UW-Oshkosh posted three long touchdown drives in the first half on its way to a 34-13 Homecoming victory over UW-Platteville on Saturday (Oct. 13) at J.J. Keller Field at Titan Stadium. The Pioneers (4-2/1-2 WIAC) are ranked 14th in the NCAA Division III, while the Titans (6-0/3-0 WIAC) list 16th.
UW-Oshkosh has opened the season 6-0 for the first time in 89 years. The Titans' current eight-game win streak is their longest since 1936. During the first half, UW-Oshkosh had three scoring drives of at least 79 yards – all in a span of seven minutes.
Both teams average more than 40 points per game, but the two squads punted on their opening possession. UW-Platteville then moved the ball into the red zone before being intercepted by Tim Filter (Sr. • New Berlin). On the next play, Nate Wara (Sr. • Oshkosh) found Mitch Hintz (Jr. • Kimberly) on a fly pattern for 45 yards. The 11-play, 88-yard drive ended when Wara lofted a six-yard pass to Zach Kasuboski (So. • Wautoma), who made a leaping grab in the corner of the end zone.
The Pioneers had an answer on the ensuing drive. Trevor Whitehead hauled in two receptions for 22 yards. Hank McIvor then burst through a huge hole up the middle for a 26-yard touchdown that tied the score at 7 early in the second quarter.
The Titans' next trip down the field required just four plays. Cole Myhra (Jr. • Menomonee Falls) took a handoff and bounced to the outside with Wara as his lead blocker. Myhra scampered for 25 yards into UW-Platteville territory. Moments later, Wara moved around in the pocket and tossed a 30-yard touchdown to Matt Blackwell (Jr. • Sussex) just inside the pylon.
UW-Oshkosh's defense forced a three-and-out on UW-Platteville, which averaged 18 points in the first quarter this year before being shut out today. Wara took the next snap and launched a rainbow to Caleb Voss (Jr. • Van Dyne), who got wide open for the 69-yard touchdown that made it 21-7 with 8:34 left in the second quarter.
Before halftime, the Pioneers put together drives of 71 and 40 yards. Zach Litchfield capped the first scoring opportunity with a 26-yard field goal. He had another chance as time ran out, but his 30-yard kick was wide right. UW-Oshkosh took a 21-10 lead to intermission.
UW-Platteville had an 18-play march on its first possession of the third period, but the Pioneers settled for a field goal after two incomplete passes at the goal line. The Titans got the ball back and used a 27-yard catch from Kasuboski to set up Nate Ray's (So. • Verona) 36-yard field goal. Ray's boot into the wind put UW-Oshkosh ahead, 24-13.
Myhra took over in the fourth quarter. On the clinching drive, he ran the ball six times and caught four passes. Myhra ran for 10 yards to reach the UW-Platteville 4. He then pounded his way in from there for a touchdown.
Taylor Goodman (Sr. • South Wayne) intercepted a pass and returned it inside the 10-yard line to set up the day's final score, a 19-yard field goal by Ray. Goodman also notched 13 tackles and a sack in the game. Ryan McWethy led the Pioneer defense with 13 stops.
Wara was efficient despite the cool, rainy conditions. He hit on 15-of-21 passes for 236 yards and three scores. Myhra topped all runners with 102 yards on 20 carries, while also making six receptions for 38 yards. The Titans finished with 429 total yards and 6-for-12 success on third down.
UW-Platteville compiled 349 yards, including 203 on 42 pass attempts. Bryce Corrigan completed 25 of his 41 throws with two interceptions. McIvor topped the squad with 92 rushing yards on 17 carries, as Ryley Bailey (57 yards) and Paul Reit (45 yards) marked six receptions each. The Pioneers converted 9-of-20 third down opportunities.
UW-Oshkosh visits defending national champion UW-Whitewater on Saturday (Oct. 20). Both the Titans and Warhawks sit atop the WIAC with 3-0 records.
By Jon Feyen