There were many performances of note coming out of Saturday's (Oct. 25) 44-14 home football win vs. Northern Michigan:
- Redshirt freshman quarterback Travis Tarnowski broke the record for most touchdown passes in a game for six-year-old Jack Miller Stadium/Martinelli Field, throwing for five scores by the 11:46 mark of the third quarter. The five TD passes also tied an overall program record for a single game.
"Coaches put us in good situations," Tarnowski said. "It was the seniors' last game at home, and I really, as a player, take that to heart. A lot of those guys took me under their wing."
- Sophomore outside linebacker Adam Wallace tied the stadium record for sacks by an AU player with two.
- Sophomore quarterback/punter Austin Bruns tied the stadium mark for longest punt by an Eagle with a 68-yarder.
- Most importantly, however, is the fact that AU went undefeated at home during the regular season for the second time in three seasons. The Eagles are 26-7 (.788) all-time at their home on Broad Street.
EAGLES' DEFENSE STAYS STRONG – Through three quarters against the Wildcats, the Ashland defense yielded no points and just 102 yards of total offense. In all, the Eagles allowed just 54 yards and 1.9 yards per carry, and posted three sacks, nine tackles for loss and six pass breakups.
In the last four games, the Eagles have allowed opponents to convert just 34.6 percent of third downs, while giving up 238.8 total yards and 10.3 points per game, and an aggregate yards per carry of 2.7. Ashland's "D" also has seven takeaways and 11 sacks in the last four contests.
"We feel like we're one of the best pursuit teams in America," said sophomore outside linebacker Adam Wallace. "We pride ourselves on hustling to the ball."
A.T. ADDS TO HIS TOTALS – Senior tailback Anthony Taylor once again put together a strong outing in what was his last regular-season home game. He ran for 112 yards and a touchdown on just 13 carries, putting Taylor at 4,263 career rushing yards and 42 total touchdowns.
Taylor now has five consecutive 100-yard rushing games and six overall this season. He has rushed for at least 100 yards 14 times since the start of the 2013 season, and 19 times overall at AU. Taylor has at least 75 rushing yards in 20 consecutive games going back to the end of the 2012 season.
AU now is 14-5 when Taylor rushers for at least 100 yards in a game.
TIGHT ENDS, FULLBACK GET INTO THE MIX – Senior tight ends Logan Slavinski and Matt Schweitzer and sophomore fullback Dan Medvetz combined for eight catches and 114 receiving yards in Saturday's victory. Tight ends and fullbacks now have a total 28 catches in eight games.
IRBY EXPANDS HIS ROLE – Freshman cornerback Dale Irby, a special teams standout for AU all season, made his first collegiate start on defense Saturday, and ended the afternoon with three solo tackles and a pass breakup.
"I was a little nervous at first," Irby admitted, "but once the game started going, I got used to it."
Irby said he and sophomore linebacker Zach Bernhard have been competing for special teams tackles throughout games as they try to work their way into more defensive time.
AU STILL HAS EVERYTHING IN FRONT OF IT – Ashland now has a half-game lead over Ohio Dominican, which had a Week 8 bye, for first place in the Great Lakes Intercollegiate Athletic Conference's South Division. At least a share of the South title and a spot in the postseason still are within reach.
UPDATED GLIAC RANKINGS – Offensively, the Eagles are second in the GLIAC in points per game (39.1), third in rushing yards per game (263.4) and first downs per game (23.6) and fourth in total offense per game (464.2) and third-down conversions (45.6 percent).
Defensively, AU is first in the league in defensive touchdowns scored (three), third in points allowed per game (17.5) and fourth in total defense per game (331.2) and rushing yards allowed per game (132.5).
Individually, Taylor ranks third in the league in rushing yards (984), tied for third in rushing touchdowns (10), fourth in all-purpose yards (1,042) and tied for second in total touchdowns (11); sophomore tailback Vance Settlemire is tied for second in yards per carry (8.8), Tarnowski has the fourth-fewest interceptions thrown among GLIAC starting quarterbacks (four) and is tied for fifth in touchdown passes (13), senior wide receiver Dan Piko is third in receptions (47) and senior inside linebacker Cody Bloom is fifth in total tackles (72).