Eagles going for GLIAC South title


Eagles going for GLIAC South title

Noah Cloonan

It all comes down to one game, as the Ashland University Eagles (8-2, 6-2 GLIAC) will take on the Ohio Dominican Panthers (7-3, 7-3 GLIAC) for the GLIAC South Championship on Saturday. 

This is a must win game for the Eagles if they hope to move up into the top seven in Super Region Four and make the NCAA playoffs for the second year in a row. The Eagles dropped from seven to ninth when the most recent poll was released on Monday. 

“You hope to get to that last game when you’re playing for a championship and an opportunity to be in the post season that’s what its all about,” head coach Lee Owens said.

The Eagles are coming off of a 56-0 win over Walsh on senior day while the Panthers come into the game riding a five game winning streak.

Ashland had a record breaking day against the Cavaliers as Adam Shaheen caught two touchdowns and tied the Division II record with 15 receiving touchdowns by a tight end in a single season. He will have a chance to set a new record against the Panthers this weekend.

Vance Settlemire also got one step closer to breaking the record for career touchdowns at AU. Settlemire has 44 career touchdowns which is just one shy of Anthony Taylor’s 45 career touchdowns. 

“He’s pretty good down around the goal line,” Owens said, “and if we’ve got to run the ball to him there is a pretty good chance he is going to score. “

After a three-touchdown performance, Travis Tarnowski is within three touchdowns of tying the program record of 79 that Billy Cundiff set.  

The Eagles will go into the game ranked fourth in division II with 537 yards of offense per game. The Eagles defense is 16th in total defense only allowing 298.4 yards per game.

It is going to be a tough matchup for the Eagles as they will be up against a strong offense that averages nearly 30 points per game. The Panthers are led by junior quarterback, Grant Russell who currently leads the GLIAC with a 70.5% completion percentage. He has thrown for 2,499 yards with 22 touchdowns an 11 interceptions this season.

“[Russell] is really good, and you know we are going to get tested there is no question, we’ve had a couple times when we’ve stumbled on the road,” Owens said. “it’s really a question of us being able to put it all together.”

Cory Contini is the leading receiver on the team with 899 receiving yards and seven touchdowns on a team high 64 receptions. 

The Eagles will be competing for their second straight GLIAC South title and trying to get into the NCAA tournament. The NCAA division II selection show will be on Nov. 13 at 5 p.m.

Ashland will kickoff their final regular season game of the season at noon against Ohio Dominican on Saturday.