No. 2 Warhawks go big in second half, roll past Belhaven 59-13 - WKOW 27: Madison, WI Breaking News, Weather and Sports

No. 2 Warhawks go big in second half, roll past Belhaven 59-13

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WHITEWATER, Wis. (UW-Whitewater Athletics) -- The No. 2 ranked University of Wisconsin-Whitewater football team rushed for 476 yards and forced eight turnovers Saturday in a 59-13 victory over Belhaven (Miss.) in a non-conference affair at Perkins Stadium.

The Warhawks (2-0 overall), who extended their home winning streak to 26 games, turned around a 13-10 deficit in the second quarter with a critical goal line stand and went on to tally 49 more unanswered points.

Sophomore running back Drew Patterson rushed for three touchdowns for the second straight game and finished with 22 carries for 227 yards, the most by a UW-Whitewater running back since Levell Coppage posted 236 yards at UW-Eau Claire on Nov. 5, 2011.

Sophomore running back Jarrod Ware added 21 carries for 169 yards and a first-quarter touchdown for UW-Whitewater. Sophomore wide receiver Manny Jones led the receiving corps with three receptions for 110 yards.

The Warhawks piled up 673 yards of total offense, the most since a school-record effort of 706 yards against UW-Platteville in 2005. The team’s rushing output was the most in one game in at least a decade.

Junior defensive back Jake Gierlak totaled seven tackles to lead the UW-Whitewater defense, which forced two fumbles and had six interceptions.

UW-Whitewater fell behind 13-7 at the 12:14 mark of the second quarter. The team committed four turnovers in the first half, the most in a game since the 2010 Stagg Bowl national championship game, when it made four in a 13-10 win over Mount Union (Ohio).

A 43-yard field goal by sophomore kicker Ben Franzen cut the Warhawks’ deficit in half with 8:45 left in the quarter.

Three possessions later, the Blazers (1-1) drove and had a first-and-goal from the UW-Whitewater 1-yard line.

On third and goal, senior defensive back Colin Buck punched the ball out of quarterback Hunter McEachern’s hands, and junior linebacker Matt Seitz recovered the ball in the end zone for a touchback.

Four plays later, Patterson broke through the line and sprinted 54 yards for a touchdown to give the Warhawks the lead for good at17-13 with 3:17 to play in the half.

UW-Whitewater took the opening kickoff of the second half and drove 71 yards in nine plays. After a 22-yard pass-and-catch from senior quarterback Chris Nelson to senior tight end Brent Campbell, Patterson ran 23 yards for the score and a 24-13 Warhawk lead with 10:43 left in the third quarter.

Patterson found the end zone for the third time with a 17-yard scoring run at the 13:34 mark of the fourth quarter to make it 31-13, and Buck picked off McEachern and ran it back 79 yards to the end zone to give UW-Whitewater a 38-13 advantage with 11:49 to play.

Freshman running back Cam Maly scored two touchdowns in the period, and sophomore running back Ronny Ponick capped the scoring with an 18-yard run at the 5:56 mark.

After a bye week, the Warhawks return to action on Saturday, Sept. 24, against NAIA No. 3 Morningside (Iowa) on Hall of Fame Day and Alumni Day at Perkins Stadium. Kickoff is slated for 1 p.m.

Last season, UW-Whitewater scored a touchdown in the final minute of regulation to defeat host Morningside 33-30 in a thrilling contest.

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