UW-Whitewater defeats UW-La Crosse 38-7 to open WIAC - WKOW 27: Madison, WI Breaking News, Weather and Sports

UW-Whitewater defeats UW-La Crosse 38-7 to open WIAC

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WHITEWATER, Wis. -- Eight different ball carriers combined for 326 rushing yards in the University of Wisconsin-Whitewater's 38-7 win over the University of Wisconsin-La Crosse in the Wisconsin Intercollegiate Athletic Conference opener Saturday at Perkins Stadium in Whitewater. The Warhawks improve to 4-0 overall while the Eagles drop to 1-3.

The Eagles won the toss but elected to defer so the Warhawks started the game with the ball. Nick Patterson(Sussex/Hamilton) carried the ball six times on the ten-play drive including a one-yard touchdown run to give UW-Whitewater a 6-0 lead. Will Meyer(Sheboygan Falls, Wis./Sheboygan Falls) tacked on the extra point to make it 7-0.

After a healthy kickoff return the Eagles stalled after four plays and were forced to punt. UW-La Crosse pinned the Warhawks down at their own one-yard line.

Several rushes later the Warhawks were out of the shadow of their own end zone. The Warhawks continued to move the ball including two Matt Behrendt (Westchester, IL/Nazareth Academy)tosses for 10 yards and 19 yards to reach midfield. After a Ryan Givens (Milwaukee/Milwaukee Riverside) carry that gained three yards, Behrendt went to the air, connecting with three different receivers on the next three plays to get down to the La Crosse 17. Givens carried for seven yards on the next play and Behrendt followed with an 8 yard scramble before Patterson punched it in from the two to give UW-Whitewater a 13-0 lead. Meyer added the extra point to give the Warhawks a 14-0 lead with 1:55 to go in the quarter.

Eagle quarterback Trent Cummings connected with Tony Bilderback for 17 yards to open their drive. After a six yard rush by Ben Hertrampf, the Warhawk offense buckled down and forced incompletions on Cummings' next two pass attempts. A 36 yard punt and two yard return gave UW-Whitewater the ball on their own 28 yard line with 41 seconds left in the half.

Givens went up the middle for five yards to the quarter. The Warhawks controlled the ball in the first quarter with a time of possession of 10:49 including 11 first downs and a perfect 4-4 on third down conversions.

Behrendt found Logan Solano (Dousman/Kettle Moraine) for 14 yards to open the second quarter. Later in the drive, a 21 yard pass play from Behrendt to Joe Worth (Hartford/Hartford Union) was called back due to penalty and faced with a fourth and 23, the Warhawks punted for the first time in the game.

UW-Whitewater's defense allowed less than 20 yards in 3:39 in the Eagles' next possession to get the ball back courtesy of a La Crosse punt.

On the opening play of the drive, Behrendt went for the long ball connecting with Justin Howard(West Bend/Homestead) for 52 yards to bring the Warhawks to the UW-L 28 yard line. Five plays later, Behrendt found Jake Kumerow (Bartlett, IL/South Elgin) in the endzone from four yards out for the score at 7:27. Meyer's PAT made it 21-0.

UW-Whitewater forced a three-and-out on La Crosse's ensuing possession tagging the Eagles for minus four yards in the drive that last less than two minutes. A 33-yard punt was fair caught by Howard at the Warhawks' 25 yard line.

UW-Whitewater drove 70 yards in 11 plays capped by a Meyer field goal from 22 yards out to take a 24-0 lead heading into the locker rooms at the half.

On the fourth drive of the second half, the Warhawks added to their total. Dennis Moore (Elgin, IL/Elgin) and Jordan Ratliffe (Milwaukee/Milwaukee Vincent) carried the ball six times on the drive totaling 31 yards. Behrendt completed four passes, two to Howard for 18 yards, and two to Kumerow including the three yard scoring strike. Once again, Meyer tacked on the extra point and the Warhawk lead ballooned to 31-0.

The UW-Whitewater defense held their ground forcing another three-and-out to give the ball back to the rolling offense. Ratliffe rushed for four yards to start the drive for the last play of the third quarter.

Similar to the first quarter, the Warhawks dominated the time of possession holding the ball for 11:56 in the quarter.

The first four plays of the fourth quarter stayed on the ground with Ratliffe highlighting the drive with a 27 yard scamper. Behrendt put the finishing touches on the drive for the Warhawks with a completion to Ratliffe for five yards, then to Coleton Hrgich (Wheaton, IL/Wheaton North) for seven yards and finally to Kumerow from 17 yards out for the touchdown. After Meyer's kick UW-Whitewater led 38-0.

The Eagles went to the air on their next possession. Cummings completed seven of nine pass attempts taking La Crosse 53 yards in nine plays capped by a six yard scoring strike to Bilderback to put the Eagles on the board with the score 38-7.

UW-Whitewater held La Crosse to minus six yards in their final possession of the game and ran out the final 6:04 on the clock to seal the win.

The Warhawks recorded 32 first downs in the game totaling 619 yards including 315 on the ground. The Eagles notched seven first downs, 155 yards and just 11 from the run game.

Behrendt was 23-27 with 300 yards and three touchdowns in the game. Kumerow caught 10 Behrendt passes for 143 and three touchdowns, tying his career high.

Ratliffe registered nine rushes for 76 yards, an average of 8.4 per carry, and Patterson added 61 yards on 12 carries with two touchdowns.

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