My, Oh, Myhra
Published: Saturday, November 17, 2012
Updated: Saturday, November 17, 2012 21:11
After falling behind 0-10 in the early minutes, The UW-Oshkosh football teamed played a near-flawless three-and-a-half quarters on its way to a 55-10 victory over St. Scholastica, earning them a trip to the NCAA D-III football playoff round of 16.
The Titans were led by a four touchdown performance (3 rush, 1 rec.) from junior running back Cole Myhra and an unrelenting defense that allowed only 11 first downs and forced a fumble that was returned for touchdown.
Though the day ended brightly for the Titans, things started off shaky when the first three possessions resulted in a punt, a lost fumble, and an extremely uncharacteristic interception by senior quarterback Nate Wara, who had only thrown one the entire regular season.
“We just had to get our jitters out,” Wara said. “Everyone was too excited and we weren’t doing the little things.”
Once the “jitters” were out, things started falling into place for the Titan offense.
Trailing 0-10 early in the first, the Titan’s defense forced a punt to give the offense a chance to turn things around. On fourth and one in their own half of the field, head coach Pat Cerroni decided to go for it and the result was a Wara first down run that proved to be the turning point of the game.
A few plays later, Wara broke a big run to the Scholastica 18 and the drive was capped off by a 14-yd touchdown pass to Myhra, for his first of many touchdowns on the day.
The next drive, the Saints were once again went marching but a huge fourth down stop in Titan territory gave the ball back to the Titans. Scholastica head coach, and UWO graduate, Greg Carlson, who decided not to go for any more fourth down conversions the rest of the game, said he approaches every fourth down differently.
“It’s an instinctive thing for me as a coach,” Carlson said. “It’s a playoff game, and we were playing a great football team and I felt like we needed to tell our offense ‘we have confidence in you to get it’ but at the same time tell our defense ‘if they don’t get it, we trust you.’”
The Titans stood firm and after the takeover on downs the offense marched down the field again and topped off the drive with a touchdown pass from Wara to junior wide receiver Caleb Voss, who lead the team in receptions (4) and yardage (106) on the day.
The Titans started pulling away in the second quarter and following the Voss TD, Wara threw a touchdown to sophomore wide receiver Zach Kasuboski. On the very next drive, Myhra scampered into the endzone for his second score.
The final score of the half was a wild play in which senior linebacker Taylor Goodman picked up a fumble and took off for the endzone. On his way there though, the ball was jarred loose by a Scholastica player but it dropped right into the arms of fellow Oshkosh senior linebacker Nick Jolin who broke a few tackles and took it in for the score.
“Nick [Jolin] doesn’t get a lot of the glory,” Cerroni said. “So it was nice for him and it was a big play.”
With a 34-10 lead at the half and momentum going their way, the Titans continued the onslaught in the third quarter.