UW-Whitewater will host Monmouth College (Illinois) in the first round of the NCAA Division III football playoffs at noon Saturday at Perkins Stadium.

The Warhawks were announced as one of five teams to earn at-large bids into the playoffs. UW-Whitewater (9-1) closed the season in a tie with UW-Oshkosh for the WIAC championship after losing, 27-20, to the Titans in the final game of the regular season. Oshkosh received the league’s automatic bid into the tournament as a results

Monmouth (7-2) earned an automatic bid by winning the Midwest Conference title after it defeated St. Norbert, 10-7, Saturday. Freshman Carter Boyer came off the bench to lead a five-play, 89-yard drive in 53 seconds which ended with a touchdown pass to sophomore receiver Jake Uryasz with 2 seconds remaining.

The automatic bid ensured the Fighting Scots their spot in the Division III playoffs for the third time in the five-year career of Chad Braun.

This is the fourth time in the five years Kevin Bullis has been head coach that the Warhawks are in the playoffs. UW-Whitewater has made it to the semifinals twice (2015, 2018) and to the quarterfinals once (2016). The Warhawks missed the playoffs in 2017.

The last time the Warhawks were an at-large bid was 2008 when they split the WIAC championship with UW-Stevens Point and earned a No. 5 seed. UW-Whitewater lost to Mount Union, 31-26, that season in the Stagg Bowl.

The last time the Warhawks made the playoffs but were not the No. 1 seed was in 2010 when they had a 10-0 record but were given a No. 2 seed. They defeated Mount Union, 31-21, in the Stagg Bowl to claim the third national title in four years.

UW-Whitewater hasn’t won a national title since 2014.