’s the first thing the coaches talked about during practice this week. Everything is very business-like, which it should be.
“Records and rankings don’t mean much now.”
The Warhawks enter the postseason on an incredible roll. Whitewater has won 40 straight, the best streak at any level of any NCAA Division. The Warhawks have won 26 in a row at Perkins Stadium and 10 straight postseason games.
Levell Coppage, the WIAC Player of the Year, leads a balanced Warhawk attack. The senior tailback and WIAC’s all-time leading rusher is averaging 140.6 yards per game this season and 5.86 yards per carry. Coppage’s career rushing total of 7,080 yards is the third highest in the history of Division III football.
Albion counters with a tailback Clinton Orr, the school’s all-time leading rusher with 3,163 yards and is averaging 111.1 yards per game this season.
“Orr’s got good speed and quickness, and the ability to make guys miss,” Leipold said. “Our No. 1 goal for Saturday is to take away their running game.
“In talking to our defensive coordinatior Brian Borland, he thinks all of their (Albion) skill players would be good in our conference.”