Bolin’s Late Heroics Help Eagles Sink Lakers


Logan Bolin (#13) celebrates following a game-winning 52-yard Hail Mary catch from quarterback Austin Brenner Saturday in Allendale, Michigan. Ashland’s heroics gave Grand Valley their first loss of the season, 20-17

Nate Powalie, Sports Columnist

In the final moments of Saturday night’s game, there was a moment of anticipation as to who would come down with the hail mary jump ball in the end zone to determine who would win the game between two GLIAC archrivals in Ashland and Grand Valley State.

In the end, the ball would end up in the hands of Eagles receiver Logan Bolin as he caught a 52-yard pass from Austin Brenner to send AU to a 20-17 late victory over No. 9 ranked Grand Valley.

Things did not get going the way the Eagles had hoped, as the Lakers scored the first ten points while shutting out the Purple and Gold all the way until the fourth quarter.

This was the second week in a row where AU had to rely on a fourth-quarter comeback in order to secure a win, with last week putting up 21 points to obtain program win No. 500 at Northwood.

With the win, AU improves to 2-0 in the GLIAC and 3-2 overall, while giving Grand Valley their first loss in five games.

Looking back, Ashland was looking for revenge against Grand Valley from last season as the Lakers beat the Eagles in November of last year on a game-winning field goal in Allendale 20-17.

Everyone on both sidelines held their breath in anticipation for the final result.

Ashland player, Austin Brenner, said a prayer as he let it go.

“It was crazy. I guess I just had to throw it as high and far as I could,” sophomore quarterback Austin Brenner said.

The sequence had set up like this: three seconds left, Eagles down three. Brenner took the snap and rolled to his right. Facing pressure from one of the Lakers’ defensive linemen, he let the ball go to the end zone.

Amongst a crowd of four Grand Valley defenders, Logan Bolin picked the ball out of the air and fell to the turf while hanging on to send AU to victory.

It was a crazy moment on the field as the Eagles’ sideline erupted.

“At first I couldn’t tell if he (Bolin) caught it; it just felt so surreal,” Brenner said.

The Hail Mary catch was one of three for Bolin on Saturday, finishing with 94 receiving yards and a touchdown, while also garnering GLIAC Offensive Player of the Week honors on Monday.

The nerves were not only there for the players on the field, but also on the sidelines as well.

Ashland had multiple opportunities to ice the game, but could not cash in until the fateful final play. The elation for one coach carried over for a couple of days, but the nerves were there until the end.

“It was chaos after the game. We had three or four chances to put the game away in the final five minutes,” head coach Lee Owens said.

Ashland had taken the lead 14-10 thanks to Gei’vonni Washington and his 44-yard touchdown run with a little more than two and a half minutes left in the fourth quarter. That is when the chaos started to unfurl.

Grand Valley State had converted a fourth down and ten situation and later capitalized by putting the ball in the end zone with just 49 seconds left to take a 17-14 lead.

Just six plays later, Bolin would catch the game-winning 52-yard Hail Mary pass from Brenner and the Ashland sideline stormed the field, stunning the Lakers 20-17.

“It was just an unbelievable finish,” Owens said.

Looking ahead, the Eagles will take on Davenport this Saturday at home for Homecoming weekend with kickoff set for 1 p.m.