COLUMBUS, Ohio – In its second consecutive game against a nationally-ranked team to begin the 2018 season, the No. 18-ranked Ashland University football team lost at No. 17 Ohio Dominican on Saturday night, 24-17.
The Eagles fall to 0-2, while the Panthers improve to 2-0.
FIRST AND TEN
1. On the first drive of the first start of his collegiate career, Eagle redshirt freshman quarterback Austin Brenner marched his team down the field on a 65-yard touchdown drive to begin the game. Senior tailback Andrew Vaughn took a pitch and raced three yards for the opening points, giving AU a 7-0 lead.
2. On ODU's first possession, sophomore defensive end Je'len Olbrantz stuffed Panther running back E.J. Colson for a one-yard loss on fourth-and-inches near midfield, setting up Brenner and the Eagles in prime position. Brenner's scrambling ability was on display on drive No. 2, as his 34-yard rumble TD lifted Ashland to a 14-0 advantage.
3. The Panthers got on the board with 4:02 left in the first quarter on a Jed Quackenbush 34-yard field goal, but sophomore kicker Satchel Denton responded with a 39-yard field goal to finish the first quarter. The partially-tipped kick left AU with a 17-3 lead going into the second period.
4. What started as back-and-forth continued to start the second, when ODU quarterback Shane Bucenell found wide receiver Cedric Washington in the back of the end zone for a 30-yard score, cutting Ashland's advantage to 17-10.
5. For the remainder of the first half, however, both defenses – and the driving rain – took over. The score stayed 17-10 in favor of the Eagles as both teams went to the locker room.
6. With the adjustments to the opponents and the weather conditions made, the second half began with Ohio Dominican driving down the field for the potential tying points. Bucenell completed an eight-yard fade pattern score to wide receiver Cory Contini to knot the game at 17.
7. Following a Brenner fumble on a sack, and the ensuing return to the Eagle five-yard line, Bucenell and Contini connected on another fade route into the end zone to put ODU on top, 24-17.
8. Methodically, the Eagles marched right back down the field, looking to re-knot the scoreboard, but the Panthers earned their own fourth-and-two stop at the ODU 18-yard line. The score remained the same, with the Panthers taking a touchdown lead into the final 15 minutes.
9. Early in the fourth quarter and starting at its own 15, Ashland's offense again looked to tie the contest. That drive, which chewed up more than eight minutes, ended in a punt, but the Eagle defense then forced a three-and-out, and the resulting boot gave AU the ball once more at the 50.
10. Following an illegal block in the back on the first play of the possession, Brenner found freshman wideout William McDaniel for a key third-down conversion to the ODU 38. Then, on fourth-and-4 from the Panther 32, Brenner and sophomore wide receiver Logan Bolin converted to keep the drive going. Another fourth-down conversion later was needed, this time fourth-and-10 at the Ohio Dominican 26, but an incomplete pass effectively ended the contest.
A second consecutive road game on Sept. 15 at 6 p.m. at Wayne State (1-1), opening up Great Lakes Intercollegiate Athletic Conference play.