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Eagles look to close the 2018 season with a win on senior day

The Eagles will conclude the 2018 season on Martinelli Field against the Wildcats after a gut wrenching loss at the hands of Grand Valley State.

NMUWILDCATS.COM

The Eagles will conclude the 2018 season on Martinelli Field against the Wildcats after a gut wrenching loss at the hands of Grand Valley State.

Zach Read

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The Ashland University football team will finish off their 2018 season on Saturday at home against Northern Michigan with no hopes in making it to the NCAA Division II postseason.

The Eagles (5-4) were handed their fourth loss of the season by ways of No. 9 Grand Valley State last Saturday. The Eagles held their ground against the Lakers (9-1) most of the game until GVSU kicker J.J. McGrath nailed a 23-yard game-winning field goal with 15 seconds remaining in the game to win it 20-17 for the Lakers.

“We have to kind of let go of it, our guys played really really hard,” AU head coach Lee Owens said. “It’s one of those situations where you felt like you outplayed a team in every aspect and you just don’t win because they made a couple big plays and you made a couple of big mistakes.”

After AU redshirt freshman quarterback Austin Brenner was deemed out for the rest of the season due to injury, senior quarterback Billy Bahl made his second start of the season for the Eagles.

Bahl threw 37 times for 285 yards, a touchdown and an interception as he was able to keep the Eagles offense moving through the air.

After being back and fully healthy, senior tailback Andrew Vaughn for AU rushed for 106 yards on 26 carries. On the season Vaughn has 759 total yards on 140 rushes to go along with six touchdowns for the Eagles.

AU senior wide receiver Kamaron Green caught the ball six times last Saturday for 99 yards and will finish his AU career on Saturday sitting in fourth place on the program’s all-time receptions list.

“There’s gonna be some seniors that you just won’t replace, Kameron Green is one of them,” Owens said. “He is as tough of a player pound for pound as we have coached here.”

On Northern Michigan’s side of the ball, the Wildcats (3-7) are a team that have struggled all year but are coming off a big momentum win against Wayne State last week 34-24. That was their only win in the GLIAC as that record sits at 1-6.

Carrying the load all season long for the Wildcats has been senior running back Jake Mayon. He has carried the ball 237 times for 1411 yards and 13 touchdowns.

“They have the best run game in the conference and one of the best tailbacks in the conference,” Owens said. “They are coming off a huge win and we are coming off a tough loss, and that is dangerous.”

The Wildcats live and die by the run as they have called 494 run plays in the 2018 season compared to only 173 passing plays.

Defensively for Northern Michigan, they are led by two guys in the secondary who each lead the team with 75 total tackles, sophomore safety Brady Hanson and junior defensive back Troy Mayon.

Troy Mayon is the brother of Jake Mayon and along with 75 tackles has contributed one sack, 5 ½ tackles for loss and two interceptions.

Struggling on the year for the Wildcats is their freshman kicker Daniel Riser who is 9 for 15 on field goal attempts (60 percent).

The Wildcats of Northern Michigan will be coming to town on Saturday (Nov. 10) looking to spoil the Eagles senior day as 19 players will be honored in their last game at Jack Miller stadium. Kickoff is set for 1 pm.

“This is a good bunch,” Owens said. “We’ll honor them on Saturday, and hope to send them out with a win.”

The game can be heard live on 88.9 WRDL or at wrdlfm.com or you can watch the Journalism and Digital Media broadcast replays on SportsTime Ohio on Nov. 10 (9 pm) and Nov. 11 (11 am).

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