With Division II's fifth-ranked team coming to town, Tiffin would've had to played a near perfect game to score an upset over Ashland.
While the Dragons tried to hang tough, mistakes at inopportune times let the Eagles fly to a 49-21 win, and a Great Lakes Intercollegiate Athletic Conference title, the first in the school's history.
"I'm really proud of our guys,"Ashland coach Lee Owens said. "It's tough to win this conference. I don't want to minimize that accomplishment, to be undefeated up to this point. And yet, this team, they have such high standards that sometimes they know they can play better, and they know they can get better."
Ashland opened the game with a nine play, 75-yard drive, punctuated by Taylor Housewright's 8-yard scoring toss to Eric Thompkins.
Then the TU mistakes started piling up.
The snap on a punt attempt went through the legs of Seth Pekoe, setting Ashland up on the Dragon 28-yard line. TU then was called for a roughing the passer after stopping the Eagles on third down. A second personal foul set Ashland up on TU's 5. Two plays later, Housewright hit Logan Slavinski for a 2-yard touchdown and a 14-0 lead.
After a third Housewright touchdown toss, this one to Anthony Capasso, Tiffin started to get things going. Quarterback Dan Pitts engineered a 12-play, 80-yard drive before Kevin Humphrey powered into the end zone from a yard out to put TU on the scoreboard. A fake on the extra point came up short of the goal line, leaving the score 21-6 in Ashland's favor.
The Dragons then caught a break when Housewright, who hadn't been intercepted since Oct. 20, 2011, had a pass go off the hands of Jordan McCune and into the arms of TU's Kyle Finch.
TU got the ball to the Ashland 1, when its next, and perhaps biggest, mistake took place.
The shotgun snap shot past Pitts' hands and was recovered by Ashland at the 26.
"There in the first half, we had a chance to get back in the game," TU coach Gary Goff said. "We fumbled a snap right there going in to make it 14-21. And going into halftime 14-21, we got the momentum coming out in the third quarter. We left a lot of plays out on the field today, and that's a sign of being a young football team."
Housewright's interception came after 377 consecutive passes without one. He already had the Division II record, and only was two passes away from tying Russell Wilson for the all-time, all-division NCAA record.
"I had no idea, we have not paid attention to it, we really haven't. I look back on it and wonder if theres anything else we could do," Owens said. "That's his only pick this year. ... I think with the pressure of a national record, you do press a little bit. You can't help but press a little bit. He'd like to have that throw back. Jordan would like to have that tip back, but that's the game. Its an amazing streak as it was. I know it's a division II record that may stand for along time."
Any momentum TU may have had going into halftime, Ashland put an end to soon after the second half kicked off.
The Eagles forced TU into a 3-and-out on its first series, then when they got the ball, went on 9-play, 62-yard drive. Anthony Taylor scampered into the end zone from three yards out as Ashland upped its lead to 28-7.
TU wasn't ready to lay down just yet, though.
Pitts hit Jeremy Armstrong on a 25-yard touchdown pass. A 2-point conversion pass to Pedro Correa cut the lead to 28-14.
Pitts finished the day 29 of 43 for 322 yards. Eight passes went to Marcus Beaurem for 110 yards. Six went to Armstrong for 93 yards.
"Dan, he's grown as a quarterback every week," Goff said. "He has been starting the last six weeks. I'm very proud of Dan. He's protecting the football, making some throws. There was a couple plays where we gave up a sack when we thought we had a throw downfield. Thats' part of the growing pains of this offensive line.
"Armstrong's a true freshman thats been making some plays for us all season. So the sky's the limit for that young man. And then because (receiver) Obadiah Dykes was out with an injury, we slid Marcus out there to the split end position and he had a good game."
Housewright would come back with a touchdown pass to Dan Piko, which was later followed by a McCune touchdown run to make the lead 42-14.
Housewright hit on 19 of 27 passes for 253 yards and the four scores.
TU put up another touchdown on a 3-yard run by Humphry, but the onside kick was returned back the other way 46 yards by David Soucie for a touchdown to close out the scoring.
"We didn't make some plays we should have," Goff said. "It was kind've like the Grand Valley game. We convert on 4, 5 plays right there then it's a different ballgame. I am very proud the kids played hard all the way till the end; they didn't lay down. We still got a week of football left, so we plan on coming to work on Monday."