Chris Nelson, Dalton Heckel with playoff bound UW-Whitewater football team

Photo by Jason Antony via stock.xchng

Photo by Jason Antony via stock.xchng

The University of Wisconsin-Whitewater football team claimed the 35th Wisconsin Intercollegiate Athletic Conference championship and will compete in the NCAA Division III Playoffs for the 11th time in the last 12 years starting Saturday.

No. 1 UW-Whitewater will host Lakeland, the automatic qualifier out of the Northern Athletics Collegiate Conference, this Saturday at 12 p.m. in an NCAA Playoffs first round game at Perkins Stadium.

The following student-athletes from your Western Kenosha County are members of the 2016 Warhawk football team:

  • Chris Nelson of Twin Lakes (Wilmot Union), a senior majoring in General Management.
  • Dalton Heckel of Silver Lake (Wilmot Union), a sophomore majoring in Marketing.

One week after securing the WIAC’s automatic bid to the postseason, the Warhawks (10-0) claimed the conference title outright with a 34-16 victory at UW-Stout last Saturday. UW-Whitewater forced four turnovers and scored 24 unanswered points over the final 24 minutes of regulation.

UW-Whitewater moved up one spot in both polls, ascending to No. 1 in the American Football Coaches Association Division III Coaches Poll and No. 2 in the D3football.com Top 25. The team garnered five first-place votes from D3football.com voters and 24 from the AFCA. The Warhawks were ranked second in Lindy’s Sports Division III Preseason Top 25 and third in both The Sporting News’ preseason national rankings and the D3football.com Preseason Top 25.

Lakeland (7-3) clinched the NACC’s automatic bid last Saturday with a 52-30 triumph at Rockford (Ill.). The Muskies scored 50 of their points in the first half, including 34 in the second quarter, and finished with 464 yards of total offense, including 324 through the air. Quarterback Michael Whitley finished 19-of-23 passing for 318 yards and four tochdowns to lead the Lakeland offense.

Saturday’s game is the eighth meeting between the two teams. UW-Whitewater owns a 7-0 advantage in the all-time series, including a 70-7 victory in the most recent game on Nov. 21, 2009, in an NCAA Playoffs first round contest at Perkins Stadium. After the Warhawks scored on their first play from scrimmage, the Muskies marched 78 yards in 11 plays to tie the game at 7-7 midway through the first quarter. From there, UW-Whitewater scored 63 unanswered points and finished the contest with 353 yards rushing and seven rushing touchdowns.

The winner of Saturday’s game will move on to the second round to face the winner of No. 17 Wittenberg (Ohio) at No. 15 Thomas More (Ky.). Game time and location will be announced following the conclusion of the first round games.

After falling in their first three home postseason games (1988, 1990, 1997), the Warhawks have won 31 consecutive NCAA Division III Playoffs contests at Perkins Stadium, including last season’s 48-0 victory over St. Norbert in the first round.

One Comment

  1. John Firestone says:

    Who Won <Mount Union University game Nov. 19th

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