OSHKOSH, Wis.--The No. 2 ranked University of Mount Union football team turned two first half turnovers into two touchdowns and sophomore quarterback Neal Seaman (Louisville/Louisville) tossed five touchdown passes in his first-ever start as the Purple Raiders scored a 45-28 season opening win over The University of Wisconsin-Oshkosh Saturday in Oshkosh, Wisconsin.
Seaman completed passes to eight different receivers as he was 26-of-37 for 320 yards. All-American seniors in wide receiver Cecil Shorts (Cleveland/Collinwood) and tight end Kyle Miller (Elida/Elida) were his top targets. Shorts had five catches for 105 yards and a touchdown while Miller had a game-high seven catches along with 82 yards. Sophomore running back Jeremy Murray (Martins Ferry/Martins Ferry) caught two scores with a team-best 69 yards rushing and junior wide receiver Brandon Brown (Merrilville, Ind./Cincinnati Harmony Prep) hauled in the other scoring pass.
UW-Oshkosh (0-2) sophomore quarterback Nate Wara also had a strong outing as he threw three touchdowns on 20-of-34 passing for 238 yards and rushed for a game-high 80 yards on 15 carries.
After both teams traded possessions, Seaman hit Shorts on a 35-yard scoring pass. Then two plays later, sophomore defensive end Charles Dieuseul (Winter Haven, Fla./Lake Region) forced a fumble and Arthur Smith (Miami, FL/Killian) recovered it to give the Raiders the ball on the Titans' 35-yard line. Dieuseul finished with a game-high 12 tackles and a sack to lead the Raider defense.
Running back Zac Lemmon (Granville/Granville) then made it 14-0 as he ended a five-play drive with a 10-yard touchdown run.
Mount Union missed a field goal early in the second quarter and Oshkosh then grinded out an 11-play drive and go the score to 14-7 as Nate Wara hit his brother and wide reciever Justin Wara on a 10-yard touchdown pass.
Oshkosh was driving to tie the game when the Titans fumbled the ball again; this time forced by freshman defensive lineman Matt Fechko (Twinsburg/Twinsburg), recovered by defensive lineman Chris Favazzo (Blacklick/Columbus-St. Charles) and gave the Raiders the ball on the Titans' 13-yard line. On the very next play Seaman completed a scoring pass to Murray to extend the the lead to 21-7.
Later in the quarter a 44-yard punt return by Shorts gave the Raiders another short field and just four plays later Seaman and Murray connected again from 11 yards to push the margin to 28-7 with just 52 seconds left in the half.
Oshkosh quickly responded as Wara covered 64 yards in four plays in 38 seconds and hit Paul Coburn on a six-yard strike to bring the score to 28-14 at the break.
Midway through the third quarter Seaman engineered his longest drive of the game, an 11-play, 76-yard march and moved the score to 35-14 with a nine-yard pass to Shorts.
Wara would not go away as took the Titans 80 yards and Jeremy Roach ran in a score from three yards out to keep them within striking distance at 35-21 after three.
Seaman threw his fifth touchdown pass early in the fourth quarter a 14-yarder to Brown and Wara answered with a score just over two minutes later to make it 42-28.
Tyler Almeida (Elyria/Elyria) finished the scoring with a 19-yard field goal and the defense held for the 45-28 final.
Mount Union stays on the road next week opening up Ohio Athletic Conference play next Saturday at 1:30 pm at John Carroll.