/seasons/2019/contrib/201912142hay06

Warhawks Win Thriller, Punch Ticket to Stagg Bowl

The No. 7 ranked University of Wisconsin-Whitewater football team broke a tie with a late field goal and made a defensive stop in the closing minutes Saturday for a 35-32 victory over No. 8 St. John's (Minn.) in an instant classic semifinal game of the NCAA Division III Championship at Perkins Stadium. 

 

The Warhawks (13-1 overall) will head to Stagg Bowl XLVII, the Division III national championship game, for the 10th time in the last 15 years and face North Central (Ill.) for the title this Friday at 7 p.m. in Shenandoah, Texas.

 

Junior kicker Wojciech Gasienica put UW-Whitewater ahead for good with 2:10 remaining in the contest on a 37-yard field goal, his fourth kick through the uprights of the contest.

 

The Johnnies (12-2) returned the ensuing kickoff to their own 42-yard line, but senior linebacker Matt Anderson posted an interception on the first play from scrimmage.

 

Junior running back Alex Peete recorded a 16-yard run on second down, and the Warhawks knelt out the clock to return to the national championship game for the first time since 2014.

 

Junior quarterback Max Meylor tallied 188 yards passing with one touchdown and 85 yards rushing with one score. Junior wide receiver Ryan Wisniewski tallied four receptions for 96 yards and added a rushing touchdown, and junior wide receiver Derek Kumerow collected five receptions for 45 yards and a score. Peete and senior running back Ronny Ponick combined for 81 yards.

 

Senior defensive back Nate Tranel, junior linebacker Kaleb Kaminski and junior defensive back Tommy Matoska totaled seven tackles apiece to lead the defense. Senior defensive lineman Jordan Brand registered five tackles, including three of UW-Whitewater's seven sacks. Senior defensive lineman Justin Hansen and freshman defensive lineman Niko Lemke finished with two sacks apiece.

 

St. John's took the lead near the midway point of the first quarter on a seven-play, 60-yard drive. The Warhawks responded with a seven-play, 47-yard drive capped by Gasienica's 31-yard field goal with 4:10 on the clock.

 

UW-Whitewater forced a punt on the next drive, and sophomore running back Jaylon Edmonson found a gap and blocked the kick through the back of the end zone for a safety with 2:23 left in the period.

 

After a punt, the Warhawks recovered a fumble on the first play of the next drive, and Gasienica hit a 27-yard field goal for an 8-7 lead 19 seconds into the second quarter.

 

From there, the two teams traded touchdown drives on two separate occasions into halftime.

 

UW-Whitewater took a 15-14 advantage with 4:14 remaining in the second on a Wisniewski 4-yard touchdown run. The drive was keyed by his own 17-yard reception from Meylor on third down two plays earlier.

 

Following a touchdown by the Johnnies with 1:47 to go in the half, the Warhawks drove 63 yards on 11 plays as Meylor hit Kumerow on third-and-goal for a 6-yard score three plays after a 22-yard run to put UW-W inside the 10-yard line.

 

UW-Whitewater carried a 22-21 lead into halftime, but St. John's took the lead back with 4:37 left in the third quarter on a field goal that capped a 16-play, 72-yard drive.

 

The Warhawks took the lead on the next drive as Gasienica's attempt from 22 yards split the uprights with just over a minute to go in the period.

 

Following a punt by SJU, Meylor gave UW-Whitewater an eight-point lead on a 38-yard run with 13:47 to play in the contest. He set up the touchdown drive with a 19-yard completion to junior wide receiver JT Parish that put the Warhawks in St. John's territory.

 

The Johnnies scored a touchdown and converted the 2-point attempt to tie the contest at 32-32 near the midway point of the quarter.

 

UW-Whitewater converted a pair of third downs on the ensuing drive, including a 17-yard strike from Meylor to Kumerow on third-and-8 from near midfield, to set up Gasienica for his go-ahead field goal.

