Warhawks shut down Edwards in victory at River Falls
The Janesville Parker High School graduate came in averaging 119 yards a game and 5.7 yards per carry.
Mission accomplished for the Warhawks.
Two-time NCAA Division III champion and top-ranked Whitewater held Edwards to one net yard rushing in a 42-14 win, which boosted the Warhawks to 5-0 for the season and 2-0 in the Wisconsin Intercollegiate Athletic Conference.
The victory was Whitewater’s 35th in a row—the longest in any division of the NCAA—the 23rd straight on the road and 19th consecutive conference win.
Whitewater’s Matt Blanchard threw for 277 yards and three touchdowns, but Leipold said defense was the storyline.
“We played very well defensively,” Leipold said. “To hold a back like Edwards, who is such a dynamic player, in check is tough to do.
“Offensively, we did some good things, but we still have some things to clean up.”
Whitewater raced out to a 14-0 lead in the first quarter behind tailback Levell Coppage. The All-American scored on runs of 2 and 37 yards, and finished the game with 74 yards on 14 carries.
Edwards scored on a 3-yard run with 11:32 left in the half to cut the deficit in half, but the Warhawks responded with two scores before the half. Bernie Tamsett caught a 4-yard touchdown pass from Blanchard with 6:13 left, and Tyler Huber hauled in a 45-yard strike with just over a minute left in the half.
Huber and Blanchard hooked up again on the first play of the second half—a 60-yard bomb—that pushed Whitewater’s lead to 35-7.
“We scored on a fourth-and-five late in the first half, and then came out and scored the first play of the second half,” Leipold said. “That was big.
“We’re still trying to find that perfect balance on offense, but I’m happy to come away with a win. It’s never easy to play on the road in this league.”
Whitewater host UW-Stout in a rare Friday night game this week.
WHITEWATER 42, RIVER FALLS 10
First downs 23 12
Rushes-yards 39-157 26-6
Passing 301 157
Comp-Att-Int 24-34-1 24-37-1
Return Yards 67 98
Punts-Avg. 4-37.0 6-32.9
Fumbles-Lost 2-2 0-0
Penalties-Yards 3-35 6-48
Time of Poss. 32:17 27:43
UW-Whitewater 14 14 7 7—42
UW-River Falls 0 7 3 0—10
W—Levell Coppage, 2 run (Eric Kindler kick), 11:08. W—Coppage, 37 run (Kindler kick).
RF—Taylor Edwards, 3 run (Chad Blair kick). W—Bernie Tamsett, 4 pass from Matt Blanchard (Kindler kick). W—Tyler Huber, 45 pass from Blanchard (Kindler kick).
W—Huber, 60 pass from Blanchard (Kindler kick). RF—Field goal, Blair, 46.
W—Desmin Ward, 10 run (Kindler kick).
RUSHING—Whitewater: Coppage 15-74, Ward 11-43, Blanchard 8-25, Brekke 2-11, Stanford 1-4, Huber 1-2. River Falls: Brandt 4-16, Yogerst 3-6, Edwards 13-1, Mills 1-1, Beeskow 1-minus 4, Letourneau 4-minus 14.
PASSING—Whitewater: Blanchard 20-29-1-277, Brekke 4-5-0-24. River Falls: Letourneau 24-37-1-157.
RECEIVING—Whitewater: Huber 8-156, Ford 4-36, Tamsett 4-15, Menzel 3-54, Robinson 2-17, Howard 1-16, Morris 1-7, Covington 1-0. River Falls: Wahlstrom 12-77, Yogerst 3-18, Edwards 3-9, Hannigan 2-27, Brandt 2-13, Solem 1-9, Dixon 1-4.