CANTON, Ohio – Ohio Dominican's football team held off Walsh 20-10 in a G-MAC contest Saturday night in Tom Benson Hall of Fame Stadium.
The Panthers jumped to a 20-0 lead in the second quarter before the Cavaliers were able to trim the score to 20-10 midway through the third. However, the Panther defense stiffened and kept Walsh from seriously threatening down the stretch.
The Panthers jumped out to a quick lead as senior Cory Contini (Dover, Ohio) fielded a punt at his own 20 and dodged traffic on his way to an 80 yard return for a touchdown three minutes into the game, the second-longest punt return in school history.
After the defense forced another punt, ODU struck on its first offensive play as freshman Evan Ernst (Mason, Ohio) found Contini on an 87 yard catch-and-run for another score with 2:49 to play in the first quarter, the fourth-longest passing play in program history.
The score remained 14-0 until the middle of the second quarter when the Panthers moved 78 yards in 10 plays, capped off by a one-yard TD plunge by junior EJ Colson (Middletown, Ohio) to bump the lead to 20-0.
Walsh scored 10 quick points to start the third quarter, taking advantage of a blocked punt and an interception to close within 20-10 with 6:05 to play in the frame.
ODU was able to move the ball to the Walsh goal line in the fourth quarter but was stopped on downs. However, the Panther defense allowed just one first down on the Cavaliers' ensuing drive, and the offense burned enough clock to close out the game.
Junior Camren Moore (New Carlisle, Ohio) led the defense with a career-high 14 tackles and senior Ross Thompson (Delphos, Ohio) chipped in with 11 stops and a sack. Sophomore Aarin Smoot-Baker (Columbus, Ohio) had two sacks as well.
The defense held Walsh to just 320 yards and 4.0 yards per play. The Cavaliers averaged just 3.0 yards per rush.
Ernst completed 17-of-22 passes for 247 yards and Contini finished with three grabs for 99 yards. Sophomore Fