Fifth-Ranked Warhawks Come Back To Defeat Titans

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Jordan Ratliffe rushed for 126 yards, including a momentum-changing 56-yard run, during UW-Whitewater's 17-14 victory over UW-Oshkosh on Saturday (Oct. 26) at J. J. Keller Field at Titan Stadium.

The Warhawks (7-0/4-0 WIAC) are ranked fifth in the NCAA Division III, while the Titans (6-1/3-1 WIAC) are ninth. UW-Oshkosh had its 18-game regular-season win streak snapped, along with its home streak of 10.

After the third quarter, the Titans held a 14-10 advantage. Ratliffe then broke free for a 56-yard run into the red zone. Booker Ross carried on the next play and scampered 18 yards for the go-ahead touchdown with 11 minutes left.

UW-Oshkosh had three more possessions to try and come back. The first opportunity resulted in a three-and-out. On their next drive, the Titans ran a fake punt that came up just short of the first down. Kyle Wismer then intercepted Nick Olla with 1:20 remaining to clinch the contest.

Against the nation's #3 defense, the Titans totaled 344 yards, but only 69 in the second half. UW-Oshkosh possessed the ball for just 16 of the final 45 minutes.

The first five drives of the game came up empty. Matt Behrendt then went deep to Jake Kumerow for 55 yards. Eric Kindler followed with a 36-yard field goal to take a 3-0 lead.

Early in the second quarter, Cory Wipperfurth burned the defense with a 46-yard reception inside the 10-yard line. Olla then floated a six-yard pass into the corner of the end zone, where Zach Kasuboski made a diving grab. The touchdown put the Titans up, 7-3, with 11:05 on the clock.

UW-Whitewater responded on the next series with a nine-play, 66-yard drive. Ross ran for a gain of 18 and Joe Worth for 16. Facing third down, Worth hauled in a five-yard pass at the goal line to put the Warhawks ahead, 10-7.

The offenses stayed hot, with Myhra running for 12 yards on the Titans' next snap. Joe Sommers picked up 23 yards with a catch-and-run over the middle. UW-Oshkosh then took the lead with Olla's perfectly thrown 44-yard rainbow to Kasuboski for a touchdown. Cody Huemmer notched two sacks late in the period, sending the Titans to halftime with a 14-10 cushion.

The Warhawks drove inside the 30-yard line during the third quarter, but UW-Oshkosh used sacks from Dexter Charles and Alex Smith to prevent a score.

UW-Oshkosh could not sustain a drive in the second half. Olla was picked off by Ryan Winske in the third quarter for the first interception in his last 127 attempts.

Myhra finished with 78 yards on 13 carries, becoming the second-leading rusher in program history (2,759 yards). He also caught five passes for 32 yards. Kasuboski totaled 66 yards on four receptions, while Olla booked 207 yards on 17-of-29 passes.

Behrendt went 22-of-40 for 236 yards, extending his streak to 225 throws without an interception. Kumerow compiled game-highs of nine catches and 135 yards. The Warhawks' ground game featured 126 yards on 21 attempts by Ratliffe and 58 yards on 12 carries from Ross.

The defensive standout of the game was Huemmer, who recorded 10 tackles (three for loss) and two sacks. Ryan Stefaniak added eight solo stops for the Titans, while the Warhawks were led by eight tackles from Marcus McLin.

UW-Whitewater held a 417-344 edge in total yards, as the Warhawks converted 6-of-18 third downs. The Titans were successful on 4-of-15 third downs. Each team committed just one penalty.

UW-Oshkosh has a home contest against UW-Stevens Point (4-3/2-2 WIAC) next week.

By Jon Feyen, UW-Oshkosh Sports Information