Muskie Football Falls To UW-Oshkosh In 4-OT's
Sept. 20, 2003
Saturday night the undefeated Muskies traveled to the UW-Oshkosh to take on the unbeaten UW-Oshkosh Titans in a tough non-conference match-up. The Titans needed 4 overtimes to defeat the upset-minded Muskies, 26-23.
"This was just a great college game and an awesome atmosphere to play in," said first-year Head Coach Jim Zebrowski.
"Our fans were unbelievable. At times it was difficult to communicate, because our fans were so loud. Our guys played their tails off, but UW-Oshkosh made one more play then we did. We hope this game will give the players a lot of confidence heading into the conference schedule." added Zebrowski.
UW-Oshkosh jumped out to an early lead on a 21 yard-run by their quarterback, Nick Wara. The scoring drive took 5 plays and a total of 49 yards for the Titans. This would also be the only scoring for both teams in the first half as both defenses stood up to the challenge.
The first drive of the second half was a different story as the Muskies marched down the field 60 yards to tie the score at 7-7. The Muskies capped the drive off with a 24 yard touchdown pass from senior quarterback Brent Luebke to senior wide receiver Shaun Behrend. Behrend made a great run after the catch and broke the end zone by diving to the pylon, just before heading out of bounds. The drive took 10 plays and a total of 4:05 off the clock.
The Titans would answer on the next drive with their own 9-play scoring drive. UW-Oshkosh took the lead 14-7 on a Chad Lindsley 10 yard touchdown reception from Wara.
The score would remain 14-7 Titans until late in the 4th quarter. With 2:56 remaining on the clock the Muskies tied the game at 14-14 when Luebke hooked up again with Behrend for a 15 yard touchdown.
Both teams were unable to get on the board in the final minutes, sending the game into overtime.
In the second overtime the Titans and Muskies traded field goals after neither team could score in the first OT. UW-Oshkosh's Mike Kinateder booted a 37 yard field goal and Lakeland's Gerald Starner was equal to the task as he tied it 17-17 with a 29 yard field goal.
The excitement would continue into the 3rd OT. Lakeland got the first opportunity as the teams alternate possessions in OT per college football rules. The Muskies were able to score a huge touchdown as Luebke found Behrend for the third time on a 10 yard score. By rule in the third OT the Muskies were forced to attempt a two-point conversion and they failed.
The pressure was now on the shoulders of the Titans to score a touchdown, as Lakeland led 23-17. On second down UW-Oshkosh answered with a 22 yards strike from Wara to Aaron Chaltry for the tying touchdown. Like Lakeland, the Titans were unable to convert the try for two, so the score remained tied at 23-23.
In the fourth overtime the Titans completed an 18 yard pass to Chad LaLuzerne, which set up 1st and goal from the 7. The Muskies defense turned it up a notch and held UW-Oshkosh to 20 yard chip shot for titan Kinateder to make it 26-23 Titans.
Lakeland now trailed 26-23 in the 4th OT with a chance to complete the upset with a touchdown, because of the huge defensive stand. The Muskies moved the ball to the 17 yard line on an 8 yard reception by Jeff Taff, and that is where the Muskies offense stalled.
The Muskies faced a fourth and four on the 19 yard line, and the decision to attempt a 36 yard field goal or go for the win by making a first down and continuing the drive. With confidence in the offense, Zebrowski decided to pass on the long field goal, and go for the win. Unfortunately, the game ended on an incomplete pass intended for James Hayes over the middle as the throw came up just short.
Highlights for the Muskies included Behrend having a career night as he finished with 12 receptions for 158 yards and 3 touchdowns. Luebke had a big night as well completing 30 of 53 passes for 301 yards and 3 touchdowns.
UW-Oshkosh remains undefeated at 3-0 while Lakeland fell to 2-1 overall heading into conference play.
The Muskies next game is at home Saturday, September 27th against Eureka. Kick-off is at 1:30 pm.