Whitewater, Wis. September 7, 2013 – No. 9 ranked University of Wisconsin-Whitewater scored 17 unanswered points in the fourth quarter en route to a 17-7 victory over Washington University in St. Louis in the season opener for both teams Saturday afternoon in front of 4,282 fans at Perkins Stadium in Whitewater Wis.
Washington U. had a 7-0 lead with less than 10 minutes remaining in the contest, when Wisconsin-Whitewater scored 17-straight points to win the season opener. The Bears were limited 36 yards of total offense on 28 plays in the second half.
"We had a good performance today and the kids played hard for all four quarters. We felt like we were controlling the tempo of the game," said Washington U. head coach Larry Kindbom. "We played against an outstanding defense today and we had trouble getting first downs in the second half."
Washington U. drove the field on its opening possession, going 80 yards on nine plays in just under four minutes. Senior quarterback Eric Daginella capped the drive with a 29-yard touchdown pass to junior wide receiver Will Smith to make it 7-0 with 11:06 to play in the first quarter.
That would be all the scoring until the fourth quarter. Whitewater's offense never moved into the Bears' 40-yard line until the fourth. Washington U. had 156 yards of total offense in the opening half, and took a 7-0 lead into the locker room.
Daginella was efficient in the first half, going 7-for-11 with 126 yards and a touchdown. Junior wide receiver Tim Bartholomew had three catches for 86 yards in the opening half. UW-Whitewater was limited to 115 yards of total offense and punted on all four of its possessions in the opening half.
Whitewater finally got on the scoreboard following a 32-yard field goal by Eric Kindler with 9:19 left in the game to cut the Bears' lead to 7-3. The Warhawk defense held, and on the Bears' punt, Justin Howard was interfered on a fair catch attempt. The penalty put the Whitewater offense at the Washington U. 30-yard line.
Junior quarterback Matt Behrendt connected with junior wide receiver Jake Kumerow for a 30-yard touchdown pass on the next play to make it 10-7 with 6:39 remaining. Dennis Moore added a 28-yard run late in the contest to make it 17-7.
Daginella threw for 147 yards on 9-of-26 passes with a touchdown and an interception, as Washington U. was limited to 195 yards of total offense. Sophomore running back Zach Lonneman led the rushing attack with 32 yards on 10 carries.
Junior linebacker Fade Oluokun led the defensive unit with 11 tackles, 2.5 tackles for loss and a sack, while senior defensive lineman Nelson Nwumeh added a career-best 10 tackles, 2.5 tackles for loss and a half of a sack. The defensive unit limited Whitewater to 258 yards of total offense.
Washington University (0-1) hosts Rhodes College in the 2013 home opener Saturday, Sept. 14, at 1 p.m.
Bear Notebook: UW-Whitewater defeated Washington U. 34-0 a year ago in St. Louis in the teams first meeting … WUSTL is 18-7 in season openers under Kindbom, but has dropped six of its last 10 games … The Bears had their four-game winning streak dating back to last season snapped … Whitewater had a 34:27-25:33 advantage in time of possession.