UW-Oshkosh's defense recorded six sacks and three takeaways during a 30-6 Homecoming victory over UW-La Crosse on Saturday (Oct. 12) at J. J. Keller Field at Titan Stadium.
The Titans (5-0/2-0 WIAC), ranked ninth by D3football.com, won for the 20th time in their last 21 games. UW-Oshkosh has captured 11 straight WIAC contests for the third-longest streak since 1957.
Ryan Stefaniak led the defensive onslaught with 10 tackles (nine solo) and a sack. Cody Huemmer posted 2.5 sacks, while Dexter Charles knocked down two passes and sacked the quarterback twice.
Each team drove for a field goal on its opening series. UW-La Crosse's scoring drive featured a 36-yard reception by Jeff Haffemann.
UW-Oshkosh forced a punt and then recorded a 12-play, 56-yard drive. Joe Sommers broke free for a 21-yard catch to get the Titans in scoring range. Nate Ray followed with a 25-yard field goal to take the 6-3 lead.
The Eagles (0-5/0-2 WIAC) quickly went three-and-out on their next possession. On the last play of the first quarter, UW-Oshkosh reached deep into the playbook. Nick Olla threw backwards to Dylann Rauch, who was lined up at receiver. Rauch then fired deep down the sideline to a wide-open Cole Myhra for the 54-yard touchdown. Video Highlight
Neither team could score during the second quarter, as UW-Oshkosh compiled 20 yards and UW-La Crosse 13.
A solid kick return set up UW-Oshkosh right after halftime. Cory Wipperfurth jump-started the drive, gaining 22 yards on an option. Myhra then rushed up the middle for a six-yard score that put the Titans ahead, 20-3.
UW-La Crosse was held to its lowest point total in the last 54 meetings with UW-Oshkosh. The Eagles registered their final tally on a 43-yard field goal from Matt Van Druten midway through the third quarter.
Another highlight-reel play came with 12:24 remaining. Olla looked to his right and lofted a 28-yard pass over two defenders. Zach Kasuboski made a diving grab in the corner of the end zone for a touchdown and 27-6 advantage.
Later in the quarter, Ray drilled a 42-yard field goal for the longest of his career.
UW-Oshkosh used interceptions from Austin Blashka, Manfred Johnson and Branden Lloyd. Johnson's second-quarter pick was off a deflection by Beau Steffens.
Olla finished with 17-of-24 passing for 157 yards. Myhra booked 75 yards on five catches and 65 yards on 13 rushes. The Titans also had Kasuboski mark 64 receiving yards and Wipperfurth 59 rushing.
Both squads converted 2-of-14 third downs. UW-Oshkosh owned a 369-173 edge in total yards, while the Titans held UW-La Crosse to 33 rushing yards on 33 attempts.
The Eagles were led by Haffemann's four receptions for 70 yards. Andy Sires totaled 90 yards on 8-of-21 throws before Trent Cummings went 5-of-10 for 50 yards. Jude Williams topped the run game with 10 carries for 27 yards.
UW-La Crosse's defense made seven tackles for loss, including two sacks by Andrew Walsh. Jay Wussow paced the unit with nine stops.
UW-Oshkosh looks to keep rolling next week (Oct. 19) at UW-River Falls.
By Jon Feyen, UW-Oshkosh Sports Information