Tradition • Character • Service

Tradition • Character • Service

Friday, September 26, 2008 Tony Nicolette's Weekly Column

Ashland (2-1, 2-2) at Hillsdale (2-1, 3-1)

The Eagles return to "the scene of the crime". AU had one blemish on their GLIAC record last season, and it was a complete throttling at the hands of the Chargers in Muddy Waters Stadium. While I'm sure they're set on rectifying things, I know Hillsdale would like nothing more than to replicate last year's performance in this rivalry that has grown increasingly chippy over the last couple of seasons.

Ashland Keys:
- Get some stops - I know that AU can win in shootouts, but they could make things a lot easier on themselves by keeping HC off the board once in a while. The Eagles are currently tenth in the league in total defense, and that type of performance can cost them in a game like this.
- Hit'em with Harvey - We all know that Billy Cundiff and his crew can sling it around, but having a solid ground game with Dawon Harvey sure gives AU it's best chance. HC's lone loss this year was to Tech, and Phil Milbrath had a big day.

Hillsdale Keys:
- Harass Cundiff - He's not immune to mistakes, and the Chargers need to force some to keep the Eagle offense off the field.
- My cousin Vinny - Panizzi and the ground attack can have a big day against the Eagle D which gives up 200+ each week. If the Chargers can control tempo and keep the AU offense off the field, HC will have the advantage.

Prediction: Well, every time I've predicted a shootout so far this year things haven't really panned out as such. I have a feeling we'll see it here. Both teams have shown the ability to sling it around, and each defense has shown vulnerabilities. I don't like picking against the Chargers at home, but something tells me that AU knows they simply can't afford another loss the rest of the way and that will have them playing with a greater sense of urgency. Truthfully, I think this game is a coin flip. Since I can't really pick a tie, here goes: Ashland 40, Hillsdale 37.

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