Ashland University true freshman tailback Keishaun Sims continues to flash the talent that made him the Ohio High School Mr. Football as a prep senior in 2015.
In Saturday's (Oct. 8) 45-7 Homecoming win over Northwood, Sims ran eight times for 38 yards and returned two kickoffs for 139 yards, including a 92-yard touchdown for the Eagles' final score of the game.
Sims is the first Ashland player to return a kickoff for a touchdown since Cory Fickiesen's 46-yard score at Tiffin on Nov. 3, 2012, and the first Eagle to return a deep kickoff for a score since Joe Horn went 93 yards with the opening kick at home on Nov. 13, 2010.
In the first six games of 2016, Sims is second on the team in rushing yards (328), first in yards per carry (6.7) and rushing touchdowns (three), is averaging 36.7 yards on six kickoff returns and has made three solo tackles.
SHAHEEN PULLS AHEAD OF THEM ALL: Junior tight end Adam Shaheen, the first tight end to be named Great Lakes Intercollegiate Athletic Conference Offensive Player of the Week since the GLIAC began football play in 1999, leads all tight ends at every level of the NCAA in receptions (42), receiving yards (701) and receiving touchdowns (11).
Shaheen is two catches ahead of FCS Drake's Eric Saubert, and 140 receiving yards and three receiving TDs ahead of FCS South Dakota State's Dallas Goedert.
With 11 touchdown receptions already in 2016, Shaheen is just one away from tying the school's single-season record of 12, set by wide receiver Joe Horn in 2010. He has climbed into eighth place on Ashland's all-time catches list (114), is 121 receiving yards away from moving into the Top 10 on that list, and needs seven more TD grabs to tie Horn's Eagle career record of 28.
GIVING THE DEFENSE ITS DUE: The Eagle defense kept the Timberwolves to a total of 184 yards and a late touchdown on Homecoming. Through six weeks, Ashland's "D" ranks first in the GLIAC in total defense (344.5 ypg.) and second in scoring defense (16.8 ppg.), and is tied for the third-most fumble recoveries (seven) in the conference.
Eagle opponents have scored a total of 34 points in the second half so far in 2016.
Senior inside linebacker Brandon Gency has led the charge in the last four games, and with 27 career tackles for loss, has pulled into a tie with Bobby Mercer for sixth on Ashland's all-time list.
THE NOTEBOOK: Ashland has extended its consecutive games streak of scoring at least 27 points to 17…Junior quarterback Travis Tarnowski (7,198) needs just 62 passing yards to go past current AU wide receivers coach Taylor Housewright into second place on the program's all-time list…Junior kicker Aidan Simenc is sixth all-time at Ashland with 24 career field goals, and with 99 career extra points, he is three away from tying Bryan Seward for fourth all-time.