On Saturday afternoon, the #20 ranked University of Wisconsin-Oshkosh Titans took on the Alma College Football team at Bahlke Field and lived up to its ranking, as the visitors shook off a early Scots advantage to win by a score of 70-9. Alma is now 0-4 in 2012 and will take on Olivet College in the MIAA opener next Saturday, while UWO left town with a mark of 4-0 on the season.
"Our kids came out and we gave up an early touchdown but we came back," said Alma Head Coach Greg Pscodna. "We scored and got the safety so it was good to see some excitement on the sideline and the kids believing. Then after that, we made too many mistakes and we couldn't move the ball on offense and we couldn't tackle. In the second half, they just started wearing us down because we couldn't tackle. We couldn't come up with a first down. They controlled the line of scrimmage and until we start getting more physical up front, that's going to continue to happen"
In a game with such a lopsided score, it can be difficult to find positives. But the first 17 minutes of the contest showed a young and overmatched Scots squad that competed and put a bit of a scare into the 20th ranked Titans.
After two possessions a piece, UWO finally scored to take a 7-0 lead after a 10-play, 85-yard drive with 2:14 left in the first quarter. The Scots responded with perhaps their most impressive offensive drive of the young season. They went 75-yards on seven plays and tied the game at 7-7, when Jr. QB Jarrett Leister (St. Louis, Mich./Mt. Pleasant) connected with So. TE Riley Fisher (Vermontville, Mich./Maple Valley) on a five-yard touchdown strike.
On the ensuing kickoff, an illegal block penalty gave the ball to Oshkosh at their own 10-yard line. An errant snap and a subsequent fumble by Titans QB Nate Wara resulted in a safety credited to Alma DB Austin McClelland (Oakland, Mich./Rochester Adams), giving the Scots a 9-7 advantage.
After the Scots went three plays and out after the free kick, the bad news started to kick in for the host team. Oshkosh scored 28 points in the remaining 11 minutes of the first half and went into halftime with a commanding 35-9 advantage.
The final 30 minutes saw Oshkosh display their deepness and athleticism, as they proved to be worthy of their lofty national ranking. Using a good part of their traveling roster, the Titans scored 21 points in the third quarter and added 14 more in the final frame. For the game, UWO finished with 616 yards of total offense to Alma's 126 and led in first downs by a margin of 31-4.
On offense, Leister finished with 11 completions on 23 attempts for 113 yards with a TD and an interception, while Sr. WR Michael Lenneman (Chelsea, Mich./Chelsea) finished with four catches for 52 yards. Defensively, Sr. DB Andrew Funsch (West Branch, Mich./Ogemaw Heights) had a team-high nine tackles, and Sr. LB Jarrod Lynch (Lansing, Mich./Eastern) had two tackles for loss.
Kickoff for the Scots at Olivet next Saturday is scheduled for 1:00 p.m.