The UW-Oshkosh Titans were stopped short of a NCAA Division III championship game by the St. Thomas Tommies, as they lost by a score of 28-14 on Saturday.
The Titans (13-1) ended what head coach Pat Cerroni described as a, “dream season for all of us.”
Oshkosh struggled in the first half, allowing 21 points, and falling behind early. On the first Titan offensive play, an option pitch was fumbled and St. Thomas recovered to convert it for a touchdown on the same play.
The Titans then got the ball back and were forced to punt after four plays. The punt was blocked, giving St. Thomas the ball 24 yards away from the end zone.
Tommie quarterback Matt O’Connell capitalized on the great field position by throwing a touchdown pass to make the game 14-0 four minutes into the game.
Oshkosh began the comeback in the second quarter with a 77-yard touchdown pass from quarterback Nate Wara to wide receiver Cory Wipperfurth to make the game 21-7.
As half-time ended, Oshkosh had the momentum and the possibly of erasing the 14-point deficit. However, St. Thomas put together an 80-yard drive in the third quarter which resulted in a touchdown.
This re-established a 21 point lead for St. Thomas, as the scoreboard read 28-7.
Towards the end of the third quarter, quarterback Nate Wara scored a one yard rushing touchdown to make the game 28-14, and pull within two scores of St. Thomas.
The Tommies finished the game with that 14 point lead, and solidified their spot in the NCAA Division III final against Mount Union.
Titan quarterback Nate Wara went 20 for 34, threw for 266 yards and one interception, and had one rushing touchdown and one passing touchdown.
Oshkosh wide receiver Caleb Voss had seven receptions for 99 yards, while Cory Wipperfurth had three receptions for 91 yards and a score.
Tommie quarterback Matt O’Connell went 14 of 23 for 156 yards and two interceptions, and had two rushing touchdowns and one passing touchdown.
Running back Brenton Braddock had 30 carries for 117 yards and no score in the win.
St. Thomas (14-0) will play Mount Union in the NCAA Division III finals December 14.