UWO Football pummels Pioneers


Photo courtesy of UWO Athletics– The offensive line sets up on center, Brian White. Within the First 11 seconds of the first quarter UWO had already scored a touchdown.

Jacob Link, Sports Co-Editor

Quarterback Kobe Berghammer had a masterful six touchdown performance as the UW Oshkosh football team routed UW-Platteville 46-7 at J.J. Keller Field at Titan Stadium on Hall of Fame Day Saturday afternoon.

UWO Head Coach Peter Jennings said the Titans were so unstoppable because of the preparation the team has had since March.

“These guys have really put the program ahead of themselves and have done a phenomenal job of training, as well as going out and executing on the practice field,” he said. 

The Titans, ranked No. 16 in the nation by d3football.com, forced a fumble on the opening kickoff, giving the offense prime field position at the UWP 25 yard-line.

On the first play from scrimmage, Berghammer found an open Trae Tetzlaff, who made a spectacular one-handed catch in the endzone, for a 25-yard passing touchdown. UWO tacked on two more points when they did the swinging gate trick play on the point after attempt to take the 8-0 lead.

The Oshkosh defense forced a three-and-out on the next Pioneer possession, which ended with a 13-yard punt to give the Titans the ball at their own 48-yard line. It took UWO just three plays to find the endzone again when Berghammer used his legs for a 24-yard rushing touchdown to increase the lead to 15-0.

Oshkosh’s Bryce Edwards forced another UWP fumble that was recovered by senior linebacker Tory Jandrin, giving UWO the ball at the Pioneer 41-yard line. On the very next play, Berghammer found a wide-open Tetzlaff once again for the 40-yard catch and run touchdown.

The Titans increased their lead to 29 with just over six minutes to go in the second quarter when wide receiver Tony Steger took a direct snap and found an open Berghammer for the 6-yard touchdown. It is believed that Berghammer became the first quarterback in UW Oshkosh history to pass, run and catch a touchdown pass in a single game.

Steger said his touchdown pass was an awesome play design and everyone executed it perfectly during the game.

“The first couple times we ran that play in practice it was not as pretty but of course we knocked that out in practice,” Steger said. “I saw a guy run by Kobe and he said, ‘throw it no matter what,’ so I threw it.”

With six seconds before halftime, Berghammer threw for his third touchdown of the day when he found Steger in the endzone as the Titans went into the locker room with a 36-0 lead.

Platteville, who went 0-3 on fourth downs in the game, turned the ball over on downs on their first possession after halftime, setting up the sixth touchdown of the day for UWO. Berghammer threw for a nine-yard touchdown to give Steger his second touchdown reception of the game and grew the UWO lead to 43-0.

With his fourth touchdown pass of the day, Berghammer moved up to fourth place on the all-time passing touchdowns list, moving ahead of Alan Beversdorf. Berghammer is 26 touchdown passes behind current tight ends coach Nate Wara for third place on the all-time list.

The lone Pioneer touchdown came when a bad snap went over the head of Titan backup quarterback Quentin Keene which UWP recovered in the endzone.

UWO’s Brody Milz intercepted a Platteville pass allowing Keene and the Oshkosh offense to drive down the field and add a 36-yard field goal. The Titans would force two more UWP turnovers, an interception by Caleb Noening and a forced fumble by Nick Pearson, as the Wisconsin Intercollegiate Athletic Conference (WIAC) opener finished 46-7.

Berghammer finished the game 18-26 with 269 passing yards and four passing touchdowns while also having a game-high 52 rushing yards on nine carries. Wide receivers Steger and Tetzlaff led UWO in receiving yards with 81 and 65 yards, respectively, with both Titans recorded two touchdowns each.

Jennings said the team treated the bye week just as any other week, installing new plays to hit the ground running for this week’s preparation.

“These guys were absolutely ready to come out and we were on fire on all sides of the ball,” he said.

Steger echoed Jennings, saying the preparation for the game was the reason the offense was able to score three times on its first three possessions.

“In the bye week we really took steps in the right direction,” he said. “We knew that after the WIAC was ranked the number one conference in the country [by d3football.com], every week is going to be a new test. Every game is important so we knew we had to execute and keep doing what we’re doing.”

On the defensive side of the ball, Brandon Kolgen, Kardo Ali and Pearson recorded one sack each while Kolgen led Oshkosh with four tackles for loss totaling 10 yards.

Kolgen, a UWO defensive lineman, said the effort of the defense was incredible and defensive coordinator Craig Stenbroten had a great gameplan.

“He knew how to exploit Plattville and our D-line played strong up front, winning the line of scrimmage on every play,” Kolgen said. “The defensive backs and linebackers flew around to the ball and like coach Jennings says, it’s all about the preparation.”

For Platteville, Nathan Shackelford went 6-11 for 47 yards passing before being benched in the second quarter for back-up Braeden Katcher. Katcher did not fare much better, going 15-30 for 170 yards with two interceptions and a fumble.

Jennings said it’s always great to get the younger players in the game when the opportunity presents itself.

“We’re going to try to play a lot of guys so they can feel what it’s like to play in a WIAC football game,” he said. “There’s nothing else like it in Division III. That Platteville team is a really good team and we got the better of them today for sure.”

The Titans (3-1, 1-0 WIAC) will travel to UW-River Falls (3-1, 1-0 WIAC) next Saturday at 1 p.m. for a matchup against the Falcons, who are ranked No. 17 in the nation.