September 09, 2001 11:00 pm

By Pat Perkins

Observer Staff Writer

The Eastern Oregon Mountaineers knew the Wisconsin-Whitewater Warhawks were good. They found out how good Saturday night.

Whitewater rolled past the Mountaineers in the 44-14 NCAA Division III football game in Whitewater, Wis. The Warhawks were bigger and stronger, especially on the offensive line, and they just pushed Eastern around.

They were an outstanding football team. Theyre in the Linfield, PLU (Pacific Lutheran)-type league, Eastern Oregon coach Rob Cushman said. Against those two, we have to play very well to beat them.

Whitewaters Chad Wurth ran for two first-quarter touchdowns and finished with 151 yards rushing. Quarterback Randy Borgardt threw two touchdown passes, including a 10-yarder in the second quarter to Steve Tenhagen. That 20-7 score stood until halftime.

Eastern (0-2) allowed Whitewater (2-0) to march for a 64-yard opening touchdown drive, but the Mountaineers offense responded with a strong drive of their own. It ended at Wisconsins 12-yard line, from where Gabe Minthorn missed a 29-yard field goal attempt.

Wurth scored again for Wisconsin, and Easterns next drive again went into Warhawk territory and no farther.

Youve got to make plays when you have opportunities, and we had opportunities in the first half and did not capitalize, Cushman said.

Eastern got the games first break. Sven Wilson recovered a blocked punt in the end zone on Whitewaters next series, and that cut the Warhawks lead to 14-7.

Easterns defense gave up two touchdowns and a field goal in the third quarter, all set up by Eastern turnovers.

After their first strike we shored up (our defense) a little bit, Cushman said. Their offensive line was as good as weve ever played. They were strong, and we got pushed more than I thought we would have. Our linebackers had a tough time because people were in their face all night. The secondary cheated up on the pass a little bit, and the pass hurt us more than I thought it would.

Easterns only offensive touchdown came on its longest drive. Quarterback Mark Hanrahan led a 78-yard, 12-play drive that ended with his 10-yard run into the end zone.

Borgardt finished the scoring with a 19-yard touchdown pass to Andy Rice with 3:43 to play.

Hanrahan led the Mountaineers in rushing, with 61 yards on 16 carries. Eastern also got 51 yards from Matt Hamlin, who had a 32-yard run on Easterns first play from scrimmage.

Easterns Mike Kyle made his debut at three positions. He made three tackles at defensive end, ran for 14 yards on three carries at fullback and averaged 41.8 yards on four punts.

Kyles move to fullback was new this week. He did not play last week against Willamette because of eligibility problems.

That looks like a move we think were going to make, Cushman said. Hes just such a big, strong force that it gives us more opportunities to play people at the slot.

The game was played in 15,000-seat Perkins Stadium in Whitewater and was televised locally. The weather was hot and humid, and Eastern also had to adjust to a two-time zone difference.

This facility was phenomenal, Cushman said. It was a big-time operation for Division III football.

Easterns schedule gets no easier. Division I-AA Weber State sits at the end of the next road trip. Cushman isnt focusing so much on the Wildcats as improving his own team.

Were just going to take a positive perspective and were going to try to improve, he said. We hope that with these good teams, later on it will make a difference for us.

Eastern Oregon 7 0 0 7 14

Wisconsin-Whitewater 14 6 17 7 44

First quarter

WW Chad Wurth 20 run (A.Barribeau kick), 12:12.

WW Wurth 10 run (Barribeau kick), 4:52.

EO Sven Wilson recovered block punt (Gabe Minthorn kick), 0:23.

Second quarter

WW Steve Tenhagen 10 pass from Randy Borgardt (kick blocked), 4:24.

Third quarter

WW Barribeau 42 FG, 6:21.

WW Reggie Stauss 10 run (Barribeau kick), 2:20.

WW Mark Blau 6 run (Barribeau kick), 0:45.

Fourth quarter

EO Mark Hanrahan 10 run (Minthorn kick), 9:56.

WW Andy Rice 10 pass from Borgardt (Barribeau kick), 3:43.


First downs 18 24

Rushes-yards 52-246 49-278

Passing yards 61 151

Comp-att-int 7-13-1 13-27-0

Punts 4-41.8 4-31.3

Fumbles-lost 4-2 1-0

Punt returns-yards 3-26 1-8

Kickoff returns-yards 8-124 3-62

Penalties-yards 5-42 7-75

Third-down conversions 6 of 15 6 of 13

Fourth-down conversions 1 of 3 1 of 2

Sacks byyards lost 1-8 0-0

Time of possession 31:52 28:08

Individual statistics

RUSHING Eastern Oregon, Hanrahan 16-61, Hamlin 5-51, Davidson 11-45, Geske 8-41, Allard 5-20, Kyle 3-14, Morriss 2-10, Naeole 1-4, Pritchett 1-0. Wisconsin-Whitewater, Wurth 23-151, Warren 10-56, Blau 4-34, R.Stauss 4-26, Square 2-10, Sullivan 5-9, Borgardt 1-(minus 8).

PASSING Eastern Oregon, Hanrahan 7-12-1-61, Nyby 0-1-0-0. Wisconsin-Whitewater, Borgardt 8-17-0-109, R.Stauss 5-10-0-42.

RECEIVING Eastern Oregon, Pritchett 2-23, Geske 2-18, Nyby 1-10, Davidson 1-6, Hannah 1-4. Wisconsin-Whitewater, Tenhagen 6-70, Rice 2-36, Schmidt 2-20, Whittaker 2-18, E.Stauss 1-7.

TACKLES FOR LOSSES Eastern Oregon, Thornley 1-8, Geske 1-2, Van 1-2, Wilson 1-2, Jensen 1-2, Ekart 1-1, McDaniels 1-1, Moore 1-1. Wisconsin-Whitewater, Mabry 1-3, Saddy 1-1.

INTERCEPTIONS Wisconsin-Whitewater, Bergum 1-22.

MISSED FIELD GOALS Eastern Oregon, Minthorn 29.