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With solid defense and several late tries, UW-Whitewater edged Notre Dame College 35-5 to advance to the DII South Regional Final. Although the scoreline did not indicate it, this was an extremely close, hard contest.
The Warhawks jumped out to to a quick 7-0 lead and maintained the advantage through the break. Early in the second half, Whitewater doubled its tally. However, NDC battled back, adding a try of its own when a piece of individual brilliance from the NDC left wing made the score 14-5 with a conversion under the posts.
Whitewater surprisingly charged down the conversion attempt and swung the momentum back in favor of the Hawks. With 15 minutes remaining, things began to unravel for the Falcons as they allowed three converted tries to end the game.
NDC deserves credit for its performance as the Falcons clearly came into the game with a specific game plan. They pounded the fringes, continuously challenging the Warhawk forwards. They very rarely kicked and periodically monopolized possession. Despite having an undersized pack, the Falcons competed in the scrum and at the breakdown.
Ultimately, the Warhawks featured stellar defense all afternoon, stymying an incredibly athletic NDC back line. Their defense will certainly be tested tomorrow against another explosive offensive team in Towson. The Tigers will most likely test the Whitewater back three with more kicks, making for an incredibly exciting match-up in the South Regional Final.
The game kickoffs at 1:30pm Eastern Time.
Tries: Dryzwechi (2) Heim Landry Andoline
Cons: Healy (5)
Notre Dame College