Nate Wara (So. • Oshkosh) and Garrie Fox (Jr. • Madison) each scored two touchdowns as the UW-Oshkosh football team posted a 35-22 win over Lambuth University on Saturday (Oct. 16) in Jackson, Tenn.
The dynamic duo connected eight times for 130 yards as the Titans played their first game in the state of Tennessee. Wara was nearly flawless, completing 24-of-30 passes for 258 yards. UW-Oshkosh's offense converted 12 of its 18 third-down opportunities and racked up 462 total yards. The Titan defense was also impressive, allowing a season-low 231 yards.
Fox caught scores from Wara in both the third and fourth quarters to clinch the victory for the Titans (3-3). The first big play came when UW-Oshkosh held a 19-13 cushion late in the third period. Wara pump-faked the defender out of position and then fired a strike to Fox down the sideline for a 49-yard touchdown. Lambuth University (2-4) then tallied a safety to make it 27-15 entering the final quarter.
A 14-play drive that consumed nearly six minutes put the contest out of reach. Wara connected on all five passes during the possession, in addition to his five runs for 29 yards. After a Matt Haass (Sr. • Brownsville) 16-yard catch converted third-and-long, Fox snatched a 20-yard throw with one hand as he dotted both feet inbounds. The Titans' second straight two-point conversion booked the final score.
The Eagles got on the board first after Lawrence Coleman returned a punt 34 yards in the opening quarter. That left just 13 yards to cover, with B.A. Davis carrying the final four yards on 4th-and-1 to mark the touchdown. Lambuth held that 7-0 advantage until the middle of the second frame.
Fox also contributed on special teams, taking a punt back 37 yards to set up a UW-Oshkosh score. Paul Coburn (Sr. • Sussex) did the heavy lifting on the five-play drive, notching a 39-yard catch. On third down, Wara shook a few Eagles off his back and scrambled in for a four-yard touchdown to make it 7-6.
Nate O'jibway drilled a 35-yard field goal to increase the margin to four points before the Titans struck again. Their 69-yard response included a 20-yard grab and 19-yard run by Charlie Weissman (Jr. • Colgate), along with a 26-yard reception from Haass. Wara closed the deal by sprinting across the length of the field for a 10-yard touchdown run on 3rd-and-8. UW-Oshkosh took a 13-10 lead into halftime.
Taking the third-quarter kickoff, the Titans strung together another long journey. They used 15 plays to travel 72 yards and succeeded on a fourth down near midfield. Back-to-back completions to Fox totaled 18 yards and put UW-Oshkosh in the red zone. Jake Dostalek (So. • Waterford) finally barreled in from two yards out to put his team up, 19-10.
Following the Eagles' safety, they received a free kick and recorded a touchdown drive that spanned the third and fourth quarters. The big plays on the possession were a 13-yard catch from Josh Wimbley and a 19-yard reception by Rod Jefferson. With 12:44 remaining, Marquis Williams danced in for a two-yard score and cut the deficit to 27-22.
Weissman, who sealed the outcome with a 24-yard run in the closing minutes, finished with 103 yards on 17 attempts. The Titans' 204 rushing yards also included 70 by Wara and 26 from Dostalek. On the defensive side, UW-Oshkosh received 10 stops from Jared Nehls (So. • Iron Ridge), three tackles for loss from Vince Sciano (Jr. • Franklin) and a clinching fourth-quarter interception by Nate Heard (Sr. • Milwaukee).
Lambuth University ran the ball 40 times, with Williams totaling 132 yards on 24 carries. Jefferson tallied six catches for 65 yards from Paul Harper, who hit 11-of-18 throws for 105 yards. While converting 3-of-13 third downs, Lambuth did succeed on its three fourth-down attempts. Jamie Payton recorded 13 tackles to pace the Eagles.
UW-Oshkosh has its homecoming game against UW-Platteville (4-2/2-1 WIAC) on Saturday (Oct. 23) at 2 p.m.