Titan football falls to La Crosse 38-35

UWO suffers heartbreaking loss after comeback


Morgan Feltz / The Advance-Titan– UWO’s Terrell Carey catches a pass in Saturday’s loss to UWL at Titan Stadium. Carey had a career-high five catches for 135 yards receiving in the game.

Jacob Link, Co-Sports Editor

The UW Oshkosh football team came back from down 18 points in the second half but fell just short as a 52-yard field goal lifted UW-La Crosse over the Titans 38-35 Saturday at J.J. Keller Field at Titan Stadium.

UWO quarterback Kobe Berghammer ran for a 1-yard touchdown to tie the game at 35 with just under 6 minutes to play, but the ensuing PAT was blocked — one of three unsuccessful PAT’s Oshkosh had in the game.

The Eagles drove down the field on their next possession, going 38 yards in nine plays, to set up a 52-yard field goal from kicker Ryan Berine. Berine converted the kick with ease, putting UWL on top 38-35.

Oshkosh got the ball back with 51 seconds left, but on the first play of the drive Berghammer threw an interception, effectively ending the game.

La Crosse, ranked seventh in the nation by d3football.com, kicked off the scoring in the game when quarterback Keyser Helterbrand ran for a 2-yard score as the Eagles took the 7-0 lead early in the first quarter.

UWL added another touchdown on their next drive after Helterbrand completed a 14-yard pass to a wide open Matthijs Enters.

The Titans finally put points on the board in the second quarter when kicker Nolan Mobley converted a 35-yard field goal to cut the UWL lead to 14-3.

Enters grabbed his second touchdown of the day, this time a 16-yard pass from quarterback Cade Garcia, as UWL extended its lead to 21-3 with just over 7 minutes to go in the first half.

UWO responded with a touchdown on its next possession when Berghammer found wide receiver Trae Tetzlaff in the endzone for the 15-yard score.

Just before halftime, La Crosse’s lead grew to 18 points when Helterbrand found an open Joey Stutzman who took it to the house for a 69-yard catch and run touchdown.

Berghammer threw for his second touchdown of the game early in the third quarter when he connected with Tony Steger for a 16-yard touchdown. A bad snap on the ensuing PAT put the Titans down 28-26 with 8:43 to go in the third quarter.

On UWO’s next possession Berghammer struck again, finding tight end Jimmy DuVal in the endzone as the Titans cut the lead to just five points.

Both teams would trade touchdowns early in the fourth quarter with Helterbrand and Berghammer each rushing for a score, but Mobley would have another PAT blocked to keep UWL ahead 35-29.

Berghammer finished the game 21-35 with 342 yards passing with three touchdowns and one interception. UWO running back D.J. Stewart led the Titans in rushing, carrying the ball five times for 21 yards.

Titan wideout Terrell Carey had the game of his career, catching five passes for 135 yards to lead all UWO receivers. Tetzlaff finished the game with six receptions for 55 yards and a touchdown while Steger had four catches for 83 yards and a score.

On the defensive side of the ball, Jared Tenpas recorded his first career sack to lead the Titans. Carson Raddatz finished with a game-high 10 tackles while Jhe’veon St. Julien recorded a forced fumble for UWO.

For UWL, Helterbrand finished 6-7 with 129 yards passing and two touchdowns while Garcia finished 9-11 with 120 passing yards and a score. Running back Joey Stutzman had a game-high 108 yards rushing on 21 carries and Enters led the Eagles with 82 receiving yards and two touchdowns.

With the loss, UWO dropped out of the d3football.com Top 25 rankings and fell to sixth place in the Wisconsin Intercollegiate Athletic Conference standings, effectively ending any postseason hopes the Titans had.

Oshkosh will travel to Goerke Park where they will take on UW-Stevens Point at 1 p.m. Saturday in a matchup against former UWO assistant Luke Venne, now the head coach of the Pointers.

UWO head coach Peter Jenings said he didn’t say a lot to the players at halftime.

“Our execution earlier in the game didn’t set us up for a lot of success, but at the end of the game, the guys really rallied themselves,” he said. “The way they came out and just believed in themselves, the schemes and believed that they can play with anyone in the country, is awesome.”

“We knew we didn’t have to do anything different in the second half, just believe in one another, do your job and trust your brothers. UWO wideout Tony Steger said. “We knew it would work out and we were able to turn things around.”

“I hope the team learned that they are good enough to beat anybody,” Jennings said. “But, if we don’t do the little things right, we can lose to anybody. It’s a big growth moment.”

Defensive lineman Brandon Kolgen, who was named to the d3football.com nation Team of the Week, said the Titans knew going into the game that they were going to face a tough opponent.

“We knew they were going to pound us on the run and pass,” he said. “We had a good week of practice and knew it was coming, we put our foot in the dirt and hit em hard.”