Saturday marked an unprecedented legacy in a long line of talented UW-Whitewater football teams. Entering the week as 20-point underdogs to the Mount Vernon Purple Raiders, the Warhawks were hungry to right the ship after falling in back-to-back championship bouts to that very squad. However, one Whitewater senior that was not about to concede a third straight to the D-III goliath was running back Justin Beaver. The Gagliardi trophy award winner, which recognizes the most understanding D-III player, totaled 253 rushing yards and one touchdown in the game, leading the Warhawks to their stunning 31-21 over the Purple Raiders in Salem, Virginia. Mount Vernon, who came in winners of 37 straight games, turned the rock over three times, ultimately scripting their unfamiliar fate. While Mount Vernon sustained a blow to their illustrious program, perhaps the most heart-warming story laid within Whitewater’s head coaching department. After legendary coach Bob Berezowitz, who racked up a 124-67-4 record over his 19-year coaching tenure, left after his team’s second consecutive loss to end the year (35-16), Lance Leipold, a former Warhawk himself, took the reigns looking to take the team back to the title game–and win. And now, one year after his quest began for that very accomplishment, his team brought it home–with Berezowitz looking on from the sidelines. Congratulations Warhawks!
December 15, 2007