Warhawks' defense faces test
WHITEWATER UW-Whitewater students attending Saturday's Division III quarterfinal football game between the Warhawks and Salisbury University might want to lobby for one credit in physics.
The question to be answered at the noon game is an old one: "What happens when an unstoppable force meets an immovable object?"
It can be argued the UW-Whitewater is both. The Warhawks have a 42-game winning streak, including 24 in a row at Perkins Stadium, and have won the last two NCAA Division III championships.
But for this class discussion, we'll make Salisbury the unstoppable force.
The Sea Gulls are the No. 1 scoring team in Division III. The Maryland school has averaged 47.5 points a game. Salisbury has averaged 364.8 yards rushing a game, with three backs each averaging more than 5 yards a carry.
Enter the Warhawk defense, which represents the immovable object.
Just ask Franklin, which the Warhawks defeated 41-14 last Saturday at Perkins Stadium. Whitewater held the Grizzlies to just two yards of offense in the second half. Warhawk defenders made 10 tackles behind the line of scrimmage.
Whitewater ranks fifth in DIII, allowing an average of just 11.5 points a game.
The Warhawks (12-0) display a more balanced offense than the Sea Gulls.
Rushing also is the No. 1 threat with Levell Coppage now second all-time in NCAA Division III rushing history. The senior has 7,381 career rushing yards, including 1,706 this season.
Quarterback Matt Blanchard has completed 186 of 270 passes (.688) with 22 touchdowns and just three interceptions.
Tyler Huber is the Warhawks' top receiver with 64 catches for 1,033 yards and 10 touchdowns.
Linebacker Greg Arnold has sparked the Whitewater defense with 53 total tackles, including 7.5 for losses, and has picked off three passes. Fellow linebacker Kyle Wismer has 51 total tackles.
The defense will be out to contain the Sea Gulls' option attack that features backs Randal Smedley (1,014 yards, 11 TDs) and Ross Flanigan (8.0 ypc) and quarterback Dan Griffin (5.4 ypc).
Tickets are $11 for adults, $5 for youth, students and senior citizens. Free student tickets are available at DLK Enterprises, 144 Tratt St., Residence Life: Goodhue Hall, first floor, and at Williams Center, Room 112. Photo IDs are required.
There is no guarantee about the physics credit, however.