Titan football wins second straight

Nathanial Brinkman

Oshkosh quarterback Brett Kasper targets a receiver in the Titans’ Sept. 19 game against North Park University. Kasper threw for 266 yards and three touchdowns in the 35-0 victory.
[/media-credit] Oshkosh quarterback Brett Kasper targets a receiver in the Titans’ Sept. 19 game against North Park University. Kasper threw for 266 yards and three touchdowns in the 35-0 victory.

The UW Oshkosh football team got its second straight victory and shutout when it defeated North Park University 35-0 on Saturday. It was the defense that got the scoring underway for the Titans as defensive back Rajon Hall intercepted a pass and returned it 26 yards for a touchdown. The pick-6 gave the Titans a 7-0 lead with 2:46 to go in the first quarter. Forcing turnovers was once again a bright spot for the Titans. In their last two contests, the Titans have forced a total of nine turnovers. Linebacker Steve Forner, who led UWO in tackles Saturday with 11, said the defense has worked really hard to perform this well. “I think our preparation has a lot to do with our success defensively because we put a lot of time in each and every week preparing for our next opponent,” Forner said. The Titans began to pull away from North Park in the second quarter as Kasper found Mentkowski for a 52-yard touchdown and again on the next drive for a 34-yard touchdown. Mentkowski was named UW Oshkosh Male Athlete of the Week, and although thankful for the recognition, Mentkowski said he is not the only one who deserves credit. “It’s an honor to be male athlete of the week, but it is more of a reflection of our whole team and how we have been playing,” Mentkowski said. “A lot of people only recognize the player who scores the touchdown, but there are a lot of things that must happen before the touchdown. Our offensive line has done an awesome job giving Brett [Kasper] enough time to make big plays.” To end the half, Kasper threw to wide receiver Zach Kasuboski for a 5-yard touchdown with only 19 seconds on the clock to put UWO up 28-0. The Titans were unable to score offensively in the second half, but the defense secured the Titans’ victory. In the third quarter, defensive lineman Trevor Fiegel recovered a fumble and ran it 42 yards into the end zone to give the Titans a 35-0 lead with 5:28 remaining. UWO quarterback Brett Kasper finished the game 22-32 for 266 yards and three touchdowns for the Titans, two of which were to wide receiver Sam Mentkowski. Kasper said he and Mentkowski have great chemistry this season and a connection that can’t be coached. “Before ever stepping foot on campus Mentkowski and I played against each other in the high school all-star game,” Kasper said. “We then began playing together as soon as we got on campus, and we became great friends. It’s one of those things that I know where he’ll be and he knows where I expect him.” Kasper and Mentkowski, who are both sophomores and roommates, said they spend a lot of time together on and off the field. “Being roommates with Brett is awesome,” Mentkowski said. “We are constantly hanging out and we always talk football.” The Titans will begin conference play on Oct. 3 as they travel to Menomonie to take on UW-Stout. Kasper said he and his teammates are confident heading into this part of the season coming off of their last two wins. “I think these last two games will affect our conference season,” Kasper said. “A part of playing the non-conference schedule is to work out any wrinkles there might be in the offense. Another part of it is to gain some confidence heading into conference, and that’s what the offense has done.”