A fourth-quarter comeback by the University of Wisconsin-Stevens Point saved a game that seemed destined for a blowout, although the team came up short in a 35-27 loss to the sixth-ranked UW-Whitewater Saturday.
The Warhawks received the kick to start the game ,and on the first play from scrimmage, players nearly fumbled the ball away to the Pointers. Few players were on board with a five-yard touchdown run from Jordan Ratliffe.
The Pointers were halted by an interception in Warhawks territory that resulted in a loss to starting quarterback Kyle Larson due to an injury.
Whitewater took advantage of the turnover with a 50-yard connection from Chris Nelson to Ryan Storto down to the UWSP two-yard line. Jordan Ratliffe’s second rushing touchdown of the day finished off the play to put Whitewater up 14-0 in the first quarter.
Back-up quarterback Cody Nuernberg was under center. The team was faced with a three-touchdown hole early on in the second after Nelson found Marcus Hudson for a 43-yard touchdown.
Another UWSP drive was stalled when on a third and long, Nuernberg found the number one UWSP target Matt Sosinksy, who ran for an 86-yard touchdown to cut the Pointers deficit to 21-7 with four minutes left in the half.
Whitewater answered the first UWSP points on the board with another short yardage touchdown run from Jordan Ratliffe. UWSP put up a field goal right before half that was set up by a strip sack from stand out defensive end Aaron Karlan. UWSP trailed 28-10 at the end of the half.
UWSP opened the second half with an eight-minute drive that was capped off by a short field goal, making the scores 28-13. The Pointers two edge rushers Karlan and Dan Brown pressured Nelson. The field goal points to start the half were the only of the third as UWSP and UWW entered the fourth at 28-13.
Neurnberg spent the second-half scrambling, which resulted in a deep touchdown pass to Logan Taylor in the corner of the end zonebringing the score to 28-20.
The Warhawks responded with a long drive, finished off by Ratliffe’s fourth touchdown of the day from two yards out to seemingly put the game in hand for the Warhawks at 35-20, with 2:21 left in the game
UWSP scored in just over one minute, with Nuernberg’s third touchdown pass, this time to Jared Pankow, cutting the Warhawks lead to one possession once again with 1:05 left.
Then, UWSP recovered the ensuing onside kick to give the team the ball at the 40-yard line with a minute left and two timeouts. That drive was quickly put to rest with an intentional grounding call on second down that put the Pointers behind the sticks. It concluded with a Hail Mary interception from Nuernberg, giving the Warhawks a 35-27 Wisconsin Intercollegiate Athletic Conference road victory.
The Pointers dropped to 3-4 overall and 1-3 in conference. The team will be at home again this at 1 p.m. Saturday against UW-Lacrosse at Goerke Field.