The UW-Whitewater football team had a pretty tough nonconference slate in 2021, including two ranked teams.
The Warhawks dispatched one of those teams, then-No. 8 Salisbury, on the road Sept. 11, 31-14.
On Saturday afternoon, UW-Whitewater exploded for 30 first-half points before coasting to a 39-7 win over No.25 Berry (Georgia) in front of nearly 9,000 fans at Perkins Stadium.
Warhawk senior quarterback Max Meylor said the Warhawk defense set the tone.
“They really set us up well today,” Meylor said. “They put us in positions where we could score quickly.”
Senior defensive back Mark McGrath credits the big guys up front for much of UW-Whitewater’s defensive success so far. The Warhawks limited Berry to just 62 rushing yards on 29 carries Saturday afternoon—a paltry 2.1 yards per carry.
“It all starts with those guys,” McGrath said.
The Warhawks (3-0) got on the board at the 5:54 mark of the first quarter when Meylor and Tyler Holte connected on a 33-yard TD pass. A failed PAT left the score at 6-0 UW-Whitewater. Whitewat5:54er with 5:38 left in the first quarter.
The Warhawks added a second TD at the 5:54 mark of the second quarter when Meylor and receiver Sam DeLany combined on a 13-yard scoring strike. Kaeper Lupa’s kick made it 13-0 Warhawks.
Lupa added a 24-yard field goal with 2:57 left in the first half. It looked like that might be the halftime score, but UW-Whitewater got two touchdowns in the space of 23 seconds in the final minute of the first half. Both came off Berry fumbles in their own red zone.
So instead of going into the locker room up 16-0, the Warhawks took a 30-0 advantage into halftime.
The Warhawks substituted freely in the second half and added another field goal—this one a 32-yarder by Matthew Maldonado—and another TD on a 1-yard Peete run.
Berry finally cracked the scoreboard with 1:24 left in the contest when Cameron Kawa caught a 20-yard TD pass from Blake Hembree.
UW-Whitewater coach Kevin Bullis was pleased to see his team convert turnovers into points.
“That’s something we’ve not done a very good job of so far,” Bullis said. “Those two plays (at the end of the second quarter) were huge. That’s a good football team over there … They’re very deserving of their ranking.”
On the afternoon, the Warhawks amassed 450 yards in total offense while limiting Berry to just 198.
The Warhawks have a bye this week before beginning WIAC play at home Saturday, Oct. 2 against UW-Stout.
UW-WHITEWATER 39, BERRY (Ga,) 7
W—Tyler Holte 33 pass from Max Maylor (Kick failed), 4:17.
W—Sam DeLany13 pass from Meylor (Kaeper Lupa kick), 5:54
W— FG 24 Lupa, 2:57.
W—Alex Peete 2 run (Lupa kick), :27.
W—Holte 13 pass from Meylor (Lupa kick), :04.
W—Peete 1 run (Kick failed), 3:38.
W—FG 32 Matt Maldonado, 7:57.
B—C. Kawa 20 pass from Blake Hembree (Matthew Syverson kick), 1:24.
First downs—B 12, W 23. Rushes-yards—B 29-62, W 39-193. Passing yards—B 137, W 257. Passes—B 28-15-0, W 29-17-1. Fumbles-lost—B 3-2, W 0-0. Penalties-yards—B 5-51, W 6-55.
Rushing: B—Josh Rogers 9-27; W—Tamir Thomas 2-68. Passing: B—Hembree 17-9-0 90 yards; W—Meylor 26-16-0 256 yards. Receiving: B—Deionde Wilson 6-47; W—Holte 3-68, Wisniewski 6-54, DeLany 3-41.