Titans tackle Eagles in home game

Nate Proell

No. 97 kicked Eli Wettstein prepares to kick the ball against the Eagles. Wettstein has made 12 field goals so far.
[/media-credit] No. 97 kicked Eli Wettstein prepares to kick the ball against the Eagles. Wettstein has made 12 field goals so far.
No. 66 junior offensive lineman Ty Summers gets ready to snap the ball to quarterback Brett Kasper on Nov. 5
[/media-credit] No. 66 junior offensive lineman Ty Summers gets ready to snap the ball to quarterback Brett Kasper on Nov. 5

The UW Oshkosh football team is now 8-1 after a 51-29 victory over the UW-La Crosse Eagles on Saturday, remaing in second place in the Wisconsin Intercollegiate Athletic Conference, one game behind UW-Whitewater and one game ahead of UW-Platteville.

In a matchup between two of the top three ranked WIAC defenses, Titans being ranked first and the Eagles second, the Titans had 528 total yards of offense compared to the Eagles’ 372 total offensive yards.

Titans quarterback Brett Kasper said his team worked hard to have an impressive performance against a tough opponent.

“It felt good to actually play them well,” Kasper said. “To get them at home and put a full game together felt really good.”

The Titans’ WIAC No. 1 ranked rush offense was able to get 364 total rushing yards compared to the Eagles’ fourth-ranked rush offense who totaled 92 rushing yards on Saturday.

In a game where the Titans did not attempt a single punt, the offense was able to score seven touchdowns and a field goal.

The game started with the Eagles getting the ball first after the Titans won the coin toss and elected to kick.

The Eagles had a quick three and out in a drive that lasted just over a minute. The Titans got the punt on their own 30 and were able to take it 70 yards for a touchdown via Mitch Gerhartz’s 23-yard rush.

After the missed extra point from kicker Eli Wettstein, who has made 12 of 15 attempts this season, the Titans took the early lead of 6-0.

The Eagles second possession of the game resulted in an interception after taking the ball from their own 25-yard line to their 50. The Titans’ strong safety Johnny Eagan intercepted a pass attempt from Eagles quarterback Tarek Yaeggi on the UWO 40.

The Titans took the ball from their own 40 to the Eagles’ 31 where they were held to a 48-yard field goal attempt that was good by Wettstein, extending the Titans’ lead to 9-0 with 4:47 remaining in the first quarter.

The Eagles were able to put their first score on the board on the next possession after going 75-yards and a Yaeggi 1-yard rush that he fumbled but was recovered in the endzone by Eagles’ Joel Oxford for the touchdown.

The Eagles were down two points with 2:52 remaining in the first quarter with a score of 7-9.

The next score of the game came from the Titans in the second quarter at 13:23 with an 11-yard touchdown pass from Kasper to wide receiver CJ Blackburn, putting the Titans ahead 16-7.

At 9:39 in the second, the Titans had their third touchdown of the game with a Dylan Hecker rush for 2 yards in a drive that came from an interception by cornerback Rajon Hall.

The Eagles were able to score another touchdown with a Yaeggi 4-yard pass to Nick Holcomb in a drive that went 58-yards. With the last score of the first half for both teams, the Titans finished the first half ahead 23-14.

The Titans started the second half with the ball and scored their fourth touchdown of the game, and the second for Kasper who had a 9-yard pass to wide receiver Jacob Grant. The Titans were now ahead 30-14 with 8:03 remaining in the third quarter.

UW-La Crosse managed to keep themselves in the game with a 15-yard Yaeggi touchdown pass to Oxford. After a successful two-point conversion the Eagles were within 8 points of the Titans with a score of 22-30.

The Titans pulled away from the Eagles for the rest of the game after a 45-yard rush from Blackburn that extended the lead to 22-37 as the third quarter came to an end.

The Titans had two more touchdowns in the fourth quarter. The first being a 1-yard Chad Walton rush and the second being a 2-yard Blackburn rush.

With 4:42 remaining in the game the Eagles scored the last touchdown of the game bringing the final score to 29-51.

Despite the victory, Blackburn said he believes the team has yet to put out their best performance and show what they are really capable of.

“I don’t think we’ve played our best game yet,” Blackburn said. “We wanna play great football, we know we can play better.”

The Titans have one more regular season game against the 2-7 UW-Eau Claire Blugolds.

Despite the poor record for the Blugolds and its last place WIAC standing, Titans head coach Pat Cerroni said his team does not take anyone lightly.

“Obviously we’re trying to beat them,” Cerroni said. “That’s how we operate. We’re not worried about what their record is.”