Pointers next in line for Whitewater
The Warhawks, thanks to a Eric Kindler’s 17-yard field goal with 1:18 left to play, rallied for a 20-17 WIAC win. The three-point winning margin was the smallest in Whitewater’s current 37-game winning streak—the nation’s longest in any NCAA Division.
UW-Stevens Point hopes to return the favor Saturday as Whitewater welcomes the Pointers in as part of its homecoming weekend. Kickoff is set for 1 p.m. at Perkins Stadium.
Two-time NCAA Division III defending champion and top-ranked Whitewater trailed 17-10 at half against Oshkosh but kept the Titans off the scoreboard in the second half in rallying for its 21st straight conference win.
“We thought it was going to be a close, physical game against Oshkosh, and that’s exactly what we got,” Whitewater coach Lance Leipold said. “We haven’t had one of those games in awhile where the circumstances were such that we lost four starters (to injury) in the first half.
“That’s why it was so positive to see some players step up and play well for us. That was some unknown territory for us, but I’m proud of the adjustment our coaches made at half.”
Although the Warhawks struggled, at times, against the Titans, tailback Levell Coppage continues to build on his impressive resume. The senior finished with 131 yards to become the NCAA Division III all-time leader in 100+ games with 37. Coppage was tied with Mount Union’s Nate Kmic at 36, while former Warhawk and the school’s all-time leading rusher Justin Beaver had 34.
Beaver’s school and WIAC record of 6,584 career rushing yards will likely fall Saturday. Coppage (6,530) needs 55 yards to break Beaver’s mark.
Stevens Point (4-3, 2-2) won last Saturday on a last-minute touchdown on a quarterback sneak by Mike Beau. Four of Stevens Point’s seven games have been decided by seven points or less.
“I’m hoping our fans don’t get caught up in their (Stevens Point) record because this is a team that is starting to find its stride,” Leipold said. “It took them awhile to find their niche and what they were all about, but they’re getting better each and every week.
“They’re even bigger up front on both sides of the ball than Stout, and good speed on the outside. It’s going to be a challenge for us.”