Kobe Berghammer went 20-for-22 passing for 222 yards with three touchdowns and added another 34 yards with one score on the ground during his first collegiate start to lift the UW-Oshkosh football team to a 44-14 victory over Huntingdon College (Ala.) on Saturday (Sept. 21) at J. J. Keller Field at Titan Stadium.
UW-Oshkosh (2-1), which built a 30-0 lead at halftime, produced a season-high 482 yards of offense and 25 first downs en route to defeating Huntingdon College (1-2) for the third time in as many meetings. The Titans have now outscored the Hawks by a combined 109-30 score in a series that began in Alabama in 2007.
Berghammer completed passes to 12 different receivers as Mitchell Gerend had a team-leading six catches for 59 yards and a score while Peter MacCudden, Max Nowinsky and Jake Parsons each added a pair of receptions for the Titans. Nowinsky and Parsons both hauled in their first career touchdown catches.
Chris Hess paced the Titans with 106 rushing yards on just six carries, which included a 55-yard touchdown run. The touchdown was the first of Hess' career while his rushing attempts were the first of the season.
MacCudden chipped in 18 rushes for a season-high 79 yards as UW-Oshkosh averaged 4.9 yards on 52 carries. The Titans' 52 rushing attempts were their most in the 24 games since rushing 53 times during a 74-7 win over Virginia University of Lynchburg on Sept. 9, 2017.
Logan Heise and Connor Zirpel both had a team-high seven tackles for the Titans, who also received six stops from Kollyn Beyer and five from apiece from Tory Jandrin and Jake Murphy. Brady Heimer accounted for 1.5 of UW-Oshkosh's three sacks.
Huntingdon College was limited to just 81 passing yards and 4 yards per play. The Hawks, who ran for 201 yards on 45 carries, were held under 100 passing yards for the first time in the 40 games since throwing for 76 yards in a 31-14 win at LaGrange College (Ga.) on Oct. 17, 2015.
The Titans opened the scoring on a safety with 4:50 left in the first quarter, when Nathan Steinbrecker dragged down Huntingdon College punter Zach Johnson in the end zone.
Joe Franks upped the UW-Oshkosh lead to 8-0 on a 2-yard touchdown run that capped a 12-play, 61-yard drive. Jaydon Haag converted the first of his six successful extra points with 10:55 remaining in the second period.
Following a 12-play, 19-yard drive by the Hawks, a short Johnson punt set up the Titans with first down at their own 45-yard line. Hess took a handoff on the following play and scampered 55 yards down the right sideline and into the end zone as UW-Oshkosh extended its advantage to 16-0.
UW-Oshkosh then scored a pair of touchdowns in the final 97 seconds of the first half. Berghammer hit Parsons down the middle for a 27-yard scoring strike at the 1:37 mark of the second quarter before the Titans made use of their timeouts to get the ball back at the Hawks' 42-yard line via a punt with 1:06 play. Berghammer found Gerend for a 6-yard touchdown pass three plays later. The Titans' final scoring drive of the first half began with an 8-yard Berghammer run and a 38-yard carry by Riley Kallas on his lone tote of the contest.
Huntingdon College avoided its first shutout loss since 2009 when Hawks quarterback Michael Lambert fired a 12-yard touchdown pass to Otis Porter midway through the third period. The Hawks then cut their deficit to 37-14 following a 25-yard touchdown run from Eric Thomas and a Cole Starr extra point with 14:08 remaining in the fourth period.
Berghammer later concluded the scoring with a 17-yard touchdown pass to Nowinsky at the 11:23 mark.
Huntingdon College's Thomas led all players with 172 rushing yards on 25 carries to go along with his fourth touchdown run of the year.
Lambert completed 12 of 25 passes for 81 yards and his eighth touchdown pass of the season. Lambert and Thomas both went into the day ranked 11th in the NCAA Division III in touchdown passes and touchdown runs, respectively.
Porter, who finished with six catches for 42 yards, upped his team-leading total to four touchdown grabs on the year.
The Hawks defense, which created the game's only turnovers on a pair of fumble recoveries, was led by Peyton DeFleron's 12 tackles. Mal Caldwell added 10 tackles for the Hawks while Billy King and Dylan Powell recovered fumbles.
UW-Oshkosh has now won each of its last 23 regular season home games against Division III opponents since a 17-16 loss to UW-Platteville in the 2013 season finale.
The Titans are idle until beginning their conference schedule at UW-Stout on Oct. 5.