The Eagles travel to Allendale for a season defining contests against the Lakers

The Eagles will travel to Allendale, Mich. to face the No. 8 Grand Valley State Lakers.

AU ATHLETICS

The Eagles will travel to Allendale, Mich. to face the No. 8 Grand Valley State Lakers.

Zach Read, MANAGING EDITOR OF THE COLLEGIAN

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With two games left to play, the schedule for the Ashland University football team does not get any easier.

After defeating a 6-2 Davenport team handedly by a score of 31-6, the Eagles (5-3) will travel to No. 8 ranked Grand Valley State in Week 10 that will likely decide the Eagles postseason fate.

“We’re expecting a really good game and a tough, hard-fought game,” Ashland head coach Lee Owens said. “Someone has to make a play at the end to win.”

The Eagles currently have a three game win streak and are rolling with a lot of confidence but it will certainly take more than that to defeat the Lakers (8-1).

A lot of the success for the Eagles offensively the past few games have come through the form of redshirt junior tailback Luke Ogi who has been filling in for senior tailback Andrew Vaughn.

Vaughn is cleared to play for Saturday’s game against the Lakers but Owens said that Ogi is now a little banged up so as long as one of the two stay healthy the Eagles should maintain solid in the run game.

Stepping up for the Eagles lately defensively has been junior stud linebacker Tristan Reichelderfer who was named the Week 9 GLIAC Defensive Player of the Week with eight total tackles, 1 ½ sacks, 2 ½ tackles for loss and a forced fumble.

The Ashland defense as a whole is now fifth in NCAA Division II in total defense (243.9 ypg).

Sophomore placekicker Satchel Denton leads the GLIAC in field goal percentage (88.9), and is one of two GLIAC full-time kickers to be at 100 percent on extra points.

The Lakers only loss came to No. 2 ranked Ferris State three weeks ago in a dogfight that went to the wire by a score of 35-31 in Allendale, Mich.

“They’re a lot like us, they are a really good defensive football team,” Owens said. “They play a lot of man coverage and they keep a lot of pressure on the offense, they blitz a lot.”

For Grand Valley State, they are stacked on every side of the ball starting with senior quarterback Bart Williams. Williams has thrown 125 completed passes for 2066 yards and 18 touchdowns on the season.

“He (Williams) is a great thrower, he has a lot of experience and he has won a ton of games,” Owens said. “And collectively he has the best receivers in the league who can really run and go up and get the ball.”

To throw for over 2000 yards, there must be talented receivers on the opposite end of those passes, and for Williams it comes in the form of wide receivers Nick Dodson (48 catches, 802 yards, eight touchdowns) and Austin Paritee (44 catches, 851 yards, eight touchdowns).

Carrying the load in the rushing game is junior Chawntez Moss who has 142 carries for 833 yards and eight touchdowns.

Defensively for the Lakers, similar to the Eagles, is a hard nose, run-stopping unit. Leading the team in total tackles is sophomore linebacker Tyler Bradfield (61 total tackles, 4 ½ tackles for loss) and junior defensive lineman Michael Pettis with 38 total tackles, 4 ½ sacks and 8 ½ tackles for loss.

“All we can control is continue to win in the league,” Owens said. “We don’t want to have any regrets in the end, this game and this week keeps us going into the final week of the season with a chance to win a conference championship.”

The Eagles will have to play next to a perfect game to knock off the No. 8 Lakers in a GLIAC battle in Allendale, Mich. on Saturday (Nov. 3) with kickoff set for 7 pm. The game can be streamed online at ESPN3.

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