COLUMBUS, Ohio – Winners of five straight, Ohio Dominican's football team will look to extend its streak as the Panthers welcome Kentucky Wesleyan for the first time at noon Saturday.
A win Saturday would give ODU its longest win streak since the Panthers won 15 straight games between Oct. 13, 2012-Nov. 16, 2013.
This is the first meeting between the two programs. The Panthers have fared well against opponents from Kentucky, sporting a 6-0 all-time mark against schools in the commonwealth. ODU's last home contest against a Kentucky opponent was a 62-35 win over Cumberlands in the 2007 NAIA playoffs, and the last time ODU took on an opponent from Kentucky was a 41-14 win at Georgetown in 2013.
In ODU's five game win streak, the Panthers are averaging 40.8 points per game and 516.2 yards per game while allowing just 12.8 points per game and 361.8 yards per contest. Through eight games, the Panthers have scored 40 touchdowns after managing 43 in 11 games last year. ODU's offense is averaging over 100 yards more per game as well after putting up 387.0 yards per game in 2016.
The Panthers run game, led by sophomore EJ Colson (Middletown, Ohio), has kicked into gear as well. ODU is averaging 205.4 rushing yards per game over the last four weeks, and Colson is averaging 108.4 yards per game on 9.2 yards per carry in that stretch, along with six touchdowns.
A key factor in that improvement is an offensive line that has remained intact for all eight games this fall. That unit has combined to make 132 career starts, with senior left tackle Zack Williams (Hilliard, Ohio) at 41 career starts to lead the way, followed by 35 career starts from senior center Andrew Lorenz (Dublin, Ohio).
The defense settled in during last week's 39-21 win over Walsh. After allowing 175 rushing yards in the first half, the Panthers limited the Cavaliers to 46 rushing yards on 22 carries in the second half. Walsh also failed to convert a third down (0-of-7) in the second half.
Senior linebacker Cameron Kohl (Hilliard, Ohio) had 16 tackles in the win, the most by a Panther since Ross Thompson (Delphos, Ohio) had 17 against Wayne State last November. Senior Tristan Kehres (Shelby, Ohio) had 15 tackles, the most by a Panther defensive lineman in school history.