AU football prepares for homecoming game

Eagles will be without star QB Brenner after leg injury

Wesley Seyfang

Freshman quarterback Trent Maddox leads the Eagles in place of the injured Brenner against Tiffin. Ashland would lose 27-21. (WESLEY SEYFANG)

With the homecoming weekend on the horizon, the Ashland Eagles are looking to salvage their season following the loss of starting quarterback Austin Brenner.

Currently, the Eagles’ record sits at 2-4 following a 27-21 loss at Tiffin a week ago. This loss marks the third time this season that the Eagles have come up just short of the win. In the first game of the season, the Eagles showed fight, taking ninth-ranked Notre Dame College to overtime before losing 42-35. Two weeks ago, against Ohio Dominican, the Eagles were in position for a game-winning drive with less than a minute left, before a strip sack sealed the game for Ohio Dominican, leaving the Eagles with a 34-24 defeat.

Brenner, who is in his fifth year with Ashland, was having a stellar season, with 17 total touchdowns through five games, earning him two Great Midwest Athletic Conference (GMAC) Player of the Week awards. Unfortunately for Brenner and for the team, his season has been cut short due to an open fracture with a broken tibia and fibula after being tackled towards the end of the first quarter against Ohio Dominican.

“Just like that, my season ended,” Brenner said on Instagram following the game. “It hurts my heart so bad that I won’t get to step on the field with my brothers again this year.”

With Brenner out for the remainder of the year, the Eagles turn to freshman backup quarterback Trent Maddox. In his first collegiate start last week, Maddox threw for 209 yards, two touchdowns, and one interception. Maddox hopes to improve to 1-1 as a starter against Lake Erie College this weekend.

The homecoming game will not only mark the second start for Maddox, but it will also mark the unveiling of the new Room 100. This room will be dedicated to the great history of the Ashland football program. It is lined with team photos from previous football teams, dating back to the very first season of Ashland football in 1920. It also displays the current amount of wins for the team, which currently sits at 507.

Defensive back coach and recruiting coordinator Dominic Orisini has a lot of faith in what this room can do for the future of the program as a recruiting tool.

“The first place we take our guys is the Hall of Champions and then the locker room, which is right next to Room 100,” Orsini said. “So, our recruits will get to see this room, and know that they will be part of a team that has been around for a very long time and has had great success in its existence.”

Room 100 is not the only big improvement to the program. The new indoor fieldhouse is also expected to be completed this year.

“Paired with the new indoor field, when you’re a recruit coming in, you will see how much value is put into this program and how much it means to the university,” Orsini said. “It will just show them they are part of something amazing.”