Still perfect: Ashland University blasts Quincy to remain undefeated

Continuing its impressive early part of the 2022 season, the No. 12-ranked Ashland University football team went to Quincy, Ill., on Saturday afternoon and came back with a 34-14 nonconference victory over the Hawks.The Eagles are 3-0 for the first time since 2016, and the 3-0 start is the fifth for AU under coach Lee Owens. Quincy is 2-2.Ashland has won both games in the home-and-home series with the Hawks. Last fall, the Eagles topped Quincy 63-23 at home.

After an early feeling-out process by both teams, the first collegiate interception by Eagles sophomore safety Anthony Harkness set up junior tailback Gei'vonni Washington's 4-yard touchdown run for a 7-0 lead at the 5:07 mark in the opening quarter.

Washington collected his second touchdown run of the first quarter, this one a 24-yarder with 59 seconds to go for a 14-0 advantage. That capped a five-play, 62-yard drive in just 2:20.

The Eagles finished off a 17-0 first half when freshman kicker A.J. Rhodes made a 29-yard field goal with three seconds remaining.

Early in the third quarter, senior quarterback Austin Brenner found sophomore fullback Johron Johnson for a 4-yard touchdown pass – the first TD of Johnson's Eagles career.

After a Quincy TD in the third made it a 24-7, Rhodes hit another field goal, this one from 21 yards, for a 27-7 lead. Washington's third rushing score of the game late in the third put AU on top, 34-7, and the Hawks scored their second major late in the fourth for the final margin of victory.

Washington finished with 89 yards and three scores on the ground, and fellow junior tailback Larry Martin contributed 60 rushing yards and 62 receiving yards on four catches.

Brenner was 14-for-25 passing for 199 yards with one TD and one interception.

Defensively, senior linebacker Michael Ayers had nine total tackles (eight solo) and a tackle for loss.

This article originally appeared on Ashland Times Gazette: Coach Lee Owens leads Ashland to first 3-0 start since 2016