Homecoming fans solemnly left Perkins Stadium Saturday following a 17-16 loss to University of Wisconsin-Stevens Point. Point’s offense brought in the win with a touchdown followed by a two-point conversion.
Whitewater scored a touchdown on a 33-yard pass from Jeff Donovan to wide receiver Aaron Rusch with 13:02 left in the first quarter. Rusch made UW-Whitewater player of the week.
Stevens Point answered several minutes later with a 20-yard field goal by kicker Ryan Graboski, bringing the score to 3-6 Whitewater. With 4:02 left in the first quarter, Graboski evened the score with a 43-yard field goal.
Paul Wick, also UW-W player of the week, picked off a pass by Jared Beckwith and returned it to Stevens Point’s 49-yard line. Freshman running back Levell Coppage scored on a 35-yard run, followed by a one-point conversion by UW-W kicker Jeff Schebler with 7:10 left in the second quarter, taking Whitewater to 6-13. This would be the last score of the half.
Graboski once again shined at 12:58 in the fourth quarter with a 22-yard field goal on a five-play, 38-yard drive to bring Stevens Point within four points of Whitewater. With less than five minutes remaining on the clock, Schebler scored on a 19-yard field goal attempt, taking Point’s tantalizingly close hope further from them.
Fate would prove to be on Point’s side when, with less than 15 seconds on the clock, quarterback Jared Beckwith passed to receiver Jared Jenkins for a touchdown. UW-SP brought in another two points with a diving catch by Jenkins on a conversion, winning the game 17-16.
The loss to Stevens Point ended UW-W’s Wisconsin Intercollegiate Athletic Conference 25-game win streak and their WIAC home field win streak of 27 games.
Whitewater’s last two homecoming losses have come at the hands of Stevens Point, the last loss being in 2004 with a 15-12 score.
Whitewater will host UW-Eau Claire Saturday, Nov. 1 at 12 p.m. in Perkins Stadium. UW-W is 6-1 and 4-1 in the WIAC and will end their home field schedule against UW-Stout the following week.