Warhawks forced to battle back to keep streak alive - WKOW 27: Madison, WI Breaking News, Weather and Sports

Warhawks forced to battle back to keep streak alive

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SIOUX CITY, Iowa (UW-Whitewater) -– The No. 1 University of Wisconsin-Whitewater football team extended its college football best win streak to 35 games in comeback fashion Thursday night, defeating NAIA No. 1 Morningside 33-30 in a non-conference affair at rainy Elwood Olsen Stadium.

Trailing 30-26 with 4:19 to play, the Warhawks (3-0 overall) drove 75 yards in eight plays, taking the lead for good on a six-yard touchdown run by senior running back Jordan Ratliffe with 38 seconds to play.

UW-Whitewater held the Mustangs (3-1) on the final drive of the game as time ran out with Morningside driving in Warhawks territory.

Ratliffe tallied career highs in carries (30) and yards (193) while posting two touchdowns to lead UW-Whitewater, which totaled 423yards of total offense, including 205 on the ground.

Junior quarterback Chris Nelson completed 14-of-24 passes for 218 yards, including 3-of-4 for 57 yards on the Warhawks’ final offensive drive.

Sophomore defensive back Vince Mason led the defense with 11 tackles, while senior defensive back Ryan Winske and junior linebacker PaulFoster added seven stops apiece.

Junior defensive lineman Brandon Tamsett contributed six tackles, including a key sack in the third quarter, and junior defensive lineman Tim Regan registered five tackles, including 3.5 for a loss.

On fourth down of the Mustangs’ first offensive drive, a bad snap led to a partially blocked punt. Sophomore JD Marconi picked up the loose ball and was tackled at the Morningside 9-yard line.

Two plays later, Nelson scrambled to the right and beat a defender to the right pile-on for a five-yard touchdown run to put the Warhawks ahead 7-0 with 8:22 left in the first quarter.

Later in the first, junior linebacker Paul Foster recovered a fumble at the Morningside 24-yard line. Two plays into the second quarter, freshman kicker Ben Franzen converted a 22-yard field goal to make it 10-0 at the 14:51 mark.

Following a scoring drive by the Mustangs, sophomore tight end Tony Gumina caught a pass that deflected off a defender and rumbled 54 yards into the end zone. The extra point was blocked, and UW-Whitewater held a 16-7 advantage with 10:37 left in the period.

Morningside converted a touchdown with 4:40 on the clock off a turnover, and the Warhawks took a 16-14 lead into the locker room.

After a Mustangs punt on the opening drive of the second half, junior punter/kicker Lake Bachar knocked through a 44-yard field goal to extend the UW-Whitewater lead to five points with 5:08 left in the third quarter.

Following another Morningside punt, Ratliffe finished a five-play drive with a three-yard touchdown run. Nelson’s 19-yard pass to senior wide receiver Joe Worth keyed the scoring drive that put the Warhawks ahead 26-14 with two minutes left in the quarter.

The Mustangs scored 16 unanswered points before UW-Whitewater’s final scoring drive.

UW-Whitewater opens Wisconsin Intercollegiate Athletic Conference play next Saturday, Oct. 3, against No. 17 UW-Platteville. Kickoff is slated for 1 p.m. on Family/Alumni Day at Perkins Stadium.

As part of Alumni Day, six of the Warhawks’ WIAC championship teams will be recognized at halftime on special anniversaries of their titles. A special presentation honoring former head coach Forrest Perkins, who passed away last December, will also take place at that time. Family Fest activities begin at 9 a.m.

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