COLUMBUS, Ohio – Ohio Dominican's football team scored the final 45 points of the game as the Panthers rolled in the second half to a 66-27 victory over Alderson Broaddus on Homecoming in Panther Stadium.
ODU (4-1, 2-1 G-MAC) trailed 27-21 late in the second quarter before taking over and controlling the second half as the Panthers outgained AB 386-126 in the final 30 minutes.
Senior receiver Cory Contini (Dover, Ohio) caught eight passes for 175 yards and an ODU record five touchdowns. He also broke Jared Stace's career touchdown record of 29 as Contini now has 32 lifetime scores at ODU, and he moved into second place on ODU's all-time receiving list with 2,784 yards.
Redshirt freshman Evan Ernst (Mason, Ohio), making his second collegiate start, completed 32-of-40 passes for 436 yards and seven touchdowns, which is a new single-game record as well. The passing yardage ranks ninth in single-game history as well.
Overall, the 66 points are the fourth-most in school history, and ODU's 623 yards are tied for the ninth-most in a game as well.
The victory was also the 100th win in ODU's 15-year history. The Panthers are 100-56 (.641) all-time.
The Panthers found themselves trailing 27-21 with 29 seconds to play in the first half, but a 30 yard run by junior EJ Colson (Middletown, Ohio) and a pair of completions to sophomore Devanaire Conliffe (Willoughby, Ohio) set up a 38 yard field goal by sophomore Jed Quackenbush (Newark, Ohio) to cut the deficit to 27-24 at the half.
ODU needed just one play after the kickoff to take the lead, as Ernst hooked up with Contini on a 75-yard touchdown toss to put the Panthers in front, 31-27.
The defense came up with a stop, but AB's punt pinned the Panthers back at their two-yard line. A 15 yard run by Colson moved the ball out from the goal line, and Ernst later found Conliffe on a 19-yard pass on third-and-12 to keep the drive moving. Facing fourth-and-two from the AB six, Contini caught a pop pass and scooted into the end zone to make it 38-27 with 6:44 to play in the quarter.
Following another AB punt, the offense moved 75 yards in just five plays, with Ernst hooking up with Contini on a 36-yard strike to make it 45-27 with 2:44 left.
Then, freshman Malik Moore (Toledo, Ohio) forced a fumble on the ensuing kickoff that sophomore Fred Pitts (Huber Heights, Ohio) fell on at the AB 17, and Ernst went right back to Contini on the next play for another touchdown toss, their fourth connection of the quarter, to make it 52-27.
ODU outgained AB 250-62 in the period as the defense held the Battlers to just 15 yards rushing on 11 attempts in the period.
Sophomore Monalo Caldwell (Cincinnati, Ohio) had a four-yard touchdown run in the fourth quarter, and senior Tawain Gordon (Pickerington, Ohio) would later block an AB field goal attempt, which was scooped up by sophomore Aarin Smoot-Baker (Columbus, Ohio) and returned 65 yards for a touchdown to make it 66-27 with 6:45 left in the game.
Junior Camren Moore (New Carlisle, Ohio) led the Panthers with 11 tackles and senior Nick Isaacs (Cincinnati, Ohio) made 10 tackles (2.0 TFL) with a sack and two pass breakups. Sophomore Jayden Davis (Springfield, Ohio), Gordon and senior Ross Thompson (Delphos, Ohio) each had nine tackles.
A 73-yard interception return by Thompson, the fourth-longest in school history, led to the day's first score, a four-yard fade pass to Contini that put the Panthers up 7-0 with 8:13 to play in the first quarter.
AB answered with a score on its next drive, then took a 14-7 lead less than two minutes into the second quarter.
The Panthers struck back with a 10-play, 75-yard drive that was capped by a five-yard touchdown to junior Cedric Washington (Knoxville, Tenn.) that evened the game with just over 10 minutes left in the period.
AB scored again on its next drive, though Gordon blocked that kick as well, and freshman Ashton Gilkey (Westerville, Ohio) nearly returned it for a two-point conversion before being tackled around the 10.
The Panthers again had an answer, needing just two plays as Washington caught a short pass and turned it into a 57-yard touchdown that put ODU in front 21-20 with 5:51 left in the period.
Junior David Turner (Fort Wayne, Ind.) turned in a superlative game as well, catching 15 passes for 134 yards. That's the second-most receptions in a game in school history.
Washington finished with 86 yards and the two TDs and Colson ran for 60 yards, while Caldwell chipped in with 53.
Sophomore Logen Neidhardt (Hicksville, Ohio) continued his excellent season punting the ball, averaging 46.3 yards on three boots, while Quackenbush averaged 62.4 yards on 10 kickoffs with a pair of touchbacks.
Ohio Dominican returns to the road for a 7 p.m. game Saturday at Walsh.
Contact: Scott Miles