Eagles to face Walsh on Saturday

Satchel Denton prepares to kick a field goal against Indianapolis

AU Athletics

Satchel Denton prepares to kick a field goal against Indianapolis

Evan Laux, SPORTS EDITOR FOR THE COLLEGIAN

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“A lot of times people think that ‘we lost a football game, the sky is falling’,” head football coach Lee Owens said. “What people forget is that we’re 27-4 in our last 31 home games. I don’t think the sky is falling. I think we have a pretty good football team and I don’t second-guess the decision of playing a good team like Indianapolis.”

The AU football team had their season opener at home on Sept. 5 against the No. 16 ranked Indianapolis Greyhounds. The Eagles took the lead early thanks to three successful field goals made by kicker Satchel Denton, but were dominated in the second half by the Greyhound offense, finishing the game 24-9.

Although a tough loss, the Eagles are now prepared for battle against the Walsh Cavaliers on Saturday.

The Cavaliers were ranked fifth in the G-MAC preseason poll, and lost their season opener against the Duquesne Dukes 44-3.

“If we’re going to win this week, we can’t be making the same kind of offensive mistakes,” Owens said. “Where did the majority of our mistakes take place? The red zone.”

During the Indianapolis game, the Eagles suffered two interceptions, a dropped ball, two offsides and two missed assignments on the point of attack on blocking, all within or near the redzone.

Owens believes the first game was simply a test run. “We’ve got work to do on both sides of the ball. We know what we need to fix right now, and that’s the positive,” he said.

Historically, the Eagles have triumphed over the Cavaliers on more than one occasion. In fact, AU has won all five games played against Walsh over the past seven years. Two of those wins were in Canton, 14-6 on Oct. 19, 2013 and 31-24 in overtime on Sept. 12, 2015.

In four of five games, AU finished with more than half of Walsh’s total score. Most recently, the Eagles touted a 56-0 win over Walsh on Nov. 5, 2016.

Moving forward, the Eagles are focusing on their offensive game.

“To beat the really good teams in the past like Ferris and Grand Valley who are really stacked on defense, you’ve got to throw the ball. And I’d like to see our run game be a lot more productive,” Owens said.

AU QB Austin Brenner will be pitted against Walsh starting QB Nick Gassman. Gassman played in all ten games (nine starts) for the Cavaliers and threw 134 completions for 1,357 total yards in the 2018 season.

“We have to run the football this week. We have to. That’s been a major point of emphasis.”

The Eagles defensive line must also be wary of Walsh running-back Koby Adu-Poku. Rushing for 195 yards last year as a sophomore, Adu-Poku will look to push through the older Eagle line.

The Eagles will travel to Tom Benson Hall of Fame Stadium to take on the Walsh Cavaliers at 1 p.m on Sept. 14. Live coverage can be heard on 88.9 WRDL.

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