Eagles lose undefeated streak in 36-20 loss to Chargers

Turnbaugh explodes for 126 yards and a touchdown


Wesley Seyfang

Brenner awaits a snap in the game against the Chargers.

Cade Cracas, Sports & Digital Editor

The No. 6 nationally ranked Ashland University Eagles fell to the Hillsdale Chargers, 36-20, in Week Nine of the 2022 fall season.

After leaving Week Eight with a 28-20 win over the Tiffin Dragons, Week Nine looked to be an easier task for one of the top teams in the country, unfortunately, it wasn’t.

The game started off with both teams trading blows with the score tied at 7-7 at the end of quarter one.

Starting quarterback Austin Brenner continued his impressive play with a 10-yard scrambling touchdown to strike first with seven minutes remaining in the first quarter.

The Chargers, with an upset in their mind, marched back down and scored seven with two minutes remaining. Charger quarterback Luke Weller quarterback sneaked it in for a touchdown from just one yard out.

To start the second quarter both teams continued their impressive back-and-forth play.

The Eagles marched down the field with five minutes remaining and redshirt freshman A.J. Rhodes hit a 23-yard field goal to put them up 10-7.

With under five minutes remaining until halftime, the Eagle defense struggled and allowed the Chargers to go 75 yards in nine plays to punch in a touchdown to take the lead.

Coming out of halftime down 14-10, it was clear that the Eagles needed to make adjustments.

The Chargers would receive and the Eagles’ defense would stop them on their first drive, forcing them to punt.

After getting the ball back the Eagles would waste four minutes off the clock and find a field goal to bring the score differential within a point.

Still ahead by one the Chargers would march back down the field and find wideout Ty Williams on a 42-yard pass from Weller to take the lead up by nine after going for two.

Now with the game dwindling down the Eagles had to rally to bring the game back within breathing reach.

Brenner led the Eagles down the field and delivered a strike 55 yards to wideout Garrett Turnbaugh.

Now with the score 22-20 still in favor of the Chargers, the fourth quarter rolled around.

The Eagles would get the ball with 14 minutes remaining, but unfortunately, Brenner would throw an interception. Not only was it an interception, but it was an interception returned for a touchdown to make the lead 29-20 now in favor of the Chargers.

With the Eagles down they needed to find a drive resulting in points.

Their next drive after the pick-six saw the offense go 60 yards before fumbling with nine minutes left in the game.

Tailback Larry Martin took the handoff and a swarm of Chargers forced the ball loose to ultimately seal the deal.

An 11-play drive for 86 yards was capped off by tailback Michael Herzog rushing the ball in from seven yards out.

With the lead now at 36-20, the Eagles weren’t able to claw back into the game and the “Traveling Trophy” was returned to Hillsdale.

The contest finished with Brenner passing for 265 yards, one touchdown and one interception. He also recorded 49 yards and a touchdown on the ground. Outside of Brenner, Turnbaugh finished the game with 126 yards and a touchdown.

On defense, linebacker Michael Ayers recorded 12 tackles, one tackle for loss and a half sack. Alongside Ayers, defensive end Deeb Alawan totaled eight tackles, 2.5 tackles for loss and one sack.

Now with a 7-1 overall record and 5-1 in conference play, the Eagles sit tied at first in the Great Midwest Athletic Conference with the Tiffin Dragons.

They look to head back out onto the field Saturday, Nov. 5, against the Lake Erie Storm with kickoff set for 4 p.m. in Painesville, Ohio.