November 29, 2012

Titans, Wildcats Battle For Final Four Spot

More news about: UW-Oshkosh

UW-Oshkosh challenges Linfield College's 25-game home win streak when the two teams meet in a quarterfinal of the NCAA Division III Football Championship on Saturday (Dec. 1) in McMinnville, Ore. Kickoff for the contest is noon (PST) at Maxwell Field.

The winner will face either Hobart College (N.Y.) or the University of St. Thomas (Minn.) in a national semifinal on Dec. 8. The Stagg Bowl Championship is set for Dec. 14 in Salem, Va.

The Titans (12-0), ranked fifth by D3football.com, are continuing their first playoff appearance in program history. The third-ranked Wildcats (11-0) are in the NCAA Division III playoffs for the ninth time, including a national championship from 2004. Linfield owns 57 consecutive winning seasons and captured NAIA Division II titles during 1982, 1984 and 1986.

UW-Oshkosh has overcome early deficits in both of its postseason victories. Last Saturday against Bethel University (Minn.), the Titans were down 14-0 before tallying the final 37 points of the game. Cole Myhra totaled 218 yards and three touchdowns to lead the comeback. The defense allowed just 28 rushing yards while intercepting three passes.

In the playoff opener against The College of St. Scholastica (Minn.), UW-Oshkosh scored 55 unanswered points after trailing 10-0. The Titans rushed for 413 yards, including a career-high 198 by Myhra. Nate Wara also threw three touchdowns.

Linebacker Ryan Stefaniak has been a defensive force during the playoffs. In two games, he totaled 21 tackles (seven for loss), three pass breakups, one sack and a safety. Stefaniak's second-quarter interception against Bethel set up a touchdown and gave UW-Oshkosh the momentum.

The Titans posted a 7-0 record to win their first Wisconsin Intercollegiate Athletic Conference title in 36 years. During October, UW-Oshkosh earned consecutive triumphs over defending national champion UW-Whitewater (28-13) and 14th-ranked UW-Platteville (34-13).

Wara, the WIAC Player of the Year, averages 234 passing yards and 60 rushing yards per game. He's thrown 28 touchdowns with four interceptions while running for another seven scores. Myhra is the leading ground threat with 1,461 yards and 15 touchdowns. Caleb Voss tops the receiving group with 1,107 yards and 12 touchdowns on 54 catches.

Defensively, Taylor Goodman paces the Titans with 88 tackles and three forced fumbles. Cornerback Tim Filter also ranks among the national leaders with eight interceptions.

With the top pass rush in the country, Linfield will try to slow the UW-Oshkosh offense. The Wildcats own NCAA Division III highs of 60 sacks and 121 tackles for loss. Northwest Conference Defensive Player of the Year Dominque Forrest leads the unit with 78 tackles and four interceptions.

Mickey Inns was named NWC Offensive Player of the Year after throwing for 3,041 yards and 29 touchdowns. His three targets with at least 45 receptions are Charlie Poppen (801 yards), Lucas Jepson (621) and Deidre Wiersma (617). John Shaffer is Linfield's leading rusher with 466 yards and seven touchdowns.

This was the fourth year in a row that Linfield posted a perfect NWC record (6-0). The Wildcats came away with wins of 33-30 over California Lutheran and 31-24 over Pacific Lutheran (Calif.) during September. Linfield then defeated Pacific Lutheran, 27-24, in their first-round playoff meeting.

The Wildcats forced seven turnovers during a 30-14 victory over North Central (Ill.) last week. Forrest took back an interception 73 yards for a touchdown, while Jepson added a 64-yard touchdown catch. North Central outgained Linfield, 416-331, in the contest.

