A monster defensive effort by the Oshkosh defense held a John Carroll squad that averaged over 30 points per game to just a field goal, which made Brent Kasper's third-quarter touchdown the difference in a 10-3 semifinal win. Think about this: The Blue Streaks put up 31 points against both Mount Union and UW-Whitewater this season — two of the top 20 scoring defenses in the division — but managed only three against the Titans. Impressive.
JCU moved the ball well at times, but couldn’t find the end zone. The team’s first five drives of the game resulted in four punts, one turnover on downs and 106 net yards of offense. The Oshkosh defense just wouldn't yield. Then second half was even better for the Titans, as they snagged interceptions on the Blue Streak's first three drives.
Of course, JCU still had a chance to at least tie the game with 1:48 left on the clock thanks to a valiant defensive effort of their own, but Oshkosh put those hopes to rest with a huge defensive stand in the game’s final drive.
The Titans' offense struggled in the first half, with five straight punts, but put together an impressive nine play, 71-yard drive that resulted in the only touchdown of the game to kick off the third quarter. Then, they started the fourth quarter with yet another interception, off which the offense produced a field goal to increase the lead to 10-0.
The Blue Streak finally got on the board on the ensuing drive, then forced an Oshkosh punt to get the ball back with 1:48 to go.
JCU QB Anthony Moeglin converted two first downs and had the offense in Oshkosh territory, but was sacked by Branden Lloyd (his second sack of the day) on the final play of the game.
Moeglin completed 19-of-39 passes for 157 yards, no touchdowns and three interceptions. His longest completion was 14 yards. He also rushed for eight times for 35 yards. Running backs Ro Golphin and Sam Kukura combined for 77 rushing yards. Mark Baniewicz led JCU’s receiver corps with five catches for 40 yards.
But the day belonged to Oshkosh. The Titans were magnificent defensively. Here’s some stats: Cameron Brown had eight tackles and three pass breakups, Branden Lloyd had six tackles, three for loss, two sacks and one forced fumble; and Cole Yoder, Justin Watson and Christian Bettin each pulled down an INT.
Kasper completed 11-of-17 passes for 81 yards, and scored the game’s only touchdown on a QB keeper. Running backs Dylan Hecker and Devon Linzenmeyer combined for 106 rushing yards on 34 attempts, while Sam Mentkowski and Dom Todarello combined for 67 receiving yards on six catches.