CSS Football’s Fast Start Not Enough to Contain Titans
OSHKOSH, Wis. (csssaints.com) – The St. Scholastica football team scored the first 10 points of Saturday's NCAA Division III playoff game at Titan Stadium, but the fifth-ranked University of Wisconsin-Oshkosh scored the final 55 points as the Titans advanced with the 55-10 victory.
The Saints were the team getting off to a fast start. After both teams exchanged punts, CSS's Tyler Zurn intercepted a tipped ball at the Oshkosh 28-yard-line. The Saints would have to settle for a field goal and it would be a long one as the UMAC Special Teams Player of the Year, Mike Theismann connected on a program-best 44-yard field goal. For the second straight year, the Saints scored the first points in a playoff game taking a 3-0 lead five minutes in.
Then on the Titans' ensuing possession, Chas Lemon would force a fumble on the first play and Jordan Rasmussen would recover at the Oshkosh 43-yard-line. CSS took advantage, scoring its first NCAA postseason touchdown with Tyler Harper hitting Nick Thiry for a 25-yard touchdown reception to make the score 10-0 St. Scholastica with under eight minutes to play in the first quarter.
However, the Oshkosh offense woke up on its next possession, converting a fourth-and-one around midfield and three, third-down conversion, including on its scoring play when Nate Wara hit Cole Myhra for a 12-yard screen pass to make the score 10-7 at the end of the first quarter.
After the Saints came up short on a fourth-and-one at the Oshkosh 17-yard-line, the Titans got a big play when Wara hit Caleb Voss for a 46-yard touchdown on a third-and-long to put Oshkosh ahead 13-10.
After a CSS three-and-out, Wara connected with Zach Kasuboski for a 23-yard reception, even though the ball was tipped by a CSS defender, making it 20-10. After another CSS punt, the Titans scored again on a Cole Myhra 5-yard touchdown plunge and just like that the score was 27-10 UW-Oshkosh with seven minutes left in the first half.
The Titans got one more score before the half and it came on the defensive side of the football as Taylor Goodman scooped up a fumble and then would lateral it to Nick Jolin, who scampered in from 12 yards out to make the halftime score 34-10 Titans.
The Titans ran for 254 yards in the first half and accumulated 361 yards of total offense. CSS threw for 111 yards and totaled 150 yards of offense.
The Saints opened with the ball in the second half and drove it into Oshkosh territory, but the drive would stall at the 34-yard-line. After another Saints punt, the Titans proceeded to move the ball 91 yards and punch it into the end zone on a Jake Dostalek 4-yard run to make it 41-10.
The Titans got in the end zone one more time before the end of the third quarter and it took just three plays to do it as Cole Myhra scored from a yard out to make it 48-10. Myhra added another TD with over four minutes left in the game to make the final score 55-10.
The Titans finished with 600 yards of total offense with 413 yards coming on the ground. The Saints finished with 243 yards of total offense on 174 passing yards and 69 rushing yards.
Titan quarterback Nate Wara was 11-for-23 through the air for 187 yards three touchdowns and an interception. Wara also ran for 128 yards. Cole Myhra ran for 198 yards and three scores. Caleb Voss had four receptions for 106 yards and touchdown.
Tyler Harper was 14-of-32 passing for 174 yards and one touchdown. Jake Jensen ran for 56 yards on 17 carries. Cory Gebhard had four receptions for 73 yards. Nick Thiry, in his final game as a Saint, had three receptions for 64 yards and one touchdown. Alec French led the defense with 10 tackles, including two for a loss.
The Titans (11-0) move on to face Bethel University, who defeated Concordia University-Chicago 24-23.
The Saints' season will end with an 8-3 record. CSS will say goodbye to 19 seniors from a class that went to two consecutive NCAA Division III playoffs.
For future information about the St. Scholastica football team, please keep checking csssaints.com.