CALEDONIA, Mich. – Ashland University's football team ran its winning streak to three games, keeping its second-half-of-2018 fortunes going with a 31-6 win at Davenport on Saturday (Oct. 27) afternoon.
The Eagles improve to 5-3 overall and 5-1 in the Great Lakes Intercollegiate Athletic Conference, while the Panthers go to 6-3, 3-3, after a third straight loss.
"The story of the game was defense, once again," said Ashland head coach Lee Owens. "Two great defensive football teams, and besides one play, I don't know how we could have played any better.
"We made a pretty good statement about how we've played defense all year long."
Ashland kept Davenport to six points, nine first downs and 149 yards of total offense, while racking up six sacks, nine tackles for loss, two forced fumbles, a fumble-recovery touchdown and seven pass breakups.
FIRST AND TEN
1. After forcing two three-and-outs to open the game, Davenport's second punt put AU in good shape at the DU 44-yard line. On the fourth play of the drive, redshirt freshman quarterback Austin Brenner scrambled around left end and cut back for a 23-yard touchdown run at the 7:01 mark.
2. Davenport, however, didn't take long to answer, scoring on its third drive of the game on a read-option 30-yard scoring run by quarterback Haiden Majewski. The extra point, however, was missed, leaving the Eagles with a 7-6 advantage.
3. Ashland's second turnover of the first quarter, a twice-tipped interception, stalled another drive. But the miscue-filled opening stanza continued in a good way for the Eagles, as a Panthers fumble was recovered in the end zone by junior inside linebacker Clay Shreve for a 14-6 AU lead. It was Shreve's second career TD, and first on defense.
4. The second quarter saw both defenses settle in, and the halftime score was 14-6. Ashland yielded just 68 yards on 27 plays and scored on the fumble recovery, and the top two teams in the GLIAC in total defense combined to force three turnovers and allow 212 total yards.
5. On the first play from scrimmage of the second half, the Eagles' third turnover of the contest, a fumble, gave Davenport the ball on AU's 35. The Ashland defense held up its end of the bargain, stopping the Panthers on fourth down to get the ball back.
6. The Eagles turned to "ground and pound" to go up 21-6 with 4:06 to go in the third quarter. A 12-play, 78-yard drive covering 6:57 was capped off by a 15-yard touchdown run by junior tailback Luke Ogi.
7. Sophomore kicker Satchel Denton concluded another long Eagle drive with a 28-yard field goal, putting Ashland up 24-6 with 10:22 remaining. The drive covered 54 yards and 6:35 in 15 plays. Freshman tailback Ronald Lee kept the second-half roll going with a nine-yard touchdown run for a 31-6 advantage at the 7:25 mark of the fourth.
8. Ogi ran 24 times for 106 yards and a score for his second consecutive 100-yard rushing day.
"Luke stepped up big," Owens said. "We ran the ball really well when we needed to, and made some plays when we had to."
9. Senior wide receiver Kamaron Green caught six passes on Saturday, giving him 132 career grabs to put him fifth on Ashland's all-time list. Green passed current Chicago Bears tight end Adam Shaheen in the process.
10. The Ashland defensive effort was led by junior stud Tristan Reichelderfer, who recorded a team-high eight total tackles to go with 1½ sacks, 2½ tackles for loss, a forced fumble and a pass breakup.
The next-to-last regular-season game on Nov. 3 at 7 p.m. at No. 9-ranked Grand Valley State.