No. 5 Eagles, Oilers Conclude GLIAC Rivalry Saturday Night

No. 5 Eagles, Oilers Conclude GLIAC Rivalry Saturday Night

PDF Version Of Week 3 Game Notes

Sights and Sounds

- This week's game will be broadcast live on WNCO-AM 1340, with Marty Bannister handling the play-by-play and Don Graham providing the commentary. The game can be heard at, and also can be accessed on the scoreboard page on the home page of the AU athletics web site,

- A live stream of the game can be found on the scoreboard page on the home page of the AU athletics Web site, as well. The broadcast also will be replayed on SportsTime Ohio on Sunday (Sept. 18) at 6 p.m.

- WRDL-FM 88.9 also will broadcast the game live. In addition, AU head coach Lee Owens will do a weekly appearance on WRDL's "Early Bird's Word," every Wednesday at 8:30 a.m.


Ashland, Findlay Close Conference Rivalry With Key GLIAC South Game

No. 5-ranked Ashland will finish a stretch of three consecutive home games to start the 2016 season - and six straight games at Jack Miller Stadium/Martinelli Field overall - when it takes on longtime in-state rival Findlay Saturday at 7 p.m.

The Eagles are 2-0 overall and 1-0 in the Great Lakes Intercollegiate Athletic Conference, while the Oilers are 1-1, 1-1.

"It's a ball-control passing game," Ashland head coach Lee Owens said of Findlay's offense. "They get the ball out so quick. It's just basically ball-control offense with the quarterback in the passing game. I think we have to find a way to disrupt patterns. We did some of that a year ago, and I'm sure we'll have a plan to try to get the same thing done this year."

The Eagles and Oilers have been members of the Midwest Intercollegiate Football Conference/GLIAC together since 1998. With Findlay's move in 2017 to the Great Midwest Athletic Conference, the Week 3 contest will be the last between the two programs as conference rivals.



Junior quarterback Travis Tarnowski is 41-for-60 for 537 yards, five touchdowns and no interceptions…Sophomore tight end Adam Shaheen has caught 11 passes for 185 yards and one touchdown…Junior cornerback Dale Irby is averaging 22.6 yards per kickoff return, has a punt return for 38 yards, has an interception and a fumble recovery and has scored on a two-point defensive PAT…Senior whip Daivon Barrow has a team-high four tackles for loss while adding 11 total tackles and a sack…Junior kicker Aidan Simenc is 9-for-9 on extra points and 2-for-2 on field goals.


1986 Playoff Eagles To Be Recognized

The 1986 Ashland College football team, the first in program history to qualify for the NCAA Division II postseason, will be honored at Saturday night's game.

In 1986, the Eagles ripped off seven straight wins to close the regular season and advance to the playoffs, and won the Heartland Collegiate Conference championship for the third year in a row.

"We don't have a storied postseason NCAA Tournament history, so those teams in the '80s and '90s that did make it are pretty special teams," Owens said. "They had to be pretty special to get into the postseason."

Ashland finished the 1986 season ranked No. 12 in Division II.






25 Northwood  7 (N)



30 Findlay  12 (N)



18 Hillsdale  20 (N)



17 Indianapolis  8 (HC)



23 Georgetown  21

Georgetown, Ky.


17 Saint Joseph's  14 (PD)



24 Butler  14

Indianapolis, Ind.


24 Evansville  14

Evansville, Ind.


36 Franklin  14



29 Valparaiso  7

Valparaiso, Ind.


0 North Dakota State  50

Fargo, N.D.

*NCAA Playoffs


Leaders Of The Pack

The 2016 Ashland University captains are senior tailback Vance Settlemire, senior inside linebacker Brandon Gency, Tarnowski and senior stud Adam Wallace - three seniors and a junior.

Tarnowski and Gency were captains in 2015, as well.


Backfield Depth Aids AU Cause

A head coach can brag about his tailback depth when two backups each rush for their first 100-yard days as collegians - especially when that is his position group, as well.

During the Week 2 win at home against Wayne State, both freshman Keishaun Sims (10 carries, 102 yards, two touchdowns) and sophomore Andrew Vaughn (19 carries, 100 yards) turned in century-mark performances. It was the first time two Eagles each rushed for at least 100 yards in the same game since Anthony Taylor (130) and Settlemire (121) at Findlay on Sept. 27, 2014.

"It's a credit to the offensive line," Owens said of junior left tackle Damon Stewart, junior left guard Matt Murphy, sophomore center Dominic Giunta, senior right guard Zachary Douglass and sophomore right tackle John Conner. "I pulled that group in front of the team on Monday and talked about the physical contest we played. Both teams hit hard. Both teams played tough, physical football.

"But at the very end, our offensive line stepped up. And to have your second and third tailback both go over 100 yards, and protect the quarterback the way they a credit to that group up front."

Owens also gave credit to all three tight ends - junior Adam Shaheen, sophomore Jack Holl and senior Austin Bruns - as well as senior fullback Dan Medvetz and sophomore fullback Cameron Barker.


Tarnowski Already Among AU All-Time Passing Best

Tarnowski has started 23 games at Ashland, and is 20-3 as a starter, including a spotless 12-0 home mark in the regular season.

Through two games in 2016, Tarnowski already has cemented his place among the top passers in Ashland football history. He has thrown for 5,825 career yards, trailing only Billy Cundiff (9,143) and current AU wide receivers coach Taylor Housewright (7,259), and 51 touchdown passes, behind just Cundiff (79) and Housewright (71).


