Founded 1901

Royal Purple

Founded 1901

Royal Purple

Founded 1901

Royal Purple

Warhawks bounce back with statement victory

Tommy+Coates+catches+a+21-yard+touchdown+pass+from+Alec+Ogden+in+a+win+against+UW-River+Falls
Olivia Zinanni
Tommy Coates catches a 21-yard touchdown pass from Alec Ogden in a win against UW-River Falls

In a thrilling matchup last week, the Warhawks suffered their first loss of the season to UW-La Crosse. They would look to bounce back this past Saturday away against No. 4 UW-River Falls. No. 7 UW-Whitewater came away with the victory 21-14 in a duel of two top defenses. 

Leading up to the game the Warhawks needed to correct some of their mistakes from the La Crosse game. 

Quarterback Jason Ceniti said “after a tough loss like that guys are already motivated and ready to get back to practice and focus on the upcoming game.” Ceniti’s words were echoed by head coach Jace Rindahl.

“We knew we needed to have a good week and it goes back to our team motto of pound the rock keeping our eyes forward and focusing on the next game.”

The Warhawks’ defense played a crucial role in their victory against River Falls. They took the lessons learned from their loss to La Crosse and applied them effectively in this game. The defense managed to shut down River Falls’ offense, allowing only two touchdowns during the entire matchup. Furthermore, they forced four takeaways, with two of them leading to points for the UWW offense.

The four takeaways included interceptions by Joey Antonietti, Kyle Koelblinger, and Egon Hein, demonstrating the team’s ability to capitalize on River Falls’ mistakes. Cole Yocum made a significant contribution with a forced fumble, which was then returned for 32 yards, giving the Warhawks excellent field position for their offensive drive. 

The stellar defensive play would lead to a 15-7 Warhawk lead at halftime.

“We went into halftime happy with our play and made some minor adjustments to the game plan for the second half,” Rindhal said regarding the adjustments made at halftime. 

When the Warhawks came out of halftime it would be more of the same from the defense by holding UWRF to one touchdown in the fourth quarter.

It wasn’t just the defense in this game as the Warhawk offense also delivered with Alec Ogden getting it done in the air and on the ground. Ogden would run for a six-yard rushing touchdown with three minutes left in the first quarter. However, errors still showed with a missed extra point. UWW would strike quickly after with an Alec Ogden pass connecting with a 21-yard touchdown pass to Tommy Coates. The Warhawks wouldn’t convert on the two-point conversion. Jeff Isotalo-McGuire would connect for a 44-yard field goal to make it 15-0 early in the second quarter. Tamir Thomas would also get into the endzone in the second half with a five-yard run. 

“As we go through the season our goal is always to be there at the end and compete for a national championship but we need to go day by day game by game and not get ahead of ourselves,” Rindahl said on his team’s hopes as the season starts to wind down.

The Warhawks’ remaining schedule consists of four games. Next up is UW-Stout at home, Oct. 21. With remaining games against UW-Platteville, UW-Stevens Point, and UW-Eau Claire to end their season. The Warhawks will look to continue to pound the rock and run the table for the remainder of the season.

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Dan Emary, Men's Sports Editor

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