No. 13 Titans pull away from Pioneers in fourth quarter

No. 13 Titans pull away from Pioneers in fourth quarter

OSHKOSH, Wis. – The University of Wisconsin-Platteville Pioneers traveled to No. 13 UW Oshkosh for Saturday's heart stopping neck-to-neck battle before a series of unfortunate events in the fourth quarter left the Titans to pull away and win 31-10 at Titan Stadium.

With the win on the Titans' first home game of the season, UW Oshkosh improves to 4-2, 2-1 WIAC while UW-Platteville falls to 4-2, and 2-1 in the WIAC.

UW-Platteville compiled 313 yards, 183 yards in the air and 130 yards rushing, with 241 of those yards being in the second half.  The Pioneers had 22 first downs on the day while UW Oshkosh totaled 332 yards and 19 first downs.  UW-Platteville also held a 33:22-26:38 advantage in time of possession.

Overall, the day was a back and forth contest between the two nationally recognized programs. After each team had unsuccessful first drives, the Titans' 19 play, 90 yard drive in the first quarter put UW Oshkosh ahead 7-0 with 2:19 left in the first.

In the second, UWO's Calvin Shilling picked off Colin Schuetz  with a 15 yard return, but the Pioneer defense held the Titans and they were forced to go for a 43 yard field goal that fell short and left the score 7-0 with 7:26 left in the half.  The Pioneers were forced to punt twice more before UW Oshkosh's Dom Tadarello's 30 yard punt return put the Titans in field goal range and this time UW Oshkosh was successful and improved their lead to 10-0.  The Pioneers took over with 1:42 left in the half and went into halftime trailing 10-0.

The Pioneers would receive to start the second half and after being stopped on 3rdand 5, they were forced to go for three with a 24 yard field goal, but continued to trail by 10 when the attempt went wide.  

The Pioneers reduced the Titans lead to 10-3 at the start of the fourth with a 20 yard field goal by Samuel Herkert with 12:39 left in the game.  However, the game took a quick turn three plays later with a 54 yard rush to the end zone by UWO's Dom Todarello.  The Pioneers took over at their own 25 yard line and on 3rdand 2, Brandon Kolgen forced fumbled Sean Studer to be recovered and returned by Taylor Rippling for a Titan touchdown. Now trailing 24-3, Schuetz went 7-9 before he was sacked by UWO's Tyler Staerkel on 3rdand 10.  Going for it on 4thand 14 with 7:51 left in the game, Schuetz was intercepted by Staerkel.  The Titans were able to rush into the end zone and give UW Oshkosh 21 straight points in a seven minute window to extend the lead to 31-3 with 5:05 left in the game.

Junior Brett Geisz rushed in for a Pioneer touchdown with 00:02 left in the game and gave the game the final 31-10 outcome. Geisz rushed seven carries for a team-leading 66 yards with 62 yards in the fourth quarter.

Sophomore Colin Schuetz completed 20 of 41 passes for 183 yards with two interceptions.  Both senior receivers Mark Johnson and Tim Jansen recorded eight catches for the day with Johnson totaling 87 yards and Jansen totaling 59 yards.  

UW Oshkosh's Kyle Radavich completed 19-28 passes for 174 yards and one touchdown.  UWO's Mitch Gerhartz totaled 19 carries for 78 yards and a touchdown while Dom Todarello had four rushes for 75 yards and a touchdown.

On defense, junior Tyler Reinhardt led with nine tackles and senior Josh Mackie racked up eight solos on the day.  Senior linebacker Ben Mogilevsky recorded five tackles, one sack, one tackle for loss, and one forced fumble.  Senior Clayton Becker and sophomore Jackson McMahan were both in on the second sack on UWO's Kyle Radavich. Overall, the Pioneers totaled seven tackles for loss of 26 yards compared to the Titans' four for 21 yards.   

The Pioneers will return home next Saturday, Oct. 20 when they host UW-Eau Claire on Family Day and #SetTheExpectation game with honorary captain Brenda Tracy.  Kickoff is scheduled for 1 p.m. with special recognition of the 2018 Hall of Fame class at halftime.