Ashland University's football team concluded the 2018 season with a resounding 41-7 win over Northern Michigan on Saturday (Nov. 10) afternoon at Jack Miller Stadium/Martinelli Field.
"I was happy for our senior group. It's been a challenging year," said Ashland head coach Lee Owens. "We've never been disappointed, never been discouraged at all with this group. They've gone out and fought every week, and they continue to get better and better.
"We're a really good football team right now."
The Eagles are 6-4 overall and 6-2 in the Great Lakes Intercollegiate Athletic Conference, while the Wildcats end the season at 3-8, 1-7.
Saturday saw Ashland's senior class recognized in pregame, as well as halftime ceremonies honoring the 2008 AU football playoff team and the dedication of the new unoccupied POW/MIA chair at the stadium.
FIRST AND TEN
1. As has been the case throughout the season, Ashland's defense stood tall on Saturday. Giving up the fewest points in a season (161) since 2005 (107), the Eagle "D" on Saturday kept the Wildcats to 145 yards of total offense, and forced five turnovers.
2. Junior safety Nick Powers ended the day with three takeaways on two interceptions and a fumble recovery, to go with five total tackles and a pass breakup; junior stud Tristan Reichelderfer finished with 13 total tackles, two sacks, three tackles for loss and two quarterback hurries; and sophomore inside linebacker Ryan Corkrean and freshman defensive tackle Nick Cone each recovered fumbles.
3. A offensive showing with a season-high 41 points was paced by senior quarterback Billy Bahl, who was 12-of-18 for 152 yards and four touchdowns to four different receivers.
"It felt good to get out here and get a win for all these seniors," Bahl said. "They've put in so much work the last four years, and I was only here for eight to 10 months, or whatever it was."
4. Sophomore kicker Satchel Denton went a perfect 5-of-5 on extra points and 2-of-2 on field goals, and had two touchbacks on kickoffs.
5. The Eagles forced three turnovers in the first quarter – two by Powers (fumble recovery and interception), and one by Cone. Those takeaways resulted in 10 points.
6. Following a 27-yard field goal by Denton to open the game, the Powers fumble recovery led to a touchdown pass of 14 yards from Bahl to sophomore tight end Michael Schweitzer.
7. The Powers pick later was turned into another 27-yard Denton field goal, for a 13-0 AU lead just 9:10 into the game.
8. In the second quarter, the Eagles extended their lead to 27-0 on two Bahl touchdown passes – seven yards to sophomore tight end Austin Phillips, and 36 yards to sophomore wide receiver Logan Bolin.
9. The first two quarters saw Ashland out-gain Northern Michigan, 181-54, have a 13-1 advantage in first downs, and score on all four of its trips to the red zone.
10. In the second half, Eagle touchdowns were scored by redshirt freshman fullback Austin Williams on a 16-yard pass from Bahl in the third quarter, and senior wide receiver Connor Black on a 15-yard pass from junior quarterback John Davies in the fourth quarter.