Panthers win defensive battle over Wisconsin-Oshkosh

Panthers win defensive battle over Wisconsin-Oshkosh

CALEDONIA, Mich. - It was an old-fashioned defensive battle in the home opener for Davenport against Wisconsin-Oshkosh on Saturday afternoon. In the end, the Panther defense was just a little better in a 7-3 win over the fourth-ranked team in NCAA Division III. Davenport has now started a season 2-0 for the first time and allowed just 10 points in their two wins. The Panther offense had a total of 284 yards and helped their defense by holding the time of possession edge by 14-plus minutes. DU went 5-of-15 on third down while UWO was just 1-of-13 on third down and 1-of-5 on fourth down.

The Panther offense was tested two plays into the game when starting quarterback Deondre Ford exited after a hard hit and did not return. Haiden Majewski, who started the final five games last season and saw significant time in the season's first game, handled the huddle well and managed the game well enough to pull out the win. Davenport kept the ball for 10:14 of the first quarter but neither team could score. The Panthers had 54 yards while the Titans gained 23 in the opening 15 minutes. Majewski was intercepted on DU's first drive of the second quarter and the return put the ball at the DU 39. UWO picked up a first down by penalty and moved it to the DU 17. Kyle Radavich was then sacked by Kye Black for a 12-yard loss setting up third-and-17. Radavich completed a pass for no gain and then DU allowed a 14-yard catch to turn the ball over on downs.

Following the stop, DU's offense marched down the field in 4:54 covering 85 yards in nine plays for their lone score of the game. Michael Catching saw his first action and carried four straight times for 26 yards to start the drive. After seven straight runs, Majewski connected with Daronte Powers on a 39-yard completion to the UWO 7. Majewski ran it into the end zone from seven yards on the next play and Chris Ahmedmade the extra point for a 7-0 lead.

The Panthers had another drive into Titan territory at the conclusion of the first half, but Ahmed missed a 44-yard field goal into a strong cross wind after UWO iced the kicker with two straight timeouts. UWO started their second drive of the third quarter at the DU 29 after a long punt return and facemask penalty. The defense held again as Peyton Peterson missed a 47-yard field goal short and right with 8:58 left in the quarter. The Titans started the fourth quarter at the DU 19 and their drive stalled as Peterson booted a 37-yard field goal to make it 7-3 with 14:10 left in the game.

Neither team threatened to score after that field goal and the final pass of the game by the Titans was picked off by Chad Hill at the DU 25 and returned 10 yards before a slide to the turf to secure the win. Majewski went 12-of-22 passing for 120 yards and rushed 14 times for 54 yards. Black led the defense with eight tackles and also had a fumble recovery. Brian Williams had six tackles and a pass breakup. DU finished with four sacks and 11 tackles for loss against UWO.