WHIEWATER, Wis. — The No. 2 University of Wisconsin-Whitewater football team scored a go-ahead touchdown with less than one minute to play Saturday to earn a hard-fought 17-14 victory over fifth-ranked UW-Oshkosh in front of an NCAA Division III record crowd of 17,535 at Perkins Stadium.
On third-and-14 from the Titans’ 16-yard line, sophomore running back Drew Patterson (Sussex, Wis./Hamilton) swept left and, with seemingly no room to run, tip-toed the sideline and surged inside the pile-on for a touchdown to put the Warhawks ahead by three with 55 seconds on the clock.
UW-Oshkosh (4-1 overall, 1-1 WIAC) crossed into UW-Whitewater territory on the ensuing drive, but on third and 10 with six seconds left, senior defensive lineman Brandon Tamsett (Waterford/Waterford-Union) and sophomore linebacker Bryce Leszczynski (Milwaukee, Wis./Pius XI) combined to sack Brett Kasper for a loss of 19 yards as time expired.
With the win, the Warhawks (5-0 overall, 2-0 WIAC) extended their home win streak to 28 games. Saturday’s attendance is the highest on record in Division III history according to D3football.com.
Patterson finished with 20 carries for 81 yards and the fourth-quarter touchdown, and sophomore running back Jarrod Ware (Bradley, Ill./Bradley-Bourbonnais) rushed 15 times for 67 yards.
Sophomore quarterback Cole Wilber (Dana Point, Calif./Dana Hills) finished 14-of-24 passing for 125 yards and one touchdown. Senior wide receiver Marcus Hudson (Delavan, Wis./Delavan-Darien) led the receiving corps with six catches for 53 yards.
Sophomore defensive back Famus Hasty (Naperville, Ill./Neuqua Valley) led the defense with nine tackles and two forced fumbles, both of which stopped Titan drives deep in UW-Whitewater territory.
Junior linebacker Matt Seitz (Hartland, Wis./Arrowhead) contributed seven tackles, and Tamsett collected 1.5 sacks.
After a scoreless first quarter, the Warhawks stopped three UW-Oshkosh drives deep in UW-Whitewater territory after the Titans opened the second period with a touchdown.
UW-Whitewater fumbled the ensuing kickoff, but held UW-Oshkosh on fourth-and-3 at the 5-yard line to force a turnover on downs.
Following another Warhawk fumble, Hasty stripped Devon Linzenmeyer at the UW-Whitewater 15-yard line to thwart another scoring chance for the Titans with 9:01 left in the quarter.
UW-Oshkosh drove inside the Warhawks’ 10-yard line later in the frame, but Hasty came through again, prying the ball from Dylan Hecker and recovering the fumble at the UW-Whitewater 6-yard line.
The Warhawks drove inside Titan territory in the waning moments of the first half, but Wilber threw two deep incompletions as UW-Whitewater was shut out in a half for the first time this season.
The Warhawks opened the second half with a 12-play, 54-yard drive to set up a 36-yard field goal by Will Meyer (Sheboygan Falls, Wis./Sheboygan Falls) to make it 7-3 with 10:40 left in the third quarter.
Two drives later, after a 42-yard punt by sophomore Michael Schwichtenberg (West Bend, Wis./West) pinned the Titans at their own 6-yard line, senior defensive back Vince Mason (Green Bay, Wis./Green Bay Southwest) picked off Kasper at the 15-yard line.
Two plays later, Wilber found senior tight end Brent Campbell (Rockford, IL/Winnebago) over the middle for a 19-yard touchdown to give UW-Whitewater a 10-7 advantage with 1:57 on the clock.
UW-Oshkosh took a 14-10 lead after an 11-play, 53-yard drive netted a touchdown with 7:54 left in the fourth quarter.
The Warhawks’ final drive spanned six minutes, 53 seconds, and was the team’s second game-winning drive in the final three minutes of regulation in as many weeks.
UW-Whitewater continues conference play next Saturday at UW-La Crosse. Kickoff is slated for 1 p.m.