Written by Jon Feyen, UW-Oshkosh Sports Information

Sep. 1: All times Eastern
7:00 PM
Coast Guard at Anna Maria
7:00 PM
Defiance at Baldwin Wallace
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7:00 PM
Washington and Lee at Johns Hopkins
7:30 PM
Trine at Manchester
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8:00 PM
Millsaps at Belhaven
Sep. 2: All times Eastern
TBA
Muhlenberg at Wilkes
6:00 PM
Mass-Dartmouth at Mount Ida
6:00 PM
Delaware Valley at Wesley
7:00 PM
N.C. Wesleyan at Stevenson
7:00 PM
Western New England at Springfield
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7:00 PM
Fitchburg State at Becker
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7:00 PM
Albright at Salisbury
7:00 PM
WPI at MIT
7:00 PM
Salve Regina at Worcester State
7:00 PM
Bridgewater State at Curry
7:00 PM
Morrisville State at St. Lawrence
10:00 PM
Adrian at Pacific
Sep. 3: All times Eastern
TBA
Endicott at Framingham State
TBA
Wisconsin Lutheran at Trinity Int'l
TBA
UW-Platteville at George Fox
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12:00 PM
Washington U. at Carnegie Mellon
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12:00 PM
Chicago at Case Western Reserve
12:00 PM
Husson at Alfred
12:00 PM
SUNY-Maritime at Maine Maritime
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12:00 PM
Cortland at Heidelberg
12:00 PM
Otterbein at Buffalo State
12:00 PM
Ursinus at Bethany
12:00 PM
Sewanee at Kenyon
1:00 PM
King's at Moravian
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1:00 PM
Kean at Christopher Newport
1:00 PM
McDaniel at Catholic
1:00 PM
Lebanon Valley at Franklin and Marshall
1:00 PM
Plymouth State at Castleton
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1:00 PM
RPI at Norwich
1:00 PM
Randolph-Macon at Dickinson
1:00 PM
Oberlin at Kalamazoo
1:00 PM
Emory and Henry at Ferrum
1:00 PM
Wooster at Washington and Jefferson
1:00 PM
Alfred State at William Paterson
1:00 PM
St. Vincent at Alma
1:00 PM
Concordia (Wis.) at Finlandia
1:00 PM
Olivet at St. John Fisher
1:00 PM
Rowan at Widener
1:00 PM
Hobart at Brockport
1:00 PM
Union at Ithaca
1:00 PM
Susquehanna at Lycoming
1:00 PM
Utica at Misericordia
1:00 PM
The Apprentice School at Methodist
1:00 PM
TCNJ at UW-Whitewater
1:30 PM
Wilmington at Bluffton
1:30 PM
Monmouth at Hope
1:30 PM
Bridgewater at Gettysburg
1:30 PM
Muskingum at Waynesburg
1:30 PM
Juniata at Grove City
2:00 PM
Lakeland at Carroll
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2:00 PM
UW-Stevens Point at St. Norbert
2:00 PM
Austin at Hendrix
2:00 PM
Maranatha Baptist at Martin Luther
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2:00 PM
Millikin at Greenville
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2:00 PM
Eureka at Knox
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2:00 PM
MacMurray at Rockford
2:00 PM
Gustavus Adolphus at Westminster (Mo.)
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2:00 PM
UW-La Crosse at Luther
2:00 PM
Beloit at Lake Forest
2:00 PM
Concordia-Moorhead at Jamestown
2:00 PM
Crown at Hamline
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2:00 PM
Carleton at Macalester
2:00 PM
Bethel at Dubuque
2:00 PM
St. Scholastica at St. John's
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2:00 PM
St. Olaf at Grinnell
2:00 PM
Buena Vista at Mayville St.
2:00 PM
Simpson at UW-Stout
2:00 PM
Aurora at Carthage
2:00 PM
UW-River Falls at Coe
2:00 PM
Ripon at Concordia-Chicago
2:00 PM
Elmhurst at Loras
2:00 PM
Huntingdon at Louisiana College
2:00 PM
North Central (Ill.) at Robert Morris-Chicago
2:00 PM
Benedictine at Wheaton (Ill.)
2:00 PM
John Carroll at UW-Oshkosh
2:30 PM
Southern Virginia at Earlham
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2:30 PM
Lawrence at Presentation
4:00 PM
La Verne at Puget Sound
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4:00 PM
Central at Whitworth
5:00 PM
Hartwick at Western Connecticut
6:00 PM
Wabash at Albion
6:00 PM
Maryville (Tenn.) at Berry
6:00 PM
Augustana at Mount St. Joseph
6:00 PM
Thomas More at Franklin
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6:00 PM
Hampden-Sydney at Averett
6:00 PM
Redlands at Trinity (Texas)
7:00 PM
Marietta at Denison
7:00 PM
Hiram at Westminster (Pa.)
7:00 PM
Thiel at Allegheny
7:00 PM
Capital at Wittenberg
7:00 PM
Shenandoah at Gallaudet
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7:00 PM
Illinois College at Rose-Hulman
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7:00 PM
Geneva at Frostburg State
7:00 PM
Nichols at Westfield State
7:00 PM
Greensboro at Guilford
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7:00 PM
LaGrange at Birmingham-Southern
7:00 PM
Hardin-Simmons at Southwestern
7:00 PM
Anderson at North Park
7:00 PM
Ohio Wesleyan at Mary Hardin-Baylor
7:00 PM
East Texas Baptist at Texas Lutheran
7:10 PM
St. Thomas at UW-Eau Claire
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7:30 PM
Hanover at Centre
8:00 PM
Willamette at Rhodes
8:00 PM
Cornell at Iowa Wesleyan
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8:00 PM
Augsburg at Northwestern (Minn.)
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8:00 PM
Southwestern Assemblies at Howard Payne
8:00 PM
Sul Ross State at UT-Permian Basin
Dec. 18: All times Eastern
Final
Mount Union 49, at St. Thomas 35
@ Salem, Va.
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