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Football prepares for Wayne State

Noah Cloonan

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It was a picture perfect start to the 2016 season for the Eagles as they ran Mercyhurst (0-1) off the field in a 48-0 victory.  

The Ashland Eagles (1-0) started quickly and never looked back, but now its time for them to look ahead and start focusing on conference play as they get set to take on the Wayne State Warriors (1-0). 

This week will be a completely different animal as the talented Warriors team makes their way into town. 

“They’re just physical,” Head Coach Lee Owens said. “They are a physical, emotional team, if you can’t match their physicality and you can’t match their emotion you [will] get beat.”

Wayne State is coming off of a 28-3 victory on the road against Northwood (0-1). Jamel Hicks had a big performance for the Warriors, catching five passes for 154 yards and two touchdowns in the win. 

The real star of the game was the defense for the Warriors as they allowed just 138 yards of total offense and only ten first downs. 

Their defense will need to show up to play this week as the Eagles were soaring on offense in their week one win.

They racked up an impressive 590 yards of total offense, and that was after many of the starters sat out the entire second half. Travis Tarnowski threw for 226 yards and three touchdowns in the first half before John Davies took over in the second half.

Tarnowski tweaked his ankle after being tackled in the second quarter, but coach Owens said that he is practicing and will be ready to go for Saturday. 

Settlemire had a huge night offensively as he had 13 carries for 132 yards and two touchdowns and also caught another.  Andrew Vaughn and Keishaun Sims added 45 and 44 yards respectively. Luke Ogi ripped off a 75-yard touchdown run to finish off the crazy night from the running back group.

The defense for the Eagles showed up to play as they held the Lakers under 200 yards of offense and had five sacks and 11 tackles for a loss in the shutout. 

“I don’t know if we could have played a whole lot better on either side of the ball,” Owens said, “to get a shutout just doesn’t happen in football today. “

The Eagles showed a lot of good things on offense including five drives that were longer than 70 yards. 

“That’s kind of been a trademark of Travis’ time here,” Owens said. “We’ve had to go the distance, I can’t tell you how many times. He’s such a great manager of the offense, converter of third downs, plus we make enough big plays that it really helps with that.”

For head coach Lee Owens there will be a very familiar face on the opposing sideline as Paul Winters brings his team into battle against the Eagles.

“Always bittersweet,” Owens said, “one of my best friends, not only in coaching but in life. It’s always tough to line up and coach against him.”

Another familiar face for Eagle fans will be at Jack Miller Stadium on Saturday, as Bill Royce will be recognized for his induction into the College Football Hall of Fame. 

Royce is the NCAAs all-time sacks leader with 71 total sacks. 

The game starts at 7 p.m. and can be heard on 88.9 WRDL or on WRDLFM.com. A replay of the game can also be seen on Sept. 11 at 7 p.m. on Sports Time Ohio. 

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