Royal Purple

Football booming toward Homecoming

photo+by+Julia+Graff+%2F+Assistant+Photo+Editor
photo by Julia Graff / Assistant Photo Editor

photo by Julia Graff / Assistant Photo Editor

Julia Graff

Julia Graff

photo by Julia Graff / Assistant Photo Editor

Tyler Job, Sports Editor

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The No. 6 Warhawk football team could not have asked for a better start to its 2018 season.

Since last season’s 1-3 start, UW-W has registered 11 wins in a row. The Warhawks are 6-0 to begin this season, and they won all six games handily.

UW-W has scored at least 20 points in each game, and the defense has not allowed more than seven points in a game so far this season.

“Everybody’s together,” senior defensive lineman Harry Henschler said. “Everybody is making plays. Everybody knows their job individually.”

The team’s largest victory came in Week 3 at Perkins Stadium, a 73-0 rout of Middle Georgia State University’s club football program.

The Warhawks also remain unbeaten in Wisconsin Intercollegiate Athletic Conference play, most notably a 20-0 shutout victory against top rival UW-Oshkosh Oct. 6.

This year’s start compared to last year’s is significantly more positive, both offensively and defensively.

“If you flipped on the film of our first four games last year, these guys would probably want to throw up,”

 

head coach Kevin Bullis said. “But the beautiful part is that it didn’t let it get them down.”

The team so far ranks atop of the WIAC in total defense and fourth in total offense.

The Warhawks feel confident about where they are at, but they are not completely satisfied.

“Once you get that first drive going, you kind of know, ‘okay we got to do this and this,’” sophomore running back Alex Peete said. “So yeah, definitely more execution, and I think we’re working hard on that, too.”

Peete has become one of Whitewater’s offensive forces so far. Through just six games, the young running back has nine rushing touchdowns, four of which occurred in the season opener against the University of Dubuque (Iowa).

Peete already has three 100-yard rushing efforts, first against Concordia College in the home opener and then against UW-La Crosse in the WIAC opener and UW-Eau Claire two weeks later. He scored a touchdown in each contest.

“His approach is like a senior,” Bullis said. “He’s extremely mature, and he’s a talented athlete. … You feel good about him in those situations.”

One of the most improved aspects of the team is its explosive plays on offense. Senior quarterback Cole Wilber has thrown seven touchdown passes at least 50 yards or more, three of which came from 80-plus yards out. Sophomore wide receiver JT Parish has caught two of those aforementioned 80-plus yard touchdown passes.

The Warhawks for the first time in a while are now two-dimensional, something that is critical for going deep in the playoffs.

“It comes out as the little things,” Parish said. “It’s just focusing and making everyone do their part as a team [and] all eleven of us coming together, and that’s how we get those big plays.”

After winning at UW-Eau Claire 45-0 Oct. 13, the Warhawks will play four more conference games. If they run the rest of the table, the ’Hawks will have clinched their 36th conference championship.

“We got a lot of things clicking right now,” senior linebacker Bryce Leszczynski said. “We got great chemistry in our locker room. We’re family, we’re doing this together and we’ll just keep going.”

There is a lot of football left to be played, but at this rate, there should be reason for the rest of the WIAC and Division III football to take notice of this bunch of hungry Warhawks.

About the Contributors
Tyler Job, Sports Editor

Email: [email protected]

Connect: Twitter, LinkedIn

Grace Holler, Photo Editor

Email: [email protected]

Connect: Twitter, LinkedIn

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Football booming toward Homecoming