ALLENDALE, Mich. – The Ashland University football team lost to No. 9 Grand Valley State on Saturday (Nov. 3) night at Lubbers Stadium, 20-17, as the Lakers kicked a field goal with 15 seconds remaining to seal AU's fate.
The Eagles (5-4, 5-2 GLIAC) slipped to third place in the GLIAC with the loss while the Lakers (9-1, 6-1 GLIAC) hold second place by themselves.
FIRST & TEN
- Ashland's offense was able to move the ball against a stout Grand Valley State defense that allowed just 17 points per game entering the contest. The Eagles out-gained the Lakers by a 410-298 margin, but were not able to come up with points on multiple trips into the red zone.
- On its second possession of the game, the Eagles drove to the Grand Valley 8-yard line, but a pass by senior quarterback Billy Bahl was intercepted by Jacob Studdard and returned to the AU 19-yard line. Jake Provencher cashed in with a touchdown three plays later to give the hosts a 7-0 lead.
- Ashland's next drive took 9 minutes, 12 seconds off the clock as the Eagles moved the ball to the 11-yard line. A false start and a delay of game pushed the ball back to the 21-yard line and the Eagles managed a 31-yard field goal by sophomore Satchel Denton to cut the deficit to 7-3.
- GVSU's Chawntez Moss ran the first play from scrimmage on the next drive 73 yards to give the Lakers a 14-3 lead. It was the largest play given up by the Eagles this season. Denton made it 14-6 with a career-long 43-yard field goal on the next drive, which was keyed by an 18-yard catch by redshirt-junior Stanley Jackson Jr. and a 17-yard run by senior Andrew Vaughn.
- The Lakers took their 14-6 lead into halftime, despite being out-gained by a 196-116 margin at the break. The Eagles possessed the ball for 20 minutes, 38 seconds in the first half.
- The Eagles' first drive of the second half went 13 plays and 69 yards, but stalled at the GVSU 11-yard line with a missed field goal. After the defense forced a punt, the Eagles got the ball at their own 13-yard line and were able to finish an 87-yard drive with a 29-yard pass over the middle to redshirt-sophomore Logan Bolin. Bahl connected with redshirt-sophomore Austin Phillips for the two-point conversion, tying the game at 14 with 14:52 to play.
- Grand Valley then put together its only long drive of the game, going 61 yards with J.J. McGrath hitting a 24-yard field goal with 10:57 left.
- Bahl kept Ashland's next drive alive by escaping pressure on 3rd-and-9 and hitting Phillips on a 24-yard pass to move the ball to the GVSU 30-yard line. AU eventually got into the red zone, but the drive ended with a 39-yard field goal by Denton, who was 3-for-4 on the night.
- The Lakers moved the ball on their last drive as Bart Williams connected with Brandon Wadley on a 29-yard pass down to the AU 21-yard line before running the clock down to 15 seconds as McGrath hit a 23-yard field goal. Ashland's desperate attempts from the 28-yard line came up empty.
- Bahl finished 21-for-37 with 285 yards, one touchdown and one interception. Senior Kamaron Green (99 yards) and Vaughn (40 yards) had six catches apiece, while Bolin caught four passes for 91 yards. Vaughn also rushed for 106 yards on the ground, going for 146 yards of offense. Ashland held Williams to just 9-for-17 throwing the ball for 132 yards. Moss had nine carries for 95 yards, including the 73-yard touchdown. Juniors Clay Shreve and Nick Powers had six tackles apiece, while redshirt-freshman Michael Ayers had five stops and a sack.
Up Next: The Eagles will close the regular season at Jack Miller Stadium/Martinelli Field next Saturday (Nov. 10) at 1 p.m. against Northern Michigan.