The 2015 Ashland University football Purple & Gold Spring Game saw a lot of action, improvement – and a quarterback who threw a touchdown pass for both teams.
The Eagles' spring-ending game saw the Gold squad top Purple, 35-21.
"It was a good spring," said AU head coach Lee Owens. "I think we got a lot done. It was such a great day."
The Gridiron Club offensive player of the game was freshman tight end Adam Shaheen. Playing for Gold, Shaheen, the No. 3 tight end during the fall, caught a 27-yard touchdown pass in the third quarter and ended the night with six catches for 82 yards.
"I think he's going to be a big-time player," Owens said.
Defensively, the Gridiron Club player of the game was Purple cornerback Michael Griffin. A transfer from Eastern Michigan who saw some time in 2014 as a sophomore, Griffin had two solo tackles, a 42-yard interception return, a pass breakup and another interception called back on a penalty.
Backup quarterback Austin Bruns played for Purple in the first half and Gold in the second half, and threw scores for both squads. Combined, Bruns finished 16-for-31 for 220 yards, two TDs and an interception.
Both tailback Michael Taylor and fullback Aaron Weyer scored two rushing touchdowns for Gold, which ran up 377 yards of offense. Quarterback Travis Tarnowski, the reigning Great Lakes Intercollegiate Athletic Conference Freshman of the Year, played the first half for Gold and was 12-for-24 for 110 yards and a pick.
"I think both quarterbacks played well at times," said Owens. "Travis has gotten better. There's no question. He's still got work to do. He's young. But he understands so much more of what we're doing."
"You saw glimpses of what could be a pretty good football team. We're excited about where this thing's headed."
This year's honorary coaches were Cleveland Browns defensive lineman Jamie Meder for Purple and Indianapolis Colts defensive lineman Jeris Pendleton for Gold – both former Eagle standouts.
"It's awesome. Loved it. It was a great time. It's great to be back," Meder said. "It's my second home."
Said Pendleton, "It brings back a lot of memories, all the work we put in. Just going through the grind with Meder and the teammates I had at the time. I remember what these guys are going through right now."
Said Owens of Meder and Pendleton, who spent the day going from the program's golf outing through the end of the spring game, "They're obviously great players, but they're fine men and great role models. Honestly, to represent and be ambassadors for Ashland Eagle football and the NFL is a big deal for us.
"We're proud to have them here."