WARHAWKS GRAB ROAD WIN AT POINT 35-27
NOTES AND OBSERVATIONS
UW-W scored on drives of 75, 76, and 55 yards to jump out to a 21-0 lead. Meanwhile, the defense held the Pointers scoreless until giving up a touchdown with 4:31 remaining in the half. Quarterback Chris Nelson completed his first eight passes. With the fast start, the Warhawks created a mountain the Pointers were unable to climb. Stevens Point never trailed by less than eight points the last 46 minutes, 36 seconds of the game.
For the second consecutive week, the Warhawks struggled just before and after halftime. Last week, LaCrosse put together long scoring drives to end the first half and to start the second half. This week, the Hawks gave up 10 points in the final four and a half minutes of the first half. Stevens Point also put together a 70 yard drive to start the second half before settling for a field goal to open the third quarter.
After scoring their fourth touchdown of the first half, the Warhawks went on an extended offensive drought. When combining UW-W’s final drive of the first half with the first five drives of the second half, the Warhawks were scoreless on six consecutive drives with a combined total of only 52 yards. The drives ended with two lost fumbles and four punts. The stretch allowed the Pointers to narrow the Warhawk lead to 28-20. However, the Warhawk offense put together a five play 62 yard fourth quarter drive to give the Hawks what turned out to be an insurmountable 35-20 lead.
Fourth Quarter Defensive Ups and Downs
The Warhawks gave up scoring drives of 76 and 52 yards in the fourth quarter on Saturday. However, the Hawks also picked off three passes in the fourth quarter, including Ryan Winske’s game sealing pick with 28 seconds remaining.
Most Important Play of the Game
While it’s rare that a game’s most important play would be on a first possession, Justin Dischler’s interception ending the Pointers’ initial possession may have been just that. UW-W opened the game with a 75 yard TD drive to start the game. The Pointers had driven 69 yards to the Whitewater 9 in their attempt to answer. Point faced a 3rd down and four and attempted a Rocket Screen to their left side. Safety Ryan Winske read the play perfectly and drilled the receiver just as he was catching the ball. Winske’s hit knocked the ball loose and Justin Dischler who was hustling to the ball intercepted the pass and returned it to the 24. The Warhawk offense then drove 76 yards increasing the Whitewater lead to 14-0.
Had the Pointers tied the score or even countered with a field goal on their first possession, the early stages of the game could have looked a lot differently. When the game tightened up in the second half, it became obvious that the 21 point hill the Warhawks forced Point to climb was instrumental in the outcome.
The Warhawks scored touchdowns in all four of their trips into the red zone. The Warhawks have now scored in 30 of 34 trips into the red zone (88%), including 24 touchdowns (71%). The Warhawks have scored every time they’ve been in the red zone in WIAC games this year.