ASHLAND, Ohio – The Michigan Tech football team had a tough Saturday afternoon on the road at 16th ranked Ashland University, falling 48-0 in Great Lakes Intercollegiate Athletic Conference action. The Huskies fell behind 14-0 in the first quarter and were unable to rally against an Eagle defense that is giving up less than 12 points per game to opponents.
"Ashland definitely outplayed us today, they executed well, converted on third downs, did all the little things they need to do to keep drives moving, and played really well on defense," Michigan Tech Head Coach Steve Olson said. "We can and still need to be better, there were some plays and opportunities out there that we needed to make and convert on, but were unable to do so. We need to regroup this week and get ready for a big game against Wayne State for Homecoming. Our kids will work hard this week and be ready to go on Saturday."
Michigan Tech (3-4, 2-3 GLIAC) got the ball first to start the game and moved the chains before being forced to punt. Junior quarterback Jake Brown hit sophomore wide receiver Ben Hartley on a six-yard pass to start the contest and on third and three senior running back John Williams picked up a first down on a burst of five yards. The drive stalled at the 40-yard line and after a 36-yard punt, Ashland (6-1, 5-0 GLIAC) took over for the first time at their 28-yard line.
It didn't take long for the Eagles to take the lead, moving 72-yards in seven plays with 36 of those yards being chewed up on a touchdown from quarterback Travis Tarnowski to wide receiver Kamaron Green with 8:54 left in the first quarter. The extra point was good to make it a 7-0 score.
The Ashland defense then forced the first of five Tech turnovers when linebacker Tyler Tokos intercepted a pass at the Huskies' 30-yard line and returned it 15-yards to setup the offense in the red zone. On the next play from scrimmage, Tarnowski fired a strike to tight end Jack Holl for a 15-yard touchdown and with the extra point, led 14-0 with 8:34 remaining in the first quarter.
Ashland's defense produced another interception on the ensuing possession, but the Huskies' defense stood tall and kept it from becoming a three score game at that point. Aided by a holding penalty against the Eagles, Tech's defense stopped Ashland on a third and 11 play when sophomore defensive lineman Mattias Hoehnen forced Tarnowski to release an errant pass. Aidan Simenc was wide right on a 47-yard field goal and the score remained 14-0 with 5:37 to go in the first period.
Tech has fallen behind in each of the last three games and been able to rally in each one, but unfortunately on Saturday it didn't play out that way. Tarnowski went on to throw three more touchdown passes in the second quarter, sending the Eagles into the locker with a 35-0 lead at halftime. Tarnowski targeted Green on two of the three which covered 21 and 19 yards respectively. Tight End Michael Schweitzer capped the half when he reeled in a 4-yard pass from Tarnowski with 1:11 left in the second quarter.
The Eagles tacked on 13 more points in the second half on a pair of field goals by Simenc from 42 and 37 yards while Keishaun Sims crossed the goal line with the only rushing touchdown of the game in the third quarter.
Senior running back James Henderson led the Michigan Tech offense with 39 yards rushing and added 126 all-purpose yards on five kick returns. He also had a pair of receptions for nine yards Saturday. Senior Eric Kostreva picked up 31 yards on five carries followed by Williams with 21 yards on six touches. Brown completed seven passes for 47 yards, linking up with sophomore wide receiver Jacob Wenzlick three times for 20-yards.
Sophomore linebacker Marvin Wright had 13 total tackles followed by junior defensive back Graham Hubbell with nine stops and a fumble recovery. On the defensive line, senior Cayman Berg-Morales finished with six tackles including one for a loss while Max Maloney recorded three tackles, one tackle for a loss, and two quarterback hurries.
Tarnowski completed 19 of 28 passing attempts for 233 yards, five touchdowns, and no interceptions. Running back Andrew Vaughn paced all ball carriers with 103 yards on 17 carries while Saturday's top receiver was Green with four receptions for 97 yards and three touchdowns. The Eagles ended the game with 471 yards of total offensive production.
Tre'Vontae Jackson had a team best seven tackles which included a sack and two tackles for a loss in those totals. Dale Irby, James Prater Jr., Michael Griffin, and Tokos all registered interceptions. The Eagles defense limited Tech to 166 yards of total offense.
The Huskies will look to bounce back on Saturday when they return to Sherman Field to host Wayne State on Homecoming. The kickoff is scheduled for 1 p.m.