The Oilers will have their first road contest of the 2016 campaign when they travel to take on the fifth ranked team in the country, Ashland University on Saturday, September 17 at 7:00pm.
Sights and Sounds
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The Oilers are 15-27-4 in the series against the Eagles with their last win coming in the 2013 season, a 35-28 victory at Donnell Field. This will be the third time that the Oilers have tangled with a ranked Ashland squad. All three of those games have been on the road and have resulted in an Eagles' win.
Head Coach Rob Keys
Head coach Rob Keys is in his sixth season at the helm of the Oilers football program in 2016. He has recorded a 33-23 record with the program as a head coach, which includes a 29-22 mark in GLIAC games.
For Findlay's 2016 coaching staff, please click on the following link:
Findlay enters the third week of the season after coming up on the short end of a 49-37 final against Ohio Dominican last Saturday. It is the first time since 2013 that Findlay has started a season with a 1-1 record. In that season, the team finished with eight wins, the most in a season under coach Rob Keys.
Uncharacteristic and untimely interceptions were the downfall against the Black and Gold. Junior quarterback Rhys Gervais, who threw just ten interceptions last season, threw a school record five interceptions, all of which came in the second half. Despite the late-game struggles, Gervais also set a school record with 59 attempts and 34 completions. Those receptions were spread out to seven different receivers for 392 yards. He also threw three touchdowns, each to a different receiver.
In the fourth quarter, the Oilers looked to have a chance to complete the comback after junior Aaron Ivory get his second interception of the game as he picked off ODU quarterback Grant Russell in the Findlay endzone. However, the first play of the next series was an interception, giving the ball back to the Panthers who then capitalized with a touchdown.
The Ashland University Eagles enter the third week of the season with a 2-0 record overall and 1-0 mark in GLIAC play. They are currently ranked fifth in the country after having a preseason ranking of sixth.
In their season opening game against Mercyhurst, the Eagles dominated with a 48-0 victory. Starting quarterback Travis Tarnowski completed 20 of 28 passes for 226 yards and three touchdowns despite not playing in the second half.
The story was the same for tailback Vance Settlemire who rushed for 132 yards and two touchdowns on 13 carries in just the first half of play.
Ashland's second game did not come so easy as they grinded out a 36-25 victory over the Wayne State Warriors. The Eagles actually trailed 12-6 at the half but put up 23 points in the third quarter to help seal the victory.
Tarnowski threw for 311 yards on 21 of 32 passing in that game. He also threw a pair of touchdown passes.
The Eagles' leading rusher in that game was freshman and 2015 Ohio Mr. Football Keishaun Sims who took ten carries for 102 yards and a pair of touchdowns. Also rushing for 100 yards was Andrew Vaughn who did so on 19 carries.
On the defensive side of the ball, Austin Utter was in the opponent's backfield time and time again as he has picked up three sacks in the first two games. That number leads the GLIAC.
Zach Olszewski is the leading tackler for the Eagles as he has made 18 tackles in two games including six solo tackles.
Record Watch: Rhys Gervais
In his second year as the Oilers signal caller, Rhys Gervais already has his name all over the Findlay record books. Last year he set multiple season records; passing yards (3,353), completions (228), pass attempts (362), total offense (3,439), and passing touchdowns (33).
After this outstanding first season, Gervais' name can also be found in the career record book, as well. He is currently seventh at UF with 452 pass attempts and is chasing the mark of 493 set by DeMya Wimberly (1989-92) for sixth. He is sixth in pass completions with 286 and again, could move into the top spot as Gervais is just 125 completions shy of Crooks' mark of 387. He is chasing Bryan Hieber (1999-00) for fifth. Hieber completed 300 passes in his career.
Perhaps most impressive is the amount of yards Gervais has thrown for in his short time as the quarterback. Rhys currently sits in fourth at UF with 4,019 yards, just 812 yards shy of the record set by Bo Hurly from 1994-1997. Gervais is chasing Clay Belton (2011-12) for third. Belton threw for 4,368 yards.
Gervais also sits in sole possession of third all-time at UF for touchdown passes in a career. He currently has 39 and is chasing 1979 graduate Paul Trina, who threw 43 touchdowns in his career, for second.
Record Watch: Dylan Blunk
Senior wide receiver Dylan Blunk ranks ninth all time at Findlay with 112 receptions after leading the team last year with 65 receptions. He can quickly move into sixth place, needing to reach 119 to pass Ty Rhoad (106 / '03), Darren Paige (117 / '07), and Andy Witker (118 / '04).
Blunk is also nearing the top in receiving yards in a career as he currently ranks seventh all-time with 1,434 yds. If he can duplicate his 839 yard performance from a season ago, he will move into second all-time.
GLIAC Preseason Poll: The Oilers were picked to finish fourth in the GLIAC South Division this year, receiving 13 total points in the annual coaches poll. They trailed Tiffin University (19), Ohio Dominican (19) and Ashland University (25) in the South Division poll.
Grand Valley State University was tabbed as the favorite to win the North Division as the Lakers, ranked third in the country to begin the season, racked up a league-high 47 points.