CANTON, Ohio – Senior quarterback Grant Russell (Newark, Ohio) accounted for a quartet of touchdowns as Ohio Dominican's football team defeated Walsh 39-21 on the road Saturday night in G-MAC play.
Russell threw for two scores and ran for two more as he completed 22-of-29 passes (75.9 percent) for 272 yards to help ODU improve to 5-3 (5-0 G-MAC) and win its fifth straight game. Sophomore running back EJ Colson (Middletown, Ohio) added 139 yards (6.6 per carry) and a touchdown and junior Cory Contini (Dover, Ohio) led the receivers with eight grabs for 89 yards and a score.
Four Panthers registered double figure tackle efforts, led by a career-high 16 stops from senior Cameron Kohl (Hilliard, Ohio). Junior Tristan Kehres (Shelby, Ohio) also set a career-high with 15 tackles, senior Tre McIntyre (North Lewisburg, Ohio) had 11 stops and sophomore Gus Dimmerling (Perrysburg, Ohio) added 10 tackles. Junior Brian Hunter (Mayfield, Ohio) finished with five tackles (2.0 for loss) and a sack as well.
ODU finished with 424 yards of offense, compared to 344 for the Cavaliers.
The Panthers needed less than three minutes to score the game's opening touchdown. Completions of 20 yards to Contini and 23 yards to Colson moved the ball inside the Walsh red zone, and Colson swept around the left edge for a one yard score to give ODU an early 6-0.
The Cavaliers answered with an 11 play touchdown drive to take the lead heading into the second quarter, but ODU struck twice early in the quarter. A pair of 13 yard completions to Contini got the first drive started, and Russell threw a strike to Contini near the front pylon for a seven yard touchdown to put the Panthers back in front 13-7 with 13:26 to play.
Junior Tawain Gordon (Columbus, Ohio) then picked off a pass in Walsh territory – his third interception in the last two games - and a 24 yard catch and run by freshman Devanaire Conliffe (Willoughby, Ohio) put the Panthers at the Cavaliers' 13. Freshman Fred Pitts (Huber Heights, Ohio) had a 12 yard carry to the run, then broke through the middle on the next play for a score to make it 20-7 ODU with 7:10 left.
However, a 55 yard run by Walsh in the final minute of the half put the hosts in position to score a touchdown with 21 seconds left in the half to make it 20-14 at intermission.
Walsh then converted a pair of fourth downs on its opening possession of the third quarter, but facing fourth-and-four from the Panther 24 yard line, was stuffed by Hunter and Kohl for a turnover on downs to halt a drive that had chewed up over eight minutes of clock.
Later in the quarter, Russell hooked up with Conliffe on a pass across the middle for an eight yard score to put the Panthers on top 27-14 with less than a minute to play in the quarter.
ODU extended the lead to 33-14 in the fourth quarter on a Russell option keeper from the goal line. After the Cavaliers cut it to 33-21 with 7:29 left, the Panthers put the game away as ODU recovered an onside kick at the Walsh 48 and needed six plays to score. Russell again kept it himself for an eight yard touchdown with 5:26 left to account for the final margin.
Ohio Dominican returns home to host Kentucky Wesleyan at noon Saturday in Panther Stadium.
Contact: Scott Miles