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Green Bay Packers running back AJ Dillon celebrates with fans after rushing for a touchdown during the second half against the Seattle Seahawks in Green Bay on Sunday. Green Bay defeated Seattle, 17-0.

STEVENS POINT

The No. 3 ranked UW-Whitewater football team rushed for a season-high 372 yards and totaled 599 yards of offense Saturday to close the regular season with a 56-10 victory at UW-Stevens Point in a Wisconsin Intercollegiate Athletic Conference game.

With the win, the Warhawks (10-0 overall, 7-0 WIAC) clinched the WIAC championship outright one week after punching their ticket to the playoffs, which begin next Saturday.

UW-W learned its first-round opponent during the NCAA DIII selection show Sunday afternoon. The Warhawks will host 8-2 Greenville (Ill.)at noon Saturday at Perkins Stadium.

The Panthers are champions of the Upper Midwest Athletic Conference. Greenville is in downstate Illinois, about 51 miles east of St. Louis.

UW-Whitewater head coach Kevin Bullis liked how his team finished the 2021 regular season Saturday at Stevens Point, but said his team has some things to work on in practice this week.

“We had some mistakes on special teams,” Bullis said. Those mistakes, Bullis added, included a fumbled kick and a long kick return given up to the Pointers.

“We’re in our second season now,” Bullis said. “We need to clean those things up.”

Alex Peete (Ringwood, Illinois/Johnsburg) posted 10 carries for 131 yards and two touchdowns, while Max Meylor (Mt. Horeb/Mt. Horeb) passed for 195 yards and three scores. Jaylon Edmonson (Racine/Case) ran for 121 yards and one touchdown, Ryan Wisniewski (Sparta/Sparta) tallied six receptions for 69 yards and one touchdown, and Derek Kumerow (Bartlett, Illinois/South Elgin) caught five passes for 72 yards and one score.

Nate Tyley (Delafield/Kettle Moraine) paced the defense with five tackles, including one for a loss. Hawk Heffner (Grafton/Grafton) and Kyle Koelblinger (Crystal Lake, Illinois/Prairie Ridge) registered four tackles apiece.

After the Pointers (2-8, 0-7) kicked a field goal on their first drive of the game, Peete took a handoff from Meylor on the second offensive play from scrimmage and ran 67 yards for a touchdown to give UW-W a 7-3 lead with 11:53 to play in the first quarter.

Egon Hein (St. Charles, Ill./North) helped preserve the Warhawks’ lead with an interception on the first play of the next drive following a 57-yard kickoff return into UW-W territory by UW-Stevens Point.

Kumerow scored on a 2-yard rushing touchdown on the first play of the second quarter to cap an 11-play, 70-yard drive by the Warhawks for a 14-3 advantage.

After a Pointer punt, UW-Whitewater drove 69 yards on 13 plays, including a third-and-16 conversion on a 24-yards pass from Meylor to Wisniewski and a fourth-and-1 conversion, as Peete made it 21-3 with 4:39 remaining on a 1-yard touchdown run.

The Warhawks closed the half with an eight-play, 80-yard drive in just under two minutes to take a 28-3 lead into halftime. Meylor hit Wisniewski for a 7-yard score with just 11 seconds left in the period.

UW-Stevens Point cut its deficit to 28-10 on the opening drive of the second half, but UW-Whitewater responded following Edmonson’s 50-yard kickoff return. Meylor hit Kumerow for a 25-yard touchdown to bring the lead back to 25 points with 10:08 on the clock in the third.

Following a three-and-out, Peete’s 45-yard run set up a 4-yard touchdown pass from Meylor to Michael Berentes (Rock Falls, Ill./Rock Falls) with 6:49 to play in the quarter. The Warhawks made it 49-10 on the next drive as Edmonson scampered 97 yards, the team’s longest play from scrimmage of the season, for a touchdown following a defensive stand from the 2-yard line.

Evan Lewandowski (Buffalo Grove, Ill./Lake Zurich), who entered the game at quarterback for Meylor late in the third quarter, led UW-Whitewater on a nine-play, 48-yard drive capped on a 1-yard touchdown run by Preston Strasburg (Fort Atkinson, Wis./Fort Atkinson) with 3:45 remaining in the contest.

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