On Saturday, Oct. 10, the UW Oshkosh football team defeated UW-Whitewater 10-7, snapping the Warhawks 36-game winning streak. This is the Titans first home win over the Warhawks since 2002.
UW-W came into the game with the longest winning streak across all three NCAA football divisions. Whitewater was also ranked No. 1 in the nation prior to the game; however, following the loss, the Warhawks are now ranked 6th and the Titans moved up to the No. 5 ranking, according to D3football.com.
Head coach Pat Cerroni said in order for the Titans to beat the defending Division III national champions they had to play smart, play together and have a strong will to win.
“These guys were just very focused all week,” Cerroni said. “For a long time they’ve been thinking about this game, probably ever since last year, so our desire and will to play well and to come out on top was pretty great.”
The Titans topped the Warhawks in nearly every statistical aspect of the game. They had 75 total offensive plays totaling 340 yards compared to the Warhawks’ 58 total offensive plays and 221 total yards. UWO also had 41 carries for 186 yards compared to Warhawks who had 32 carries for 71 yards.
In rushing, sophomore running back Dylan Hecker lead with 96 yards, averaging four yards-per-carry, and had the Titans’ only touchdown of the game.
Quarterbacks Brett Kasper and Jayden Essman combined for 154 passing yards. Kasper went 10 for 12 for 78 yards while Essman went 10 for 17 with 60 yards.
The field goal that put the Titans’ on top was from kicker Greg Rand from 41 yards out with 10:45 left in the game.
All the players on the team said the Titans victory over the Warhawks was a complete team effort.
“Seniors really stepped up, defense stepped up, it was just all around a great victory,” freshman kick-returner Dom Todarello said.
Junior linebacker Branden Lloyd said he was ecstatic following the victory.
“It’s something that we’ve been working for,” Lloyd said. “[My] first year we almost got them, but they beat us outright last year. We had a little struggle, but this year we finally got them. It’s a great feeling.”
Cerroni said he was pleased with the team’s effort.
“We knew we had to match them, as far as being champions, and I think we did that,” Cerroni said. “We played, obviously not perfect, but everybody on the sideline, everybody on the coaching staff, everybody on the training staff, I mean it was just a complete team effort. The will to win was great.”
On Saturday, Oct. 17, the Titans take on UW-Stevens Point in the UW Oshkosh Homecoming game. The Pointers have an overall record of 3-2.