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

UWO football defeats Eau Claire 35-7 at home

Courtesy of UWO Athletics — Oshkosh defensive lineman Jacob Mandella sacks the UWEC quarterback in UWO’s 35-7 win Oct. 14 at Titan Stadium.

Quarterback Kobe Berghammer threw for 382 yards and scored every touchdown in UW Oshkosh’s 35-7 victory over UW-Eau Claire Oct. 14 at J.J. Keller Field at Titan Stadium.

Berghammer finished the game 25-36 with four passing touchdowns, a rushing touchdown and two interceptions as the Titans took the lead in the first half and never looked back en route to a 28-point win.

UWO (4-2, 2-1 in the Wisconsin Intercollegiate Athletic Conference) earned its fourth straight win over the Blugolds (2-4, 1-2 WIAC) and the Titans have won their ninth game in the last 10 meetings against Eau Claire.

UWO head coach Peter Jennings said that any time you get a win in the WIAC it’s an accomplishment.

“You have to tip your cap to the team, the preparation, the coaching staff, and I’m very pleased with this victory,” Jennings said. “I think we have to continue to focus on starting fast, it’s something that’s plagued us the last couple weeks and I feel confident that we will emphasize that and that our guys will respond.”

Berghammer was the team’s leading rusher, racking up 45 yards on nine attempts while running back Kaio Harn ran for 22 yards on nine carries.

UWO wide receiver Trae Tetzlaff, who leads the WIAC with 39 receptions, totaled four catches for 89 yards and a touchdown to lead all Titan receivers. Fellow wideout Jon Mathieu caught four passes for 77 yards and a score while Londyn Little had three receptions for 55 yards.

On the defensive side, Jacob Mandella recorded a career-high three sacks on the day and totaled six tackles. The Titans, who combined for 78 total tackles, were led by defensive back Carson Raddatz and linebacker Kyle Dietzen who both finished the contest with seven tackles. Defensive linemen Tay’Jion Johnson and Joey Gordon each recorded a sack while linebacker Bryce Edwards totaled three pass breakups.

Mandella said he was proud of the way the defense was able to put pressure on the Blugold offense.

“We were just more physical upfront, and we wanted to shut them out like we did last year,” he said. “They got one score on us and we shouldn’t have allowed that but the defense played a great game.”

Jennings said the defense played lights out against Eau Claire.

“I love to see them playing with confidence,” Jennings said. “When we fly around and play fast, we’re tough to move the ball on and that’s what I saw from us today and that’s what we will continue to focus on for the course of the next four weeks.

For the Blugolds, quarterback Harry Roubidoux went 18-29 with 114 passing yards and a touchdown. Ivan Ruble was Eau Claire’s leading rusher, finishing with 128 yards on 29 attempts. Isaac Garside was the only UWEC receiver to catch more than three passes, totaling a game-high seven receptions for 49 yards.

Defensively, the Blugolds recorded 56 team tackles, five tackles for loss and a sack from Brady Hoffner. Both Ryan Kuechle and Caden Tonsager recorded interceptions for Eau Claire.

UWO’s offense was unable to move the ball into the red zone in the first quarter, but with a 21-mile an hour wind at their back in the second quarter the Titans were able to get on the board. With just over six minutes until halftime, UWO took a 6-0 lead after Berghammer dumped a pass off to Harn who ran into the endzone for a 6-yard score. Oshkosh was unable to convert on a two-point conversion attempt, keeping the Titan advantage at six points.

A 10-yard punt from UWEC gave Oshkosh prime field position on their next drive, and the Titans scored again when Berghammer threw a 14-yard touchdown pass to Mathieu.

The Titans drove into the red zone with 27 seconds to play before halftime, but Berghammer misplaced a pass in the endzone that was picked off by Tonsager and UWO went into the break leading 13-0.

Berghammer said he thought UWO’s offensive struggles in the first half were his fault.

“I was kind of rushing things, or I wasn’t putting the ball where I was supposed to and I think that I should take the blame for our slow start,” he said. “I don’t think I played my best game today. I pride myself in getting better next week so I’ll take that blame and we’re just going to move on and get better.”

Berghammer threw a home run ball on UWO’s first play of the second half, connecting with Tetzlaff for a 70-yard touchdown that put the Titans up 20-0.

Berghammer said the offense was ready when Jennings called the deep pass to begin the second half.

“We talked about it obviously at halftime and we were just kind of a like ‘alright we’re going to run this play and let’s do it.’” he said. “That’s what we do, and that’s kind of our focus is and no matter what play gets called we are going to execute the play exactly how we do it in practice every day.”

Jennings said he called the deep pass to begin the second half because he wanted to show that the team wasn’t afraid to through a deep ball into the wind.

“It was one of those things where it wasn’t just for us, it wasn’t just for coach (Rob) Erickson on the other side of the field, it was to make a statement that the wind is not going to affect our play calling and it’s not going to affect our aggressiveness,” he said. “We were showing that we are going to go after you no matter what the weather is.”

Oshkosh increased its lead to 28 points with just over two minutes remaining in the third quarter when a scrambling Berghammer back-hand pitched a 6-yard touchdown pass to tight end Clayton Schwalbe.

Berghammer said he was lucky that Schwalbe was able to haul in such a wild throw.

“I saw Clayton (Schwalbe) open up and coach Jennings popped into the back of my head and said, ‘don’t throw it, don’t throw it’ but I didn’t listen,” Berghammer said. “I threw it and luckily Clayton (Schwalbe) made a great play, and it was awesome to see him get a touchdown and make that catch. It wasn’t the smartest play on my end, but it worked out because we have great receivers on the team.”

The Blugolds got on the board on their first possession of the fourth quarter after Roubidoux threw a 2-yard touchdown pass to Hayden Goodman.

The Titans crushed any hope of an Eau Claire comeback on their next drive when UWO went on a 92 yard, 12 play drive that was capped off with a Berghammer 10-yard rushing touchdown to help Oshkosh cruise to a 28-point victory.

The Titans will hit the road to take on UW-La Crosse, ranked No. 4 in the nation by, at Veterans Memorial Stadium Oct. 21 with kickoff scheduled for 1 p.m.

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