Eagles bounce back against Huskies, win 21-12

Ashland University running back Gei'vonni Washington eluding Michigan Tech defenders

AU ATHLETICS

Ashland University running back Gei'vonni Washington eluding Michigan Tech defenders

Dean Paolucci

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Though the weather was not nice on Saturday afternoon, that did not stop the Ashland University football team from getting a 21-12 victory at home against the Michigan Tech Huskies.

The Eagles now improve to a record of 5-3 and 4-2 in GLIAC play, which is currently fourth in the GLIAC standings. Meanwhile, the Michigan Tech Huskies fall to a 4-3 record and 2-3 against GLIAC foes.

The game began on an incredibly rainy day at Jack Miller Stadium and started off slow with neither team scoring following the first quarter of play.

The Eagles were able to break the 0-0 tie early in the second quarter when redshirt sophomore quarterback Austin Brenner was able to run for a 6-yard touchdown, giving AU a 7-0 advantage.

The Ashland defense forced the Huskies to punt the following drive and got the ball back. The Eagles then proceeded to drive down the field again and score another touchdown. The touchdown came from a 25-yard pass from Brenner to redshirt junior wide receiver Logan Bolin, giving the Eagles a 14-0 lead heading into the locker room at halftime.

The Eagles scored later in the third quarter via a 36-yard rushing touchdown by freshman running back Gei’vonni Washington, which gave AU a commanding 21-0 lead around halfway through the third quarter.

The Huskies made a quarterback change coming out of the locker room at halftime, putting in freshman quarterback Steele Fortress in place of junior quarterback Will Ark.

With Fortress at the helm for the Michigan Tech offense, the team was able to drive down the field and score the first Huskies touchdown of the game. The score came from a 16-yard rushing touchdown from sophomore running back Jared Smith. A missed extra point cut the AU lead to 21-6 with 2:22 remaining in the third quarter.

Ashland got the ball and attempted a 35-yard field goal from junior kicker Satchel Denton, but the attempt was blocked and gave away the ball with 11:23 remaining in the game.

The Huskies drove down the field and scored another touchdown with 7:48 remaining in the game, this one from Fortress running the ball for an 8-yard score.

The Huskies then attempted a two-point conversion, but it failed and kept the score at 21-12.

The Huskies were unable to get any other scores on the offensive side of the ball, which led to a 21-12 AU victory.

“Good start out of the gate,” AU head coach Lee Owens said. “We put some points on the board in that first half. I thought the defense played well. Great bounce back after last week.”

This win for the Eagles comes following a 42-41 loss in double-overtime on the road against the Wayne State Warriors last week.

“That loss (at Wayne State) took a lot out of me. It was hard getting back today, and I was a little concerned,” Owens said. “The way these guys came back and played in the first half against a good (Michigan Tech) team, it’s pretty impressive.”

Eagles quarterback Austin Brenner ended the day throwing 10 of 17 for 152 passing yards and a passing touchdown, while also running for 86 yards and for a rushing touchdown.

“Coach Owens always says, ‘The best way to get that bad taste of a loss out is by getting a win,’” Brenner said discussing the Eagles bounce back win. “We knew we had to come out early and get focused on getting locked in and ready to go.”

Freshman running back Gei’vonni Washington was also a factor for the offense, getting 214 total yards of offense and a rushing touchdown on 30 touches.

The Eagles are 4-1 in the last five games, where Washington has ran for a total of 723 rushing yards and nine rushing touchdowns on 145 rushing attempts.

“I just wanna help my team,” Washington said while discussing his last five games running the football. “If they believe in me that much, I’m gonna give them all I got every time I touch the ball. It feels good for them to be that confident in me and I’m only a freshman.”

On the defensive side of the ball the Eagles were led by senior linebacker Clay Shreve with 12 total tackles, including assisting on a tackle-for-loss. Senior defensive back Cedric Frierson was another Eagle with double-digit tackles, racking up 11 total tackles and having one pass disruption.
The Eagles will be on the road next week, traveling to Saginaw Valley State University to take on the Cardinals on Saturday, Nov. 2, with kick-off set for 1 p.m.

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