THE TURNING POINT: Ashland forced a punt on Michigan Tech's first possession, took a 7-0 lead on the ensuing drive and didn't look back.
STAT OF THE GAME: Senior quarterback Travis Tarnowski reached the 100-touchdown-pass and 10,000-passing-yard plateaus against the Huskies.
Homecoming is a time of looking back and looking ahead, of reminiscing about the past and anticipating a hopeful future.
Ashland University's 16th-ranked football team, however, had its collective eyes squarely set on the here and now, as the Eagles recorded a 48-0 win over Michigan Tech in AU's 94th Homecoming game on Saturday (Oct. 14) afternoon at Jack Miller Stadium/Martinelli Field.
The Eagles improve to 6-1 overall and 5-0 in the Great Lakes Intercollegiate Athletic Conference, staying in a first-place tie with Grand Valley State, thanks to their sixth straight win overall and 20th consecutive regular-season home victory. The Huskies are 3-4, 2-3.
In front of friends, family, fans and Eagle alumni, all three phases of the game were clicking on Saturday:
- Ashland's offense posted a season-high 48 points while adding 471 yards. In the last two weeks, the Eagle offense has racked up 86 points and 999 yards.
Senior quarterback Travis Tarnowski was 19-for-28 for 233 yards and five touchdowns. It was the fourth time Tarnowski has thrown a school-record-tying five TDs in a game, and he became the first Ashland player to reach both 100 career touchdown tosses and 10,000 career passing yards.
"It lets me sit back for a second and think how far I came from where I was when I first got here, or even in high school," Tarnowski said. "I never would have thought that this is where I'd be now. It's been a dream come true."
Junior tailback Andrew Vaughn posted his third 100-yard rushing game of the season (17 carries, 103 yards), while junior wide receiver Kamaron Green continued his strong stat lines of late with four grabs for 97 yards and three touchdowns.
"On every touchdown I scored, I came out of the backfield and was motioning," Green said. "It puts them in a mismatch. It helps a lot."
- The AU defense pitched its second shutout of 2017, and has allowed just 16 points in the last four games. Tech's 166 yards of offense are the fewest the Eagles have given up in a game this season.
In total, Ashland "D" collected four interceptions, a fumble recovery, five tackles for loss and a sack. Senior linebacker Tre'Vontae Jackson had seven total stops, two for loss and a sack, while senior cornerbacks Dale Irby and Michael Griffin, junior defensive end James Prater Jr. and redshirt freshman linebacker Tyler Tokos had the thefts.
"Compared to last year, we're focusing a lot more in practice on getting the ball in the air," said Griffin. "We know we're going to get tested. We want the ball."
- Senior kicker Aidan Simenc hit a career-long 42-yard field goal and was 2-for-3 on field goals, 6-for-6 on extra points and hit three touchbacks on kickoffs.
"I was talking to the team afterwards, and I didn't know where to start," Ashland head coach Lee Owens said. "To get a shutout is a big deal, obviously congratuate Travis for hitting a couple career milestones. It was a perfect day weather-wise, and a perfect day on the gridiron for us."
UP NEXT: Back on the road for a 1 p.m. game on Oct. 21 against Tiffin (5-2, 4-1).