All any team in any sport wants at the end of the season is a chance to accomplish its goals.
Ashland University's football team still has that chance, thanks to a three-game winning streak – the latest of those victories a 31-6 decision on Saturday (Oct. 27) afternoon at Davenport.
The Eagles have turned a 2-3 record into a 5-3 overall mark and a 5-1 Great Lakes Intercollegiate Athletic Conference showing. Ashland still has a chance at both a share of the GLIAC championship (with two more wins and a Ferris State loss at home vs. Davenport on Nov. 3) and, perhaps, a spot in the NCAA Division II postseason – the second set of regional rankings are Monday (Oct. 29).
Up next for the second-half surging Eagles is a Week 10 contest at No. 9 Grand Valley State (8-1, 5-1) on Nov. 3 at 7 p.m.
"This is a really good football team," Ashland head coach Lee Owens said of Davenport. "To be able to get that win at this time right now, we're going into November…we're still relevant. That's what you want to play for at this point. After our start, there was a lot of people that didn't think that would be possible. But here we are, and we're looking forward to it.
"It's a good bunch of guys, and we've got great coaches, and a tradition that you're not going to give up. I don't know where the thing's going to end up, nobody does. But I know we're going into Week 10 playing a really important game, and we had to get this one for that to happen."
DEFENSE KEEPS ADDING TO 2018 RESUME
In Saturday's victory, the Eagle defense kept Davenport to six points, nine first downs and 149 yards of total offense, while racking up six sacks, nine tackles for loss, two forced fumbles, a fumble-recovery touchdown and seven pass breakups.
The Eagles are second in the GLIAC in both scoring defense (16.8 ppg.) and total defense (243.9 ypg), and is the conference's pacesetter in rushing defense (92.5 ypg.) and sacks (24).
REICHELDERFER GROWING IN NEW ROLE
Junior Tristan Reichelderfer made the move from inside linebacker to stud prior to the 2018 season. After 10 total tackles (four solo), one sack and one tackle for loss in the first four games of the campaign, Reichelderfer has collected 31 total stops (12 solo), 1½ sacks and 2½ tackles for loss in the last four outings.
EMPTYING THE NOTEBOOK
In back-to-back starts, junior tailback Luke Ogi has rushed 39 times for 211 yards and two touchdowns…Redshirt freshman defensive tackle Curtis Roupe picked up six total tackles (two solo), a sack and a tackle for loss on Saturday – all while being part of a six-player D-tackle rotation…Quarterbacks Austin Brenner (redshirt freshman, nine), Billy Bahl (senior, three) and John Davies (junior, one) all completed passes against Davenport. The last time three different Eagles completed a pass in the same game was Sept. 1, 2016 at home vs. Mercyhurst (Travis Tarnowski 20, Davies three, Austin Bruns one).