Drew Patterson scored two touchdowns and the Warhawks capitalized on four Eagles turnovers as UW-Whitewater beat UW-La Crosse 32-22 on Saturday before a record crowd at Roger Harring Stadium.
UW-L (5-1, 2-1 WIAC) led 22-21 after three quarters, and out-gained the second-ranked Warhawks 506-339, but four turnovers led to 17 UW-Whitewater points.
"Today we just came out, and they just seemed to be at really poor times. Some of them were things we shouldn't have been in and things we shouldn't have been doing," Schmidt said. "The timing of ours were just devastating to us today and can't do that against a team like that."
After a slow start offensively the past few weeks, the Eagles drove 75 yards in 12 plays to start the game Saturday, and led 6-0 after Tarek Yaeggi connected with Nick Holcomb for a 24-yard touchdown. Yaeggi, who finished 33 of 49 for 401 yards with two touchdowns and two interceptions, set a school record for completions and is the first Eagles quarterback to throw for more than 300 yards in four straight games.
Whitewater answered with the first of Patterson's two rushing touchdowns in the game, giving the Warhawks a 7-6 lead.
In the second quarter, Paul Foster intercepted Yaeggi's pass and returned it 29 yards for a touchdown.
Jarrod Ware's 20-yard touchdown run with 2:05 remaining gave Whitewater a 21-6 lead before Josh Fisher converted a 20-yard field goal as time expired in the first half.
Yaeggi found Holcomb for a 1-yard score on UW-L's first possession of the second half, trimming the deficit to 21-15. Holcomb caught three passes for 29 yards on the day.
Following a Warhawks punt, the Eagles drove 42 yards in seven plays to re-gain the lead with 1:55 to go in the third quarter, as Yaeggi rushed for a touchdown. The 2-point conversion was no good.
Whitewater answered quickly, as Patterson ran 13 yards for the decisive score, and converted its 2-point try to lead 29-22.
UW-L was poised to tie the game, but a Troy Bailey fumble at the Warhawks' 10 yard line with 8:48 to play gave Whitewater the ball back. The Warhawks added a 26-yard field goal from Will Meyer for the game's final points.
A Roger Harring Stadium-record crowd of 5,373 was on hand to watch the game.
The Eagles travel to UW-Eau Claire next Saturday. You can see the game on WXOW beginning at 11 a.m.