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Eagles fall to No. 4 Ferris State in dog fight

Steve Shrenkel

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The Ashland University men’s football team fell to No. 4-ranked Ferris State on the road, 28-21, on Saturday. (Sept. 29)

The Eagles are now 2-3 overall and have fallen to 2-1 in the Great Lakes Intercollegiate Athletic Conference. The Bulldogs remain undefeated at 5-0 and 3-0 in the GLIAC.

Early in the first quarter, Ferris State would attempt to score first with a drive down the field to set up for 41-yard field goal. Bulldogs kicker Jackson Dieterle would miss the kick wide right, giving the ball right back to AU.

Ashland’s third drive of the night ended in a turnover on downs as redshirt freshman quarterback Austin Brenner was sacked for a loss of nine yards.

The Eagles defense answered right back with a fourth-down stop of their own, giving AU the ball on their own 31.

The second quarter kicked off with a bad snap on a 30-yard field goal attempt by Ferris State for a turnover with 8:33 left to go until halftime.

Ashland took full advantage of this miscue as they drove down the field before junior running back Luke Ogi ran for five yards for the first score of the game. This gave AU a 7-0 lead.

The Bulldogs would respond right back before halftime with a Quarterback Jayru Campbell finding wide receiver Sy Barnett in the endzone for a six yard touchdown to tie the game at 7-7 with :13 remaining before the half.

Ferris State kicked off the second half with another touchdown, this time with a 15-yard connection from Campbell to Barnett off of a five-yard drive to give them a 14-7 advantage.

The Eagles couldn’t get much going offensively on their next two possessions before the Bulldogs struck again.

Campbell got his third touchdown pass of the game with a 23-yard scoring scramble to make it a 21-7 Ferris State advantage with 5:53 left in the third quarter.

Shortly after, the Bulldogs scored yet again with a 16-yard interception return by linebacker Delon Stephenson to give them a comfortable three touchdown lead.

The Eagles would not go away, however, as Brenner began a fourth quarter rally with a 30-yard touchdown pass to sophomore tight end Michael Schweitzer to shorten the gap 28-14 with 12:19 left to go in the fourth quarter.

Ashland would get the ball back and this time it was senior running back Andrew Vaughn scoring with a two yard run into the endzone to make the game 28-21 with 3:08 left to go in the game.

AU would get a much needed three-and-out defensive stop to give them the ball at their own 33. The Eagles attempted to complete the comeback as Brenner marched the ball down the field setting them up for a fourth-and-3 situation from Ferris State’s 29.

Brenner completed a slant pass to redshirt sophomore Logan Bolin but it was just a few inches short of the first down marker, giving the Bulldogs the victory.

AU limited NCAA Division II’s top rushing offense to only 126 yards on 42 attempts while out gaining the Bulldogs top D-II overall offense 413-398.

Brenner led the Eagles in passing by going 20-for-43 on 248 passing yards with a touchdown and interception. On the flip side, Campbell finished 19-for-26 on 272 total yards and two touchdowns for the Bulldogs.

Vaughn led all teams in rushing with 116 rushing yards on 19 attempts and a touchdown. Ogi also chipped in 22 total yards on six attempts and a touchdown of his own.

Senior wide receiver Kamaron Green finished the day with eight catches for 95-yards for AU. With this, he moved into ninth place on the Eagles all-time receptions list (115).

Junior linebacker Clay Shreve anchored Ashland’s defense with 16 total tackles, 2 ½ sacks and 2 ½ tackles for loss.

The Eagles will look to bounce back on Saturday (Oct. 6) at 7 p.m. at Jack Miller Stadium/Martinelli Field when they take on Saginaw Valley State (5-0, 2-0 in GLIAC).

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