Settlemire Getting Closer To All-Time AU TD Mark

In his first three seasons as an Eagle, Settlemire scored 34 touchdowns - averaging a touchdown every 11.4 times he touched the ball from scrimmage.

In the 2016 opener against Mercyhurst, Settlemire scored three more touchdowns, giving him 37 as an Eagle. Settlemire needs just two touchdowns to tie former teammate Jordan McCune for second on the program's all-time list.

With 12 total touchdowns as a senior, Settlemire will become the Eagles' all-time leader, passing former teammate Anthony Taylor:




Anthony Taylor


Jordan McCune


Vance Settlemire


Donald Church


Ray Novotny


Keith Weaver


Antoine Gaiter


Jon Schroeder


Ray Bolin


Joe Horn



Eagles Enjoy Ranked Status

Since 2006, the Eagles are 29-14 as a Top 25 team in the AFCA Coaches' Poll. Since the start of the 2014 season, Ashland is 14-2 as a Top 25 squad.

The Eagles have played the Oilers three times as a ranked team, and have won all three meetings - 45-38 on Nov. 8, 2008 (No. 24), 42-21 on Oct. 27, 2012 (No. 6) and 40-28 on Sept. 26, 2015 (No. 13).


Irby Turned In Multiple Big Plays In AU Win

If it seems like Ashland junior cornerback Dale Irby was everywhere in the second half of the Eagles' Week 2 win, it's because he was.

- Irby started the half by recovering a fumble on the opening kickoff of the third quarter at the Warrior 29-yard line, leading to Ashland's go-ahead touchdown.

- He then picked off a potential game-tying two-point conversion pass and returned it the length of the field for a rare two-point defensive PAT. The four-point swing gave the Eagles a 22-18 lead with 6:26 to go in the third period.

- Finally, Irby recorded an interception on what would be Wayne State's final offensive play, sealing the Ashland victory with 1:55 left in the contest.

Said Owens, "Dale had a couple of big plays at the cornerback position and as a returner (four kickoff returns for 88 yards). He's such a talented player. He just enjoys playing the game so much. It's fun to coach him."


Barrow Breaks Out Big Game On Eagles "D"

Barrow recorded three tackles for loss in Saturday's victory. It was the highest single-game total for an Eagle since teammate Brandon Ehlinger had four on Sept. 19, 2015 at home against Ohio Dominican.

"Dale made all the big plays, but Daivon, his body of work during the course of the game was really impressive," Owens said. "It's just nice to see him have the success on the field.

"He's been such a good student here, the internship with the president (Dr. Carlos Campo). And then to go out and play on the field the way he did at that key position is a great credit to him as a person. I'm excited for him. It's a big year for him, and he really showed up in that game big time."

Barrow leads the Eagles through two games with four tackles for loss – or one-half fewer than his entire AU career total prior to 2016.


Simenc Standing Out On Special Teams

Simenc is 9-for-9 on extra points and 2-for-2 on field goals in the first two games of 2016, while also averaging 62.3 yards on 12 kickoffs. He is tied for the active NCAA Division II career lead in field-goal percentage (90.9), and is 20-for-20 as an Eagle on field goals inside of 40 yards.

"He's worked awfully hard," Owens said. "He's one of those guys who is just so committed, disciplined. What he's done in the weight room, what he's done with his practice routine, he has changed himself into being a really good kicker. I thought all the kicks (against Wayne State) were just money."


The Eagles' Oh So Sweet Home

The 2016 season is the eighth for the Eagles at Jack Miller Stadium/Martinelli Field, and to say they enjoy playing on Broad Street is an understatement.

Ashland is 33-8 (.805) at home since 2009, and has won 14 straight regular-season contests at "The Jack."




























NCAA Division II Rankings Through Week 2


Settlemire - active yards per carry - 1st (6.8)

Simenc - active field-goal percentage - T-1st (90.9)

Tarnowski - active total offense yards per play - 2nd (7.5)

Settlemire - active total touchdowns - 3rd (37)

Tarnowski - active completion percentage - 6th (61.1)

Tarnowski - active passing yards per game - 6th (253.0)

Settlemire - active rushing touchdowns - T-8th (28)

Tarnowski - active passing efficiency - 9th (146.2)

Settlemire - active total points scored - 9th (222)


Simenc - field-goal percentage - T-1st (1.000)

Settlemire - rushing yards per carry - 9th (8.4)

TEAM - 2016

Third-down conversion percentage - 2nd (66.7)

Fewest penalties per game - T-7th (4.00)

Total offense per game - 10th (544.5)

Third-down conversion percentage defense - T-10th (20.8)


2016 Competitiveness Chart

The following is a look at the Eagles' 2016 "competitiveness chart" - the measure of how long a team leads, is tied and trails in a game:


















In 2015, the Eagles led for at least 50 minutes in a game eight times.


The Notebook

- The 2016 season is the fifth time in Owens' 13-year tenure the Eagles have started 2-0. Ashland is off to a 2-0 start for the third season in a row.

- As a redshirt freshman in 2015, sophomore wide receiver Matthew Wilcox averaged 26.0 yards on his 20 catches – one of the best single-season averages in program history. So far in 2016, he has 188 yards on seven catches, a 26.9-yard average.

- Thanks to Irby's defensive conversion, Ashland scored more points (two) on Wayne State's four conversion attempts than the Warriors did (one).