The Student News Site of Ashland University

The Collegian

The Student News Site of Ashland University

The Collegian

The Student News Site of Ashland University

The Collegian

AU football team gears up for Cavaliers at home in bounce-back outing

The Eagles head into Saturday’s outing with a 2-3 overall record and 2-1 in conference record
Mike Hopkins
The Eagles run drills in practice prior to the teams contest against Walsh this weekend.

The Ashland University football team is heading into a must-win contest this coming weekend as the team gears up to take on a Great Midwest Athletic Conference (GMAC) rival at Jack Miller Stadium, the Walsh Cavaliers.

The Eagles have dominated the past eight outings since the two teams met for the first time back on Oct. 13, 2012. Now, roughly nine years since the inaugural meeting, they will take on one another this Saturday, Oct. 7, with the Eagles looking to find its first multi-game win streak of the 2023-24 season.

“It is huge to be finally back at home,” said Head Coach Doug Geiser. “It feels like we have been on the road a ton through the first five games. Walsh has been playing well at 3-2 overall, but we love playing in front of our home crowd.”

Heading into the contest on Saturday, the Eagles are riding high after taking down the Ohio Dominican Panthers on the road in the team’s previous contest.

The Eagles were able to rush and pass the ball 35 times in the 20-6 low-scoring affair. With more consistency being displayed offensively, the Eagles were able to hold a majority of the time of possession, 36:17 to the Panthers’ 23:43.

Eagle quarterback Trevor Bycznski led the passing game while completing 21 of 34 throws for 167 yards. His primary wideout Dezmin Lyburtus hauled in nine for 73 yards, while newcomer Tony Pannunzio hauled in four receptions for 34 yards.

“Tony [Pannunzio] was a walk-on. I had the good fortune of recruiting him,” said Offensive Coordinator Tom Stacy. “He was able to come in and earn scholarship this year. He continues to get better and better. He is a physical player and one of the hardest workers on the team.”

The Eagles, who have seen a variety of players step up this season, also received another prominent performance from linebacker Jackson Myers.

“He is helping us get back on track,” said Geiser. “He is a rock on defense and continues to make plays for us. It is nice to have a guy like that who is vocal, but also has been a top defensive player in the league through the first five games.”

To start the season, he has recorded 40 tackles, nine for a loss, 2.5 sacks, two pass break ups and one interception, leading the team in tackles and for a loss. After being the secondary linebacker to NFL Free Agent Michael Ayers, Myers has risen to the occasion as the leader of the Eagles defense.

Through five games, outside of the 55 points the team gave up to the Tiffin Dragons, the Eagles are allowing an average of 20.5 points per game, which would place them fourth in the conference.

Historically, the Eagles have dominated the Cavaliers, winning all eight outings against them. Most recently, the Eagles took them down on the road, 35-0, in the 2022 season.

Through the last six outings, the Eagles have recorded over 31 points in all of them.

The Eagles look to defend Jack Miller Stadium on Saturday, Oct. 7, with kickoff set for 7:00 P.M.

How to tune in?

Ashland University’s student-run radio station, 88.9 WRDL will have full coverage of the contest. You can tune in at or on the TuneIn radio app

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