COLUMBUS, Ohio -- With one regular season game left, Ohio Dominican's football team has a chance to clinch the GLIAC title and solidify its standing in the playoff hunt as the Panthers face off against Malone at 1 p.m. Saturday at Fawcett Stadium.
The Panthers remained undefeated with their 62-21 victory over Lake Erie last Saturday, scoring 41 unanswered points to take down the Storm. ODU finds itself ranked eighth in both the coaches' and D2Football.com poll and sits second in Super Region Four behind Colorado State-Pueblo.
It was a landmark performance on both sides of the ball last week, as the defense shut down Lake Erie's top-ranked offense. The Storm averaged 577.3 yards per game entering the game but was held to 395 by ODU's defense, including just 176 in the first half as ODU took a 41-14 lead.
Overall, the Panthers limited Lake Erie to just 92 total rushing yards (2.2 yards per carry) and had five sacks and 13 tackles for loss.
Justin Bell made 12 tackles and Brad McCurdy recorded a career-high 11 stops as well. Di'Andre Harrison was a force in the backfield, notching eight tackles (3.0 for loss), two sacks and a pass break up. Da'Twane Harris broke up three passes as well to help lead the defense.
The offense was paced by a career-day for Mark Miller, who set a personal best with 370 yards and four touchdown passes. Dez Stewart finished with 174 yards (sixth-most in single-game history) and Abe Johnson also went over the century mark with 127 yards as the offense scored on its first eight possessions.
Two running backs surpassed 100 yards on the ground as well, led by Mark Nichols with 142 yards on just 11 carries (12.9 yards per carry) and Ronnel Spates with 118 yards. Brandon Schoen added 83 yards as well.
Big plays by the offense included touchdown runs of 66 and 35 yards by Nichols, 47 and 62 yard touchdown receptions by Stewart, and a 42-yard touchdown catch by Johnson.
Brent Wahle made a pair of field goals as well, including tying his own school-record with a 47-yard make in the second quarter.
• ODU has a chance to clinch the outright GLIAC regular season championship with a win and a loss by Saginaw Valley. Should both teams win or lose, they will be crowned co-champions. The Panthers have already clinched the GLIAC South Division title.
• ODU is 25-5 against opponents from Ohio since 2007 (.833 win percentage).
• Over the past two seasons, ODU's offensive line has allowed just nine sacks in 19 games. The Panthers have allowed just four sacks in 2013, which ranks third in the country. ODU's offensive line was named the unit of the week by BSN Sports.
• During ODU's Division II-best 14-game win streak, the Panthers have outscored their opponents 589-231, with an average margin of victory of 25.6 points per game. It's the second longest win streak in school history (15 in 2006-07) and the Panthers have scored at least 30 points in 13 of the 14 contests.
• In 10 years of sponsoring football, the Panthers have had seven winning seasons. ODU has a .596 winning percentage (62-42 overall) in program history and is 21-3 in its last 24 games (.875 win percentage).
Contact: Scott Miles