Heading into the final two weeks of the 2017 regular season, the race for the Great Lakes Intercollegiate Athletic Conference football championship features three horses.
Or, more accurately - Eagles, Bulldogs and Lakers.
Going into November, there are three teams that can win the 2017 GLIAC title - No. 12-ranked Ashland University (8-1 overall, 7-0 conference), No. 11-ranked Ferris State (7-1, 6-1) and No. 19-ranked Grand Valley State (7-2, 6-1).
The key Week 10 game in this race will be at Jack Miller Stadium/Martinelli Field, where the Eagles will play host to the Lakers on Saturday (Nov. 4) at 7 p.m.
At noon on Saturday, the Bulldogs will travel to Davenport (1-8, 0-7).
In Week 11, all three contenders are playing different opponents on Nov. 11 - Ashland at home on Senior Day at 1 p.m. vs. Saginaw Valley State (5-4, 3-4), Ferris State at Michigan Tech (4-5, 3-4) at noon and Grand Valley State at home at 1 p.m. vs. Tiffin (5-4, 4-3).
Defense Continues To Be The Stopper
Ashland's offense has turned the ball over just nine times in nine games this season. The defense has done a stellar job in keeping opponents off the board following "sudden changes," giving up just 10 points:
9-16 at Northwood-Fumble-Punt
9-16 at Northwood-Fumble-Turnover on downs
9-30 at Davenport-Muffed punt-Blocked field goal
10-7 at Northern Michigan-Fumble-Field goal
10-14 MICHIGAN TECH-Fumble-End of game
10-21 at Tiffin-Interception-Lost fumble
10-28 at Wayne State-Fumble-Missed field goal
10-28 at Wayne State-Fumble-Touchdown
10-28 at Wayne State-Fumble-Turnover on downs
Offense Climbing The Charts On Third Down
Thanks to a 12-for-17 showing on third-down conversions during Saturday's (Oct. 28) 30-10 win at Wayne State, Ashland is up to 53.9 percent for the season, best in the GLIAC through nine weeks.
The Eagles also are No. 2 in Division II in third-down percentage, trailing only LIU Post (57.0). Ashland's 69 third-down conversions are the most in D-II this season.
Shaheen, Meder Take Week 8 NFL Losses
Former Ashland University All-Americans Adam Shaheen and Jamie Meder played in Week 8 National Football League defeats on Sunday (Oct. 29).
Shaheen, a tight end, started in a three-tight-end set in the Bears' 20-12 loss at the New Orleans Saints. Meder came off the bench as a defensive tackle in the Cleveland Browns' 33-16 loss vs. the Minnesota Vikings in England on Sunday morning.