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Green Knights Fall in NCAA Battle at UW-Whitewater

From Asst. AD/Athletics Communications, November 24, 2018 | Football
by Dan Lukes,, (920) 403-4077

WHITEWATER - St. Norbert College was within two scores early in the fourth quarter but UW-Whitewater scored the game's final 20 points to post a 54-21 win over the Green Knights in a NCAA Division III Playoffs second-round game at Perkins Stadium.

The Green Knights, playing in the second round of the NCAA Playoffs for just the second time, saw their season end at 10-2 overall. UW-Whitewater (11-0) will face Bethel University on Dec. 1 in a national quarterfinal.

St. Norbert trailed 14-0 after the first quarter after a blocked a punt to set up a short field and a long run play put Whitewater ahead by two scores. The Green Knights countered with a 10-play, 60-yard drive early in the second quarter, with Drew Rhodes hitting Brandon Dudley on a 2-yard pass. Whitewater countered with a field goal but St. Norbert would score again on a 25-yard touchdown pass from Rhodes to Samuel Staehling for a 17-14 deficit 3:30 before halftime.

Whitewater would swing momentum its way going into halftime when Mitchell Dess made a tough catch on a Cole Wilber aerial just 5 seconds before halftime for a 24-14 lead.

An interception would set up a short field for Whitewater early in the third quarter leading to a touchdown, and other field goal but the Warhawks up 34-14 after three quarters.

Rhodes found Staehling on a 6-yard touchdown pass with 14:29 to play to finish a 12-play, 76-yard drive to bring St. Norbert to within 34-21. Whitewater would close out the game with three touchdowns, two long drives sandwiched around an interception return.

Whitewater outgained St. Norbert 528-300 in total offense. Rhodes completed 21 of 31 passes for 217 yards with three touchdowns and three interceptions while also rushing 17 times for 56 yards. Matt Galanopoulos caught seven passes for 77 yards, while Staehling caught four passes for 81 yards and two scores.

Alex Peete rushed 20 times for 158 yards and two touchdowns while Ronny Ponick added 131 rushing yards on 17 carries for the Warhawks, who passed for jsut 131 yards.

Hunter Prokash led St. Norbert with 13 tackles, while Matt Barrett added nine stops.

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