Attend a Watch Party
The Game Linfield and UW-Whitewater meet for the third time on Saturday, Dec. 7, in the quarterfinals of the NCAA Division III playoffs...kickoff is set for 10 a.m. PST…UWW advanced by way of with a 33-3 home-field victory over Franklin (Ind.)…Linfield rallied from 18 points down to defeat Hampden-Sydney (Va.) 31-21 in its second-round contest at McMinnville…Saturday's game matches Division III's top-scoring offense (Linfield, 51.6 points per game) against the nation's stingiest scoring defense (UWW, 7.5 ppg.)…the weather forecast is calling for sunny skies overall but a brisk temperature of around 15 degrees with a slight breeze...Saturday's winner advances to face the winner of St. John Fisher (N.Y.) at Mary Hardin-Baylor (Texas) game at a site to be finalized Sunday by the NCAA.
The Records Both teams are unbeaten…Linfield is 11-0…the Wildcats wrapped up the regular season at 9-0, capturing the program's fifth straight and 37th overall Northwest Conference crown…the ‘Cats have won 11 straight contests and feature a senior class that is a combined 41-4 across four seasons…Wisconsin-Whitewater is 12-0 overall and champion of the Wisconsin Intercollegiate Athletic Conference...since defeating Linfield in the 2009 national semifinals, the Warhawks have won 50 of 53 games, including the 2009, '10 and '11 Division III national championships.
The Streak Linfield clinched its 58th consecutive winning season this fall, extending the program's own all-divisions record…Linfield's last losing season was in 1955…the streak of winning seasons spans seven decades and the terms of 12 U.S. presidents…the Warhawks have 11 consecutive winning seasons dating to the 2003 season.
The Polls Linfield concluded the regular season ranked No. 2 in the D3football.com poll and third in the American Football Coaches Association poll…UWW is ranked No. 5 by both D3football.com and the AFCA.
The Series Third meeting…UWW leads 2-0…in 2005, the Warhawks won 44-41 at McMinnville…the battle of unbeaten teams at Maxwell Field lived up its billing as fans were treated to a matchup of Gagliardi Trophy finalists Brett Elliott of Linfield and UWW's Justin Beaver…Beaver's 1-yard run with 42 seconds to play to snapped the Wildcats' school-record 23-game winning streak…the epic battle featured 10 lead changes and 1,069 yards of total offense…Elliott completed 47 of 66 passes for 528 yards (all school records) and five touchdowns… in the 2009 semifinal matchup at Whitewater, UWW rallied from behind in the fourth quarter to hold off the streaking Wildcats 27-17…. Linfield trailed 10-0 in the first half, only to score 17 unanswered points to take command heading into the fourth quarter… UWW grabbed control with 7:34 left in the game, scoring on Antwan Anderson's 1-yard run and then added an insurance touchdown with 1:05 to go when Levell Coppage swept around left end 40 yards to put the game in ice…the Warhawks played the entire game without a turnover against Linfield's ball-hawking defense, which entered the game leading the nation in takeaways.
The Playoffs No stranger to the postseason, Linfield qualified for the playoffs for the 25th time in school history…the Wildcats are making their 10th appearance in the NCAA Division III playoffs since changing affiliation from the NAIA to NCAA 16 years ago…Linfield won three NAIA Division II national championships (1982, 1984 and 1986) and captured the 2004 NCAA Division III title…the Wildcats also played for the NAIA crown on three other occasions (1961, 1965 and 1992)…Linfield takes a 33-20 postseason record into Saturday's game and is 18-8 in NCAA playoff contests…UW-Whitewater is making its 12th playoff appearance in program history…the Warhawks are 33-6 all-time in the NCAA playoffs…Whitewater is the more experienced team in the quarterfinals with eight appearances including seven trips to the semifinals and four national championships in the last nine seasons…Linfield has advanced to the quarterfinals three of the last five years.
The Coaches Eighth-year coach Joseph Smith (Linfield ‘93) is 71-14...Smith's winning percentage of .845 is leads former Linfield coaching greats Jay Locey (.824), Ed Langsdorf (.774), Ad Rutschman (.788) and Paul Durham (.694)…Smith served as an assistant coach at Linfield for 13 seasons, including six as defensive coordinator…he was an NAIA All-America defensive back under Rutschman and Langsdorf and Linfield's male athlete of the year in 1992, leading the Wildcats to the NAIA Division II national championship final… Lance Leipold (UW-Whitewater ‘87) is in his seventh season as Warhawks coach and takes a career record of 91-6 into Saturday's matchup…since taking over for his college coach, Bob Berezowitz, Leipold and the Warhawks have won four national championships …a quarterback for the Warhawks during the mid-1980s, Leipold played four years for the Warhawks (1983-86), ranking second all-time in career pass attempts (647), third in yards (4277), fifth in completions (303), and tied for ninth with 27 touchdowns…prior to becoming head coach, he served as a Warhawks assistant coach and was associate head coach and offensive coordinator at Nebraska-Omaha for three seasons.
Audiocast The game will be broadcast live on radio stations TrueTalk 800 KPDQ-AM in Portland and KLYC 1260 AM in McMinNville with Bill Johnson and Dave Hansen calling the action…pregame coverage starts at 9:30 a.m. PST with kickoff at 10…the audio broadcast will also be streamed at Linfield's Stretch Internet portal.
Videocast A live video broadcast stream, featuring UW-Whitewater's broadcast team and production crew, is being been made available free of charge through UWW Residence Life.
Watch Parties Linfield alumni, parents and fans are invited to join fellow Wildcats at one of two watch parties. Each watch party is at a family-friendly location, and all fans who attend are encouraged to wear their Wildcat apparel. Please RSVP online. Those who RSVP in advance will be entered into a drawing for a prize from the Linfield Bookstore. The Portland Watch Party takes place at the Buffalo Gap, 6835 SW Macadam Ave in the south waterfront district. The McMinnville Watch Party is set for the Fred Meyer Lounge on the Linfield campus. Both parties start at 10 a.m.
Tickets Perkins Stadium has ample seating so securing good seats to the game should not be a concern…prices are $11 for adults and $5 for senior citizens/students. Parking is $4 additional.
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