September 12th, 2022 1:30pm
Tiffin, Ashland, Hillsdale, and Northwood represent the unbeatens after two weeks of action on the gridiron in the GMAC.
My week two takeaways must begin with the Ashland Eagles – what a start to the season for AU in knocking off two quality opponents in convincing fashion. Lee Owens’ team carried the momentum from week one into week two’s road trip to Findlay, Ohio, against a tough Oilers squad who surprisingly enough, is now 0-2 on the season. The Eagles controlled the contest from the opening kick, never trailing and emphatically taking the 28-3 victory. Ashland's defense dominated UF in limiting the Oilers to three points, eight first downs, and 141 total yards. The Offense possessed the ball 38:32 and ran 78 plays to Findlay's 46, a recipe for success at any level. In the latest AFCA Poll the Eagles are all the way up to No. 12 after starting the season unranked. Wild! Next up for the Eagles is a well-earned bye week while Findlay will look to get into the win column hosting Southwest Baptist.
Turning our attention to another impressive week two win as Tiffin outlasted Ohio Dominican at home. After a dramatic touchdown in the closing seconds of the first half, the Dragons carried a one-point lead into the break, and from there the defense took over shutting out the Panthers in the second half to earn the 28-13 victory. Tiffin’s offense is showing the ability to beat you in multiple ways so far in the early season – a balanced running and passing attack can be so tough to prepare for and so far, it looks like that’s exactly what this Tiffin team possesses. As for ODU, we said in the preview column that the Panthers have arguably the toughest first two games of the season – while there’s certainly no room for ‘moral victories’ in college football, being 1-1 after facing Findlay and Tiffin to open the season isn’t the worst thing in the world. The Panthers’ hopes of playing meaningful football down the stretch and being in championship contention are surely still alive.
Hillsdale continued the winning ways with a 35-17 win over Walsh, dropping the Cavaliers to 0-2. Despite the Chargers trailing 14-7 at the break, Hillsdale came out of the locker room a different team in outscoring Walsh 28-3 in the second half en route to the win. Three more touchdowns for Hillsdale’s Luke Keller through the air, all of which were hauled in by Isaac TeSlaa bringing the season total to five in just two games for that dynamic duo. As for the Cavs, back to the drawing board as they have been roughed up in back to back weeks. They’ll try to bounce back at home in a nonconference clash with the Quincy Hawks, while Hillsdale will look to remain unbeaten welcoming in Truman State.
Lake Erie defeated Kentucky Wesleyan for the Storm’s first victory of the season. Credit to the Panthers for making it interesting after falling behind 26-7, but Lake Erie was just too much for KWC in the 26-21 win. The Storm got a huge boost in the game thanks to special teams in the form of a blocked field goal – KWC was attempting a field goal to pull within ten, but it was blocked and taken all the way back to the seven-yard line, giving LEC a short field to punch it in and go up 26-7. Both these teams await week three showdowns with GLVC opponents as Lake Erie takes on McKendree and KWC looks for its first win in taking on Missouri S&T.
Northwood played a glorified scrimmage against an NAIA opponent, Madonna. Respectfully, this game was over from the start. Northwood is now 2-0 for the first time since 2017. That’s all the time I’ll spend on it. Northwood has a date with Saginaw Valley State in week three for the annual “Axe Bowl.”
Buckle up, the week three preview will take everything you have to get through as eight nonconference matchups await in GMAC action. For everyone’s sake, today’s column will conclude with an easier, shorter read!
Talk to you later this week!