Sep. 25: All times Eastern
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at Mass-Dartmouth 52, Worcester State 7
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at Framingham State 41, Westfield State 6
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Alfred State 35, at Defiance 28
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Lycoming 29, at Stevenson 28
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Adrian 56, at Finlandia 6
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MIT 27, at Dean 0
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Gallaudet 49, at Greensboro 42
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Alfred 10, at Kalamazoo 7
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at RPI 41, St. John Fisher 7
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at Hope 52, Northwestern (Minn.) 10
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at Ursinus 28, Franklin and Marshall 0
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Trinity (Conn.) 38, at Bowdoin 14
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Union 30, at Utica 9
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N.C. Wesleyan 26, at LaGrange 21
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Huntingdon 21, at Brevard 14
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Washington and Lee 25, at Randolph-Macon 24
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Christopher Newport 31, at Catholic 14
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Mount Union 28, at John Carroll 14
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Williams 32, at Tufts 29
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TCNJ 31, at Nichols 0
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DePauw 34, at Wooster 30
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Endicott 30, at Norwich 21
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Ohio Wesleyan 28, at Allegheny 19
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Johns Hopkins 54, at Moravian 6
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at Montclair State 31, WPI 10
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Muhlenberg 23, at McDaniel 0
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Concordia (Wis.) 28, at Concordia-Chicago 19
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Rhodes 47, at Westminster (Mo.) 7
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Augsburg 54, at St. Scholastica 14
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at Gustavus Adolphus 36, Concordia-Moorhead 21
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Central 84, at Simpson 16
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at Carleton 35, Hamline 7
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at St. John's 31, Bethel 25
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Wheaton (Ill.) 58, at North Park 27
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Minnesota-Morris 24, at Crown 18
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Howard Payne 49, at East Texas Baptist 38
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Alma 35, at Martin Luther 27
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at Benedictine 49, Eureka 29
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Loras 31, at Nebraska Wesleyan 30
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at Trinity International 26, Greenville 21
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at Carthage 62, Illinois Wesleyan 35
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at Hendrix 49, Sewanee 27
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at North Central (Ill.) 58, Augustana 6
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at Washington U. 27, Elmhurst 7
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at St. Lawrence 55, Castleton 3
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at Pomona-Pitzer 44, Willamette 8
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at Claremont-Mudd-Scripps 29, Chapman 21
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at McMurry 41, Southwestern 31
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at Sul Ross State 12, Texas Lutheran 10
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at Hobart 58, Keystone 14
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at Averett 47, Maryville (Tenn.) 10
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Geneva 42, at Bethany 7
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Washington and Jefferson 37, at Case Western Reserve 14
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at Denison 21, Wittenberg 16
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at Centre 14, Trine 7
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St. Vincent 41, at Thiel 7
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at Lakeland 40, St. Norbert 8
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at Mary Hardin-Baylor 34, Hardin-Simmons 28
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at Millikin 32, Carroll 25
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at Belhaven 41, Austin 14
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Oct. 2: All times Eastern
7:00 PM
Wheaton (Ill.) at Washington U.
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Washington and Jefferson at Geneva
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1:30 PM
Muskingum at John Carroll
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Sep. 25: All times Eastern
Final
Washington and Jefferson 37, at Case Western Reserve 14
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at Mary Hardin-Baylor 34, Hardin-Simmons 28
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Muhlenberg 23, at McDaniel 0
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Johns Hopkins 54, at Moravian 6
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Mount Union 28, at John Carroll 14
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at Baldwin Wallace 20, Heidelberg 10
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Washington and Lee 25, at Randolph-Macon 24
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Union 30, at Utica 9
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at North Central (Ill.) 58, Augustana 6
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at Salisbury 40, Western New England 14
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Wheaton (Ill.) 58, at North Park 27
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at St. John's 31, Bethel 25
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Central 84, at Simpson 16
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at Claremont-Mudd-Scripps 29, Chapman 21
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