The University of Wisconsin-Whitewater football team, ranked
seventh in the country, remained unbeaten as a fourth quarter score
put them up, 17-14, to defeat ninth-ranked UW-Oshkosh. The Warhawks
improve to 7-0 (4-0 WIAC) while the Titans (6-1, 3-1 WIAC) suffered
their first loss of the year. This is UW-W's tenth win in the last
11 meetings between the pair.
Booker Ross (Aurora, IL/West Aurora) scored the game winning touchdown on an 18-yard run in the fourth quarter, set-up by a Jordan Ratliffe (Milwaukee/Milwaukee Vincent) 56 yard rush, the longest rush by a Warhawk this season.
UW-W's defense was stout, holding the Titans to season lows in rushing (125), passing (219) and points (17), tying the largest amount of points allowed by Whitewater this year.
Matt Behrendt (Westchester, IL/Nazareth Academy) was 22-40 for 236 yards with a touchdown and no interceptions on the day while Ratliffe ran for 126 yards, his second 100-yard game of the season. On the receiving end, Jake Kumerow (Bartlett, IL/South Elgin) had nine catches for a 135 yards and Joe Worth (Hartford/Hartford Union) caught six passes for 47 yards and the lone receiving TD for the Warhawks.
In the first quarter a 33-yard punt pinned UW-W on its own eight yard line. On the next play Behrendt found Kumerow for 55 yards to put the ball at the Oshkosh 37-yard line. After a loss of one and an incompletion, Behrendt and Kumerow connected again for a 12-yard gain to convert a third and 11. After Ross put the ball on the 19 yard line, Eric Kindler (Germantown/Germantown) kicked a 39-yard field goal to cap off an eight play, 73-yard drive.
Early in the second quarter a failed fourth-down conversion by UW-W gave the Titans the ball at their own 32-yard line. UW-O drove 68 yards in nine plays to take a 7-3 lead with 11:05 left in the half.
UW-W answered back when it drove 66 yards in 13 plays on their next drive. Behrendt found Worth from five yards out to retake the lead, 10-7, with 8:05 left in the half.
UW-O answered right back with a 44-yard touchdown pass to go into halftime with a 14-10 lead.
The Warhawks opened the second half by driving 34 yards to Oshkosh's 29-yard line. A pair of sacks pushed the ball back to the 39 and Kindler's 56-yard field goal attempt came up short. The third quarter was scoreless and UW-W went into the fourth trailing 14-10.
Oshkosh entered the fourth quarter with a three-point lead but after their six play drive was stopped they were forced to punt. The Titan punt put the ball at Whitewater's own 26 yard line. On the next play Ratliffe broke his 56-yard rush to put the ball on the Oshkosh 18. Ross finished the drive with an 18-yard touchdown run, and Kindler's extra point gave UW-W a 17-14 lead.
On the ensuing drive the Warhawk defense forced a three-and-out to give their offense another chance to add some points. When it looked like Oshkosh was going to force another punt, an offsides penalty by the Titans gave UW-W a first down to continue the drive. After the penalty, Whitewater ran five more plays and ran the clock down to 5:09.
Both teams turned the ball over on downs before Kyle Wismer (Spring Grove, IL/Richmond-Burton Community) intercepted a pass from Nick Olla with 1:20 seconds left in the game. Behrendt downed the ball twice to secure the seventh win of the season for the Warhawks.
UW-W will return home for homecoming weekend when it hosts UW-Platteville at Perkins Stadium with kickoff set for 1:00 pm.