WHITEWATER, Wis. — No. 17/22 Wartburg football saw its season come to an end with a 41-28 loss to the No. 7-ranked University of Wisconsin-Whitewater in the second round of the NCAA Playoffs Saturday.
Wartburg’s slow start and costly errors allowed UW-Whitewater to capitalize early on. Despite the Orange and Black holding a 382-236 lead in yards of total offense, the Warhawks were efficient on special teams and took advantage of solid field position.
Noah Dodd threw for 328 yards with three touchdowns, but uncharacteristically threw four interceptions, which doubled his total coming into the game.
Wartburg conceded an interception and a fumble on its first two drives of the game, in which UWW scored on both to take a 14-0 lead with 7:12 left in the first quarter. The Warhawks then added a field goal to claim a 17-0 lead heading into the second frame.
Just when the Knights looked like they could gain momentum with a Noah Dodd 25-yard touchdown pass to Brandan Childs to open the second quarter, UWW responded quickly with a rushing score and a punt return TD within a span of five minutes to claim a 31-7 lead – which stood as the halftime score.
The home team opened the second half scoring with a field goal, but the Knights answered with their second score of the game, a double-pass from Dodd to Childs to Kolin Schulte to trim the UWW lead to 34-14 with 8:26 left in the third quarter.
Dodd completed two more touchdown passes to trim the UWW lead to 41-28. After the Knights were driving down the field down two scores, Wartburg threw its third interception of the game with just under five minutes remaining to put the dagger in the comeback hopes.
Owen Grover led the defense with 11 tackles, while Jason Fisher tallied three tackles for loss and Eli Barrett added an interception.
Schulte compiled 113 receiving yards with a pair of scores, adding to his Wartburg single-season record of 19 receiving touchdowns.
“We made a lot of mistakes and turnovers, giving them short fields throughout the first half,” said head coach Rick Willis. “I think what was evident in the second half is the fight that this football team had consistently throughout the year. I’m really proud of what they’ve accomplished and how they represent Wartburg College.”
Wartburg closes out the 2019 season with a 10-2 overall record.