Oshkosh football ready for Whitewater

Nate Proell

Brett Kasper waits for the snap in the first quarter. UWO scored 17 points in quarter one.
[/media-credit] Brett Kasper waits for the snap in the first quarter. UWO scored 17 points in quarter one.

The Wisconsin Intercollegiate Athletic Conference opener for the UW Oshkosh football team resulted in a 45-17 victory against the UW-Stout Blue Devils. The Titans are off to a 4-0 start for the first time since 2013.

“These guys just keep impressing me,” Head Coach Pat Cerroni said.

Although the Titans are pleased with a perfect record so far, starting quarterback Brett Kasper said the team is not letting any of their success get to their heads.

“We’re never really content,” Kasper said. “Coach Cerroni has really been stressing that with us this year, especially not to become complacent and always to strive to be perfect rather than just be good.”

Kasper said despite the lack of competition and playing time for the starting team, they feel ready for the challenge and know that one school’s playoff hopes may be ruined after Saturday.

“It’s going to be a tough environment to play in, but that’s going to prepare us for hopefully the postseason,” Kasper said. “The team is obviously ready.”

The game against Stout started with an empty possession for the Blue Devils that lasted 2:05.

The Titans got the ball at 12:25 in the first quarter and the Titans scored a touchdown from a 21-yard run by wide receiver Sam Mentkowski at 11:12. The Titans had seven of their 17 points from the first quarter on the board.

Kasper said he knows the importance of being able to score on the first drive, especially with the competition only getting harder as the season goes on.

“It was very reassuring to come out and score on our first drive,” Kasper said. “I thought it was a good sign for the offense.”

After another empty possession for the Blue Devils, the Titans scored a touchdown with an 11-yard run from running back Devon Linzenmeyer’s first touchdown of four for the game.

The Titans last possession of the first quarter resulted in a 26-yard field goal from kicker Eli Wettstein giving the Titans a 17-10 lead.

The Blue Devils started out the second quarter with a 51-yard field goal from kicker Drew Pearson that put the Blue Devils on the board 17-3
After a Titans penalty on the kickoff that brought them to their own 10 yard line, a 79-yard touchdown run from Linzenmeyer extended the Titans’ lead to 24-3.

After an empty possession for the Blue Devils, the Titans got the ball back for a drive that resulted in Kasper’s first interception of the season on the Blue Devils nine yard line.

The Blue Devils got the ball on their own nine yard line and were able to take the drive to their own 43 yard line before the Titans got the ball back via interception by cornerback AJ Plewa who returned the ball 21 yards to the Blue Devils 28 yard line.

The Titans took one snap and scored a touchdown from a 28-yard run by Linzenmeyer with 7:49 left in the first half, putting the Titans ahead 31-3.

At 2:58 in the second quarter Dylan Hecker had a four-yard touchdown run.

The last scoring drive for the Titans was in the first half with a 23-yard touchdown pass from Kasper to Linzenmeyer with 28 seconds left.

The Titans ended the first half 45-3 and Kasper finished the game at the half with 224 yards of passing and one touchdown.

Mentkowski said it felt good coming out with a really strong first half.

“In the past we’ve been known to be a second half team,” Mentkowski said. “I think this year’s goal is to get rid of that.”

The Blue Devils were able to put up two more touchdowns in the second half but it would not be enough as the game ended 45-17 with the Titans on top.

Next weekend, the 4-0 sixth ranked Titans take on the 4-0 second ranked UW-Whitewater Warhawk.Mentkowski said the team is not preparing any differently and they are ready for the challenge.

“We’ve prepared every week the same way,” Mentkowski said. “It’s really about us, we just want to be the best we can be every week.”

Cerroni said he feels confident the team is ready for the challenge.

“It’s a week to week thing,” Cerroni said. “It’s gonna be a great game, big game. We’re excited about it.”

The game is set to kickoff at 1:05 p.m. at Perkins Stadium in Whitewater and will be televised on Time Warner Cable Sports Channel and audio available on WRST 90.3 FM. “