‘Hawks post second shutout

Oct. 15, 2014 By Andrea Sidlauskas

Lockdown defense and a dominant offensive performance led the Warhawks to their second shutout of the season on Oct. 11, as they defeated UW-Stout, 37-0.

The ’Hawks marked their 22nd-straight victory with the win, tying the record for the second-longest win streak in college football.

UW-Whitewater remains ranked No. 1 in the nation, according to d3football.com and the American Football Coaches Association, and amassed 513 yards, compared to the Blue Devils’ 242, and outgained their opponent by 149 yards through the air and 122 on the ground.

Senior quarterback Matt Behrendt threw for 303 yards and two touchdowns, including 225 in the first half.

Behrendt has completed more than 76 percent of his passes in the first four games and has yet to throw an interception.

In fact, the only turnover the ’Hawks have committed this season was Oct. 4 against UW-La Crosse: a fumble in the fourth quarter.

Senior wide receiver Jake Kumerow grabbed seven passes for 113 yards, marking his fourth-consecutive game with more than 100 receiving yards.

Another veteran receiver, senior Justin Howard, recorded a career-high 124 yards and a touchdown on seven receptions.

“We’re very excited about our talent at receiver, especially Jake [Kumerow], Joe Worth and Justin Howard,” head coach Lance Leipold told the Daily Jefferson County Union. “We have to find a way to continue to get the ball in their hands.”

The ’Hawks’ run game was led by juniors Dennis Moore, who racked up 94 yards on 14 carries, and Jordan Ratliffe, who ran for 64 yards and a touchdown on 13 carries.

The Warhawks’ defense entered the contest ranked No. 1 in D-III football, allowing 40.2 yards per game, while the Blue Devils ranked last in pass defense, giving up an average of 287.5 yards per game.

Four turnovers were forced by the ’Hawks, including two interceptions by senior defensive back Brady Grayvold.

Grayvold took one of his two picks to the house, good for a 45-yard touchdown and the first score of the game.

“It felt good to get one there,” Grayvold said. “I had the deep ball come to me, so it was nice to do something to kinda flip the switch on that.”

Junior linebacker Spencer Jacque and Grayvold led the ’Hawks’ defense with six tackles each, while junior linebacker Justin Dischler managed five of his own.

Defensive lineman Zach Franz and sophomore defensive lineman John Flood each posted three tackles, including 1.5 for a loss.

“We have to find a way to stop the run game and make teams one-dimensional,” Leipold told the Daily Union. “If people are gashing you on first and second down, it gets pretty tough, and they can pretty much have their way with you. Making sure you’re sound in the run-game defense has always been important to us.”

The ’Hawks have won nine-straight games against the Blue Devils and lead the all-time series, 45-10-2.

Up next, the ’Hawks face off against the winless UW-Eau Claire Blugolds 2 p.m. Oct. 18 on the road.

As the team prepares for consecutive away games, the threat of being thrown out of rhythm is possible, but Grayvold said it is a good team building experience.

“When you get on the bus with someone else at six in the morning, you find out who you get along with,” Grayvold said. “We all have to have each other’s backs.”

The most recent meeting between the ’Hawks and the Blugolds was last October, a Friday night game in which the ’Hawks delivered another shutout and with a victory of 42-0.

This season, UW-Eau Claire is 0-5, with 1,224 yards of total offense, which the ’Hawks surpassed in just three games.

Despite the Blugolds’ record, Grayvold said the ’Hawks’ game plan will not change when they prepare for the upcoming WIAC conference matchup.

“We’re going to get everyone’s best shot, and a team like Eau Clare is looking for their first win still,” Grayvold said. “The score is 0-0 right now; we just have to go there, and we have to take care of business.”