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Warhawks retain Miner's Pick with 17-7 Victory
On first down, the Warhawks ran 19 times and passed four. The four passes included one incompletion and completions of 33, 17, and 7 yards.
Don’t Bend, Don’t Break
Not including their end-of half/game possessions, the Pioneers engineered drives of 20 yards or greater only four times in 12 possessions. For the first 55 minutes of the game, their 58 yard 2nd quarter TD drive was their only drive over 40 yards.
The Pioneers longest drive was their last meaningful possession in which they battled both the Warhawks and the clock. They took over at their own 32 with 4:52 remaining in the game and down by 10 points. They drove 61 yards to the Whitewater 7 for a FG attempt. But they took 3:28 off the clock. When the field goal veered left, the game was essentially over.
For the Warhawks’ part, they too only had two possessions over 40 yards in this defensive struggle. The Warhawks drives of 80 and 62 yards occurred in their last two possessions of the first half.
Little at a Time
The Warhawks’ 4.7 yards per play was their lowest since 10/25/14 when they averaged 4.5 in a 24-7 victory over UW-Oshkosh.
The Warhawks’ defense allowed only 3.2 yards per play, the lowest total they have held a WIAC opponent to since holding UW-Eau Claire to 2.4 yards per play on 10/18/14.
The Warhawks’ six QB sacks were the most by a UW-W team since sacking the QB seven times against The College of New Jersey on 9/19/14.
Carrying the Load
Jordan Ratliffe became the first player since Levell Coppage in the 2011 Stagg Bowl to have 30 or more rushing attempts in two consecutive games.
Behind the Line
Brandon Tamsett continues to be a terror on the inside of the Warhawk defensive line. With his 2.5 tackles for loss and one sack on Saturday, Tamsett leads the team in both categories (3.0 sacks and 5.0 tackles for loss).
Paul Foster took the team lead in total tackles (21) with 10 on Saturday. The junior linebacker added a sack and 1.5 tackles for loss in the win over the Pioneers.
No Returns Allowed
All four of Lake Bachar’s kickoffs were touchbacks on Saturday. For the season, Bachar has registered an impressive 19 touchbacks in 27 kickoffs.
Warhawks Crank it Up!
UW-W prepares for Conference Opener against Platteville
The non-conference games have concluded. Now it is time for the real tests to begin- WIAC style. The Warhawks open up the conference portion of their schedule on Saturday as they host the UW-Platteville Pioneers at 1:00 PM at Perkins Stadium. The Warhawks (3-0) and the Pioneers (3-0) were predicted to finish first and second respectively in a pre-season poll of WIAC coaches and sports information directors.
The Pioneers, coming off of a bye-week, started the season with victories over Buena Vista (49-13), Dubuque (31-7), and North Central (35-28). Platteville is currently ranked #14 in the nation by the D3football.com Top 25 Poll.
Platteville comes into Saturday’s contest riding the arm of QB Tom Kelly. Kelly has completed 65.8% of his passes for 908 yards and nine touchdowns in three games. Kelly ranks 47th in the nation in passing efficiency (155.2) and 32nd in passing yards. Justin Johnson is the leading rusher for the Pioneers averaging 62.7 yards per game and 4.3 yards per carry. Ryan Fish averages 34.3 yards per game and 6.1 yards per carry. Kelly spreads the ball around, primarily to Dan Arnold (17 receptions), Mitch Munda (16), Patrick Sheehan (16), and Russell Martin (13). Arnold leads the Pioneers with three touchdowns and Martin leads in yards per catch at 16.7.
Coach Kevin Bullis described the challenge facing the Pioneers offense. “When you compete against Mike (Platteville Coach Mike Emendorfer), it is always a chess match. He is going to adjust and then he is going to make us adjust. The key thing is keeping it simple for our players. Against Platteville, we need to keep it simple because of that passing attack,” Bullis emphasized. The first year head coach feels his team benefited from the pre-season slate. “
The Belhaven and Morninside games were really good preparation for us coming into this. Especially with Belhaven being a true spread offense. What they run at Platteville is a true spread offense. They run the ball more than Belhaven. It will be exciting for us to see how we perform.”
The Pioneers boast extremely tall receivers with the top four receivers ranging from 6’3” to 6’6” tall. While UW-W defensive backs need to be aware of the height issue, Bullis explained that it would not force any schematic changes. “The big thing is they have to come down with the ball. We work hard with our guys working that ball out as they come down. That is something (Whitewater Defensive Coordinator Rob Erickson) Coach Erickson works very hard on every week. That becomes a little more important this week,” Bullis responded when asked about playing against taller receivers.
While the Pioneers gain 70% of their yardage through the air, the Warhawks gain 2/3 of their yardage on the ground. Jordan Ratliffe is the Warhawks’ leading rusher with 354 yards (7.9 YPC), Nick Patterson has added 141 yards (6.1 YPC). Quarterback Chris Nelson has completed 62% of his passes for 339 yards and 3 TD’s. Joe Worth leads the Warhawk receivers with 11 catches for 141 yards and a TD.
Along with huge WIAC implications, this game is also the 21st annual George Chryst Memorial Bowl. The winner annually receives possession of the Miner’s Pick, the rivalry game's trophy. Coach Chryst had coached at Platteville for 14 years when he died suddenly in 1992. Coach Chryst was a man of impeccable integrity who sought to make a difference in the young men he coached. According to an article dated December 4, 1992 in the Wisconsin State Journal, “Chryst once told a reporter that ‘after my players go out in the real world, I want them to feel like I've helped out in a small way.’ ''
Helping the players understand the history and traditions of the WIAC and UW-Whitewater is important to Bullis. “We traditionally address that in our Friday afternoon meeting. We will talk about the Pick and we will talk about Coach Chryst. I got the privilege of meeting Coach Chryst. I know he and Coach Berezowitz had a very close relationship with. That’s the kind of guy Coach Chryst was, he seemed to have good relationships with everyone. It really is a great tradition and we will teach the younger guys and remind the older guys on Friday night what that’s all about,” Bullis said.
While the relationships formed beyond the competition are important, they do not take away from the intensity of the rivalry or the importance of Saturday’s football game. “There’s no doubt the familiarity with one another and the rivalry do amp up the level of competition. When you get into the conference season, the level of intensity comes up.
And preparing for WIAC opponents the level of intensity at practice comes up and his has again this week without question,” Bullis emphasized.
2015 Warhawk Football Captains
Joe Worth Ryan Winske
2015 Captain 2015 Captain
Conner Peters Zach Franz
2015 Captain 2015 Captain
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