Titans' Offensive Explosion Tramples Pointers
Justin Budiac's (Sr. • Mukwonago) three touchdowns highlighted a school-record 684 yards in UW-Oshkosh's 38-24 football win over UW-Stevens Point on Saturday (Nov. 5) in Stevens Point.
The Titans (6-3/4-2 WIAC) overcame an early deficit with 24 straight points and never looked back. Nate Wara (Jr. • Oshkosh) directed the offense with 301 passing yards and 54 rushing yards. Budiac totaled 196 yards rushing and receiving, as he found paydirt three times in a span of 15 minutes. Following three first-half giveaways, UW-Oshkosh took control with three takeaways during the second half.
UW-Stevens Point (4-5/2-4 WIAC) took advantage of a Titan fumble to put the first points on the board. The Pointer drive started 38 yards from the end zone and featured catches of 14 yards by Mike Mullins and 11 yards by Theo Maglio. Keith Ingram ran the ball in from 10 yards out to take a 7-0 lead five minutes into play.
The Titan response took just 54 seconds, as Wara rushed for 26 yards on first down. On the drive's fourth play, Garrie Fox (Sr. • Madison) got free on a post pattern and snatched the 36-yard score to tie the game at 7.
The teams continued to run up and down the field when Colton Zimmerman returned the ensuing kickoff 62 yards. The Pointers had a decision to make on fourth-and-one, but Mitch Beau picked up the yard to keep the drive alive. Ben Wetzel finished things off with a two-yard touchdown run at the 5:59 mark of the first quarter.
UW-Stevens Point appeared to trap the Titans with a punt downed at the three-yard line. That was no problem for Budiac, with him breaking through the middle of the line for a 97-yard touchdown run. UW-Oshkosh missed the extra point to keep its deficit at 14-13.
Another opportunity went to waste when Cory Wipperfurth (So. • DeForest) fumbled through the end zone after reaching the one-yard line. He made up for it moments later with a 21-yard catch, as the Titans put together a quick drive to end the half. Wesley Price (Sr. • San Mateo, Calif.) posted a reception for 17 yards and a run for nine more. One second-and-goal, Budiac cut back and crossed the goal line from five yards out to lead, 21-14.
UW-Oshkosh received the second-half kickoff and booked another scoring drive that took less than a minute. Caleb Voss (So. • Van Dyne) hauled in a 49-yard pass down the left sideline to get in position. Budiac then got free over the middle and made a diving 28-yard catch for the touchdown. The Titans' margin stood at 28-14 just 45 seconds into the third quarter.
Taylor Goodman (Jr. • South Wayne) recovered a gift fumble to set up UW-Oshkosh's next score. Following seven straight rushing plays, Nate Ray (Fr. • Verona) converted the 19-yard field goal to make it 31-14. The Pointers then came back with a 13-play drive that resulted in a 33-yard field goal by Jared Fohrman.
The Titans got a late 35-yard touchdown pass from Nick Olla (So. • Kewaskum) to Voss that sealed the game. Voss recorded 84 receiving yards on the day, while Fox led the way with four grabs for 92 yards. Budiac contributed a career-high 149 rushing yards, as Charlie Weissman (Sr. • Colgate) added 54 of his team's 348. UW-Oshkosh's spectacular performance included an average of eight yards per play and 62-percent efficiency on third down.
Beau fired a 22-yard throw to Klint Hischke during the final three minutes to complete the scoring. Beau found his target on 19-of-40 passes for 189 yards, while he added 67 yards on 15 rushing attempts. Ingram posted 50 rushing yards and Mullins 69 receiving yards for the home squad. UW-Stevens Point finished with 313 yards and 4-of-12 success on third down.
Charlie Stueck (Sr. • Clintonville) paced the Titan defense with eight tackles and an interception, as the team marked six tackles for a loss. UW-Stevens Point had four players register at least a dozen tackles, led by 15 apiece from Joe Mleziva and Curtis Krump. The Pointers had been allowing 333 yards per contest, but UW-Oshkosh more than doubled that figure.
The Titans wrap up their season against UW-Stout on Saturday (Nov. 12) at J.J. Keller Field at Titan Stadium.