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 upset River Falls in final game of season

Jacob Link / Advance-Titan — UWO wide receiver Trae Tetzlaff hauls in a 56-yard touchdown pass from quarterback Kobe Berghammer in UWO’s 38-31 win over River Falls.

Despite being outgained by over 100 yards, the UW Oshkosh football team upset nationally ranked UW-River Falls in the final game of the season 38-31 Nov. 11 at J.J. Keller Field at Titan Stadium.

Senior quarterback Kobe Berghammer said the upset was an awesome team win.

“The defense played awesome today and came up with a few huge turnovers,” he said. “As you saw, those turnovers at the end of the first half flipped the whole game momentum-wise. That was a huge win for us and I know all of us can feel it right now. That’s a great team over there and you could see why. They have a lot of good players over there but it just came down to just execution, and at the end of the day I think we executed a little better, that’s really the reason we came out on top.”

The Titans (6-4, 4-3 in the Wisconsin Intercollegiate Athletic Conference) bested the Falcons (7-3, 4-3 WIAC) for the first time since 2019. UWO was unable to secure a spot in the 2023 Culver’s Isthmus Bowl after UW-Platteville (6-4, 4-3) took down UW-Stout 41-23 and holds the tiebreaker in the league standings over the Titans.

UWO was outgained 535-400 in total yards and River Falls earned 35 first downs in the game compared to Oshkosh’s 20. The Falcons outgained the Titans in passing yardage 395-254, but UWO finished the game holding a slight edge in rushing yards 146-140.

In his final game as a Titan, Berghammer finished the contest 25-for-38 with 254 passing yards, two touchdowns and an interception while rushing for 46 yards and a touchdown on 14 carries.

Berghammer said the biggest difference between the two teams was execution and effort.

“I think at the end of the day it comes down to pure grit and will,” Berghammer said. “Sometimes late in the game, you need one-yard either offensively or defensively, but however it may be, it just comes down to the heart and the will to do it. You just have to bite down on your mouthguard a little harder and say ‘let’s go do this thing.’”

Freshman running back Justice Lovelace had a career-high 95 rushing yards and a touchdown on 11 carries to lead all UWO rushers.

Oshkosh’s Trae Tetzlaff, who leads the WIAC in receptions, caught 12 passes for 107 yards and a touchdown to lead all Titan receivers. Fellow wideout Londyn Little grabbed two passes for 50 yards while Dan Fynaardt had four receptions for 44 yards and a score.

Defensively, the Titans were led by safety Eli Tranel who had a game-high 12 tackles and two pass breakups. Jacob Mandella, Kenny Satori and Jhe’veon St. Julien all recorded sacks for a UWO defense that combined for five tackles for loss.

Tranel said the defense was trying to take the game play by play.

“With their hurry-up offense, we tried not to get too lost and keep our heads up,” Tranel said. “We were focusing on trusting the guy next to you. They kind of shift around offensively so we had to play a lot of man coverage. At the end of the day it’s all about that grit and who is going to make that extra play. I think a lot of our defensive guys really took that to heart and we had that momentum.”

Oshkosh forced two turnovers in the game when Kenny Satori intercepted a pass in the first quarter and linebacker Kyle Dietzen forced a fumble in the second quarter and ran it in for a touchdown. Justin Tenpas added another interception for the Titans in the third quarter.

UWRF quarterback Kaleb Blaha finished the game 43-for-61 with 395 passing yards, a touchdown and two interceptions. Blaha also rushed for a game-high 98 yards and three touchdowns on 29 carries.

Falcons running back Michael Kreuger finished the contest with 31 rushing yards on six attempts while hauling in a game-high 12 catches for 107 yards. UWRF wide receivers Luke Kush and Jake Hilton both finished with 72 receiving yards and combined for 17 catches against the Titans.

The River Falls defense combined for five sacks and eight tackles for loss, while forcing a fumble and intercepting a Berghammer pass. The Falcons were led by Andrew Schumacher, who had 10 total tackles, a tackle for loss and an interception in the contest.

UWRF kicked off the scoring with just under nine minutes to go in the opening quarter when Blaha ran up the middle for a 1-yard touchdown.

The Titans tied the game at 7-7 on their next drive after Berghammer dove into the endzone for a 4-yard touchdown.

UWO picked off Blaha with under two minutes to play in the first quarter, and the Titans took a seven-point lead on their next possession when Berghammer found an open Fynaardt for a 2-yard passing touchdown.

It took River Falls less than two minutes to level the score at 14-14 after the Falcons drove 69 yards in seven plays and Blaha capped off the drive with a 27-yard rushing touchdown.

With 11 minutes to go in the half, Berghammer was sacked and fumbled, giving the Falcons prime field position at the UWO 7-yard line. Three plays later, UWRF found the endzone after a 1-yard rushing touchdown from Blaha.

The Titans gave the ball right back to River Falls on their next possession when Berghammer was picked off by Schumacher.

After UWO stopped the Falcons on fourth down midway through the second quarter, the Titans put together a nearly six-minute drive that ended with a Nolan Mobley 27-yard field goal.

With less than two minutes to go until halftime and UWRF deep inside Titan territory, Blaha fumbled on a strip-sack from St. Julien and Dietzen was there to return the ball 65-yards for a touchdown to give UWO a 24-21 lead.

Berghammer said Dietzen’s fumble return at the end of the first half was a huge momentum booster for the team going into halftime.

“We always preach ‘win the middle eight,’ which means we want to win the final four minutes at the end of the first quarter and the first four minutes of the second half,” Berghammer said. “There’s no better two minute drill than that one, that was awesome. It was an awesome strip-sack and recovery and we were flying high at halftime. But, we just wanted to keep those emotions down a little bit and get back to execution.”

After both teams had three-and-outs to begin the third quarter, the Falcons retook the lead after Blaha tossed a 34-yard passing touchdown to Ethan Chromy.

The Titans began the fourth quarter by capping off an 80-yard drive with a 56-yard passing touchdown from Berghammer to Tetzlaff to claim a 31-28 advantage.

UWO added another touchdown with less than three minutes to go in the contest after Lovelace broke off a 40-yard rushing touchdown to give Oshkosh a 10-point lead.

River Falls cut the UWO lead to 38-31 after a 23-yard field goal from Justin Scheberl with 26 seconds to go, and Oshkosh’s Noah Alford secured the ensuing onside kick to complete the Titans upset of the Falcons.

Berghammer said the team has meant the world to him this season.

“This has been the most fun season I’ve ever had and I’m so thankful for each one of my teammates,” Berghammer said. “They make coming to meetings every day fun and I don’t know how they do it but they put a smile on my face every single day so I’m thankful for these guys and I wish I had a lot more football with these guys.”

Leave a Comment
More to Discover

Comments (0)

All The Advance-Titan Picks Reader Picks Sort: Newest