Saturday marked the last day the seniors of the University of Wisconsin-Stevens Point football team would step on Goerke Field as football players.
The Pointers lost 38-24 on Senior and Parent’s Day to the Wisconsin Intercollegiate Athletic Conference’s second best team, UW-Oshkosh. The loss comes a week after falling to the top ranked UW-Whitewater.
The Titans were coming off a two game losing streak to UW-Whitewater and UW-La Crosse while Point is coming off two wins in their last three games. Point’s second ranked defense in the WIAC would match up against Oshkosh’s second ranked offense. Point was able to get on the board early, cashing in on a Titan fumble on their opening drive. A 10-yard run from junior running back Keith Ingram gave the Pointers a 7-0 lead. Ingram’s touchdown was his fourth of the year.
Oshkosh answered with some big plays, including a 26-yard run by junior quarterback Nate Wara. Wara then found senior wide receiver Garrie Fox for a 36-yard touchdown pass tying the game less than a minute after Point’s score.
Junior defensive back Colton Zimmerman quickly reversed the momentum on the ensuing kickoff, taking it 62 yards down the field to set the offense up on the Titan 30-yard line.
Freshman running back Ben Wetzel concluded the short drive with his second touchdown of the year, giving Point the 14-7 advantage.
A streak of scoreless drives for both teams was broken by the Titans. After getting pinned deep in their own territory, senior wide receiver Justin Budiac lined up at running back for the Titans’ first play of the series. After 97 yards, Budiac was standing in the end zone for the Oshkosh touchdown.
"That 97-yard touchdown hurt us bad," senior linebacker Curtis Krump said. "With that they gain the momentum."
The ensuing point after failed to split the uprights, keeping the advantage in favor of Point, 14-13.
After a scoreless Point drive, Oshkosh took over with just enough time in the second quarter for a score. Budiac would again find the end zone, this time from five yards out to end the half. The Titans would convert a two-point conversion to gain a 21-14 lead going into the half.
The Titans moved quickly on a couple big plays in the second half, including a 49-yard Wara pass to sophomore wide receiver Caleb Voss. Wara would connect with Budiac from just inside the 30-yard line making it 28-14, Titans.
Point then surrendered a fumble that Titan junior linebacker Taylor Goodman would recover, setting up a short field for Oshkosh. The high-powered offense was held without a touchdown, but freshman kicker Nate Ray would connect on a 19-yard field goal, taking the Titan lead to 31-14.
Point’s following drive would result in a 33-yard field goal from senior kicker Jered Fohrman. The kick helped close the gap, but not for long. The Titans would answer with a touchdown pass from sophomore quarterback Nick Olla from 35 yards out to Voss.
Down 38-17, Point got their final score on a 22-yard touchdown pass from sophomore quarterback Mitch Beau to senior wide receiver Klint Hischke.
The touchdown was too little too late, as the Titans would run the clock out to hand the Pointers a 38-24 loss in their final home game of the season.
Krump weighed in on the future of Point’s starting quarterback, Mitch Beau: "I believe (Beau) has the chance to be a very good quarterback. He just needs to keep up the hard work in practice and the off-season," Krump said.
Point’s final game is against the UW-Platteville in a Spud Bowl rematch, which Point lost 26-3 on Sept. 10.
"It’s the last game of the year and we all want to finish it on a high note," Krump said. "We as a team have worked too hard not to win this last game."
Kickoff is scheduled for 1:00 p.m. Saturday at Platteville.