Independent Student Newspaper of UW Oshkosh Campuses

The Advance-Titan

Independent Student Newspaper of UW Oshkosh Campuses

The Advance-Titan

Independent Student Newspaper of UW Oshkosh Campuses

The Advance-Titan

Football clinches second straight bid

The UW Oshkosh football team finished the regular season with a 48-13 victory over the UW-Eau Claire Blugolds on Saturday putting their record to 9-1 overall.

Titans head coach Pat Cerroni said he is happy with the results of the regular season and is confident in his team.

“I am really proud of these guys,” Cerroni said. “We lost to Whitewater and could have tanked it right there, but they fought really hard to get back and finish the season in a great place.”

With the win, the reigning- conference-champion Titans finish the regular season in second place in the Wisconsin Intercollegiate Athletic Conference with a conference record of 6-1. They finished one game behind the UW-Whitewater Warhawks and a game ahead of the UW-Platteville Pioneers.

Despite coming in second, Titans quarterback Brett Kasper said he is pleased with the results of the regular season and making the postseason.

“Obviously making the playoffs is our goal and we got to that goal,” Kasper said. “It’s kind of a new season. It’s kind of like a fresh start. We just gotta keep winning, it’s a do or die every week now.”

The Titans finished the regular season ranked fourth in the nation by

On Saturday against the Blugolds, the Titans scored seven touchdowns with one from special teams and another from the defense.

To start the game, the Titans won the coin toss and elected to defer. UWEC had a quick three-and-out that lasted a minute and a half.

After the 36-yard punt from UWEC punter Ian Scott, the Titans started their first drive of the game on their own 40-yard line.

The Titans took the ball 60 yards in 11 plays to score a touchdown from a Dylan Hecker 9-yard rush. After the made extra point by kicker Eli Wettstein, the Titans took an early lead of 7-0 with 8:49 to play in the first.

The Blugolds started their second drive on the UWO 40 after a 55-yard kickoff return from wide receiver Matthew Knapp. The Blugolds were able to take the ball to the UWO five-yard line, but the Titans defense came up with an interception on fourth down from defensive back Cole Yoder who returned the ball 53 yards to the Blugolds’ 47-yard line.
The Titans’ offense attempted one play and scored a touchdown with a 47-yard completion from Kasper to tight end Cody Moon. The Titans were ahead 13-0 after a failed Wettstein extra point attempt.

Wettstein’s kickoff that went 59 yards resulted in a forced fumble by linebacker Nick Amato. The ball was recovered by Titans’ strong safety Matt Rucynski on the UWEC 21 and returned the ball for a touchdown.

With the made extra point, the Titans were ahead 20-0 with 1:38 to go in the first quarter.

The Blugolds were able to put points on the board with their following possession that ran into the second quarter.

The UWEC drive went 67 yards which included a 55-yard touchdown pass from quarterback JT Denhartog to Knapp. The extra point attempt was blocked by UWO strong safety Johnny Eagan, putting the score at 20-6 with 13:30 remaining in the first half.

The Titans’ next score came with 22 seconds remaining in the first half in a drive that began from an Eagan interception.

The interception put the Titans on their own 41 yard line. They were able to get the ball to the UWEC three-yard line where Hecker rushed the ball in for the Titans’ fourth touchdown that extended their lead to 27-6 as the first half came to an end.

The second half started with a three-and-out for the Titans, who punted the ball 40 yards and downed the ball on the UWEC one-yard line. The Blugolds ran one play and fumbled the ball, which was recovered by the Titans cornerback AJ Plewa who brought it in for a touchdown.

The Titans were now ahead 34-6 with 12:12 remaining in the third.

The Blugolds went three-and-out on their following possession and punted the ball to the UWO 17 where the Titans ran one play and scored their sixth touchdown of the game via an 83-yard Hecker rush.

The score was now 41-6 with 8:49 remaining in the third quarter.

The Blugolds next possession started on their own 20 and went to the UWO 33 before Denhartog had his pass intercepted by Titans’ linebacker Branden Lloyd who returned the ball to the UWO 40.

The Titans were able to take the ball to the UWEC 19 where Kasper threw a 19-yard touchdown pass to wide receiver Andy Jones. After the made extra point from Wettstein, the Titans were ahead 48-6 with 12:05 remaining in the game.

UWEC was able to score one more touchdown with eight minutes to play in the game after a fumbled punt return from Titans wide receiver Dom Todarello that was recovered by the Blugolds on the UWO 32.

After going 32 yards, the Blugolds scored the last score of the game via a one-yard touchdown rush from Denhartog which brought the eventual final score to 48-13.

During NCAA Division III playoff selection show on Sunday, the Titans received an at-large bid and will be playing the 8-1 Washington University (Mo.) Bears who are first-year members of the Southern Athletic Association conference.

This is the second year in a row the Titans have made the postseason and the third time in program history.

The WIAC second ranked running back, Hecker, said after the playoff run last season, the team is more than prepared to take on what they hope to be a long postseason.

“We kind of got a feel for it [playoffs] last year so now we know what to expect,” Hecker said. “It’s just another game. We got to do what we do and get the win. Survive and advance.”

If the Titans beat the Bears they will play at home against the winner of UW-Platteville and St. John’s (Minn.).

Despite falling short of a conference championship, Eagan said the Titans are moving on and have their eyes on the bigger picture now.

“A conference championship would have been cool, but we are playing for a national championship now,” Eagan said.

The Titans face the Bears on Saturday at noon at J.J. Keller Field at Titan Stadium.

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