The ’Hawks did just that, storming out to a 28-7 halftime lead. They ended up beating the Falcons 42-10, improving their record to 5-0.
Senior quarterback Matt Blanchard said the team has preached all week to attack early.
“We emphasized that all week during practice,” Blanchard said. “We came out a little flat against Platteville and we wanted to make sure against UW-River Falls that we would come out and make a statement and make sure that we put up points in the first quarter.”
The ’Hawks started their attack early when senior running back Levell Coppage scored on a two-yard run in their first possession. Coppage added another score, a 37-yard run to end the first quarter, giving the ’Hawks a 14-0 lead.
Although the Falcons scored to on a three-yard touchdown run by running back Taylor Edwards four minutes later, Blanchard connected with junior wideout Tyler Huber on a 45-yard touchdown. Just two minutes later, Blanchard connected with Huber once again, with this one going for 60 yards.
That score gave the ’Hawks a 35-7 lead with just a minute into the second half. Huber ended up with eight catches for 156 yards and two touchdowns.
Blanchard said Huber has developed into a good wideout like the rest of the wide receivers this season, but Huber has that special ability as a long ball threat.
“[Huber] has been a special player for us so far, and his ability to run after the catch has created a lot of excitement for us with what we can do,” Blanchard said.
Blanchard said he was happy with how the offense stormed early, but credits his defense for shutting down the run once again.
The ’Hawks only allowed six yards rushing on 26 carries. Edwards, the conference’s second leading rusher, only rushed for one yard on 13 carries.
The Falcons only gained 163 total yards of offense
“They are continuing to do what they have been doing all year and in years past,” Blanchard said. “Coach Borland has done a great job of getting players prepared and our players.. you have to give them credit for doing their job and it was really great to see.”
Coppage led the ’Hawks on the ground with 74 yards on 15 carries and two touchdowns. Blanchard was efficient , going 20-29 for 277 yards and three touchdowns.
With the new field lights recently installed at Perkins Stadium, the ’Hawks will prepare for UW-Stout as they will host ‘Friday Night Lights’ at 7 p.m. Friday.
Blanchard said he has been looking forward to this game for a while.
“It’s definitely been known for a long time that this was going to be a high excitement game,” Blanchard said. “I personally that I have been talking about it for months and can’t believe its finally here. We’re all getting ready to put a great show on and were looking forward to having a great student body.”