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

Titans rebound with win over ETBU

Courtesy of Michael Sudhalter — Oshkosh’s Tijs Santiago intercepts the ball on just the sixth play of the game against ETBU Sept. 16.

Quarterback Kobe Berghammer threw for five passing touchdowns to lead the nationally-ranked UW Oshkosh football team past East Texas Baptist University 60-7 in Marshall, Texas, Sept. 16.

The Titans, ranked No. 22 in the nation by, improved to 2-1 after holding the Tigers (1-2) scoreless for the final three quarters and limiting ETBU to just 135 yards of total offense.

Berghammer finished the game 21-32 with 221 passing yards, 40 rushing yards and no interceptions. UWO running back Kaio Harn was the team’s leading rusher, gaining 70 yards on the ground and rushing for his first career touchdown. Harn also caught a 9-yard touchdown pass later in the contest for his first career receiving touchdown for the Titans.

Wideout Jon Mathieu also scored his first career touchdown for the Titans, finishing the contest with three receptions for 72 yards and a touchdown reception.

Mathieu said it was an amazing moment to score his first touchdown as a Titan.

“In the moment it felt pretty surreal and I’d say it was a pretty awesome feeling,” Mathieu said. “Just seeing all that work pay off in one play, it was a realization for me and it was a really awesome moment.”

Fellow wide receiver Tony Steger had a two-touchdown performance against ETBU, catching four passes for 14 yards and a touchdown before rushing for two yards and adding a rushing touchdown. 

Clayton Schwalbe and Avery Kurth also finished the game with receiving touchdowns for Oshkosh.

UWO’s offense accumulated 476 yards of total offense including 269 total passing yards and 207 total rushing yards. The Titans controlled the ball with authority, gaining 26 first downs, leading the time of possession by almost 10 minutes and finishing the game 10-17 on third down.

The entire starting offensive line, which did not allow a sack during the game, was named to’s Team of the Week Sept. 19 for UWO’s offensive performance against ETBU.

Defensively, the Titans had a combined 75 total tackles, eight sacks, 12 tackles for loss and two interceptions. UWO held ETBU to just 12 first downs, 34 rushing yards and 101 passing yards. Sophomore linebacker Kyle Dietzen had a team-high 11 tackles to go along with three tackles for loss and a sack. Tijs Santiago and Justin Tenpas each had an interception and combined for three tackles and a sack.

Mathieu said the biggest difference between the win over ETBU and last week’s loss to Wheaton College (Illinois) is that the Titans were much more physical than in previous weeks.

“We kind of focused on that during meetings during the week,” he said. “We really talked about how getting prepared for this week is being the most physical team on the field and that’s something we try to do every single week. I think this week we really saw that on the film afterwards, you could see the other team getting up and not wanting to line back up against us.”

Tigers quarterback Cornelius Banks finished the game 10-22 for 101 passing yards, a passing touchdown and two interceptions. Banks finished the contest with eight rushing attempts for -14 yards.

Jaden Thomas was ETBU’s leading rusher, running for 23 yards on the ground on eight attempts. Trayjen Llanas-Wilcox led all Tigers receivers with two catches for 54 yards and a touchdown.

Santiago picked off Banks on ETBU’s opening drive, giving the Titans the ball at the Tigers’ 12-yard line. It took UWO just three plays to find the back of the endzone after Berghammer found an open Harn for a 9-yard passing touchdown. Schwalbe ran for a two-point conversion on a trick play during the extra point attempt to put Oshkosh up 8-0 early in the first quarter.

Mathieu said he thought the team started a little slow at the beginning of the game but was able to become dominant by the second half.

“I thought starting out, we might’ve been a little bit slow just because it might’ve been a long bus ride but when we kind of got in our groove, it was over for them,” he said. “We were firing on all cylinders and all sides of the ball. Our defense getting picks, our offensive line going crazy with their blocking and our offense really being able to get the ball everywhere.”

After a Tigers three-and-out, UWO drove down the field in eight plays and added another touchdown to the board when Berghammer found a wide-open Mathieu for a 55-yard touchdown. The Titans elected to kick the extra point, increasing UWO’s advantage to 15 points.

On their next drive, the Tigers responded with a score after Banks completed a deep pass to Llanas-Wilcox, who ran the rest of the way for a 34-yard touchdown and cut the lead to 15-7 late in the first quarter.

Neither team found the endzone again until late in the second quarter when Titans put together a 51-yard drive ending in a 2-yard passing touchdown from Berghammer to Schwalbe. Just before halftime, UWO drove down the field in 57 seconds and kicker Nolan Mobley nailed a 30-yard field goal with eight seconds to go in the half to put the Titans on top 25-7 going into the locker room.

The Titans scored on their first possession after halftime off a 20-yard rushing touchdown from Harn, capping off a six-play, 81-yard drive.

Tenpas picked off Banks on ETBU’s next possession, setting up another UWO touchdown when Berghammer found Steger for a 6-yard passing touchdown.

After sacking the Tigers on fourth down, the Titans increased their lead to 46-7 after Berghammer completed a short pass to Avery Kurth, who ran into the endzone for a 7-yard touchdown.

UWO added two more rushing touchdowns, one from Steger late in the third quarter and another from backup quarterback Quentin Keene in the fourth quarter, to help the Titans cruise to a 60-7 victory.

The Titans will have a bye week before facing UW-Whitewater (ranked No. 4 in the nation by for Hall of Fame Day Sept. 30 at J.J. Keller Field at Titan Stadium starting at 1:05 p.m.

“We talk about the bye week not being an off week,” Mathieu said. “We are using this bye week to become the best versions of ourselves. We’re focusing on self-improvement so we can be the best team we possibly can be moving forward.”

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