Ashland University head football coach Lee Owens also is in charge of the Eagles' tailbacks.
One can excuse Owens if he is beaming with pride these days, as his three pupils at the head of the class – senior Vance Settlemire, sophomore Andrew Vaughn and freshman Keishaun Sims – did something on Saturday (Oct. 22) no other tailback trio has done in Owens' 13 seasons at Ashland.
In a 70-14 win at Kentucky Wesleyan, Settlemire (113), Vaughn (107) and Sims (133) all rushed for more than 100 yards. It was the first time in Owens' 139 games with the Eagles that three runners went over the century mark in the same game.
Those three efforts led the way for Ashland to set a new team single-game rushing record of 477 yards, breaking the previous mark of 447 yards at home against Otterbein on Sept. 26, 1970.
Settlemire leads the Eagles with 573 yards rushing in 2016, but is followed closely by both Sims (523) and Vaughn (402). In addition, redshirt freshman tailback Luke Ogi has 268 yards and a 15.8-yard average on the ground. Settlemire, Sims and Ogi all have rushed for five touchdowns, and Vaughn three.
Ashland's offense averaged 262.2 rushing yards in the first three games, then 123.7 yards on the ground in the next three. In back-to-back road wins against Lake Erie and Kentucky Wesleyan, the Eagles have run for 835 yards and 12 touchdowns.
BRUNS' LEG GETTING PLENTY OF REST: For the second consecutive game, senior punter Austin Bruns didn't get off a kick. This also is a first in the Owens era, the Eagles not punting in consecutive contests.
QB1 STILL LIGHTING IT UP: While all the rushing yards were being piled up, Eagle junior quarterback Travis Tarnowski was 11-for-17 for 207 yards and three touchdowns. He has thrown 73 consecutive passes without an interception, and in the last three games alone, he has racked up 811 yards and 11 touchdowns in the air.
EAGLE DEFENSE ISN'T RESTING: Ashland's defense yielded eight rushing yards to the Panthers in Week 8, and allowed a pair of second-half touchdowns after the game was well in hand. In all, the Eagles recorded four sacks and 15 tackles for loss at Wesleyan.
Through eight weeks, Ashland is second in the GLIAC in scoring defense (15.1 ppg.) and total defense (315.0 ypg.), third in passing defense (186.9 ypg.) and fifth in rushing defense (128.1 ypg.).
ASHLAND PUTS THE HAMMER DOWN: In the second and third quarters in 2016, the Eagles have outscored their opponents by an aggregate total of 216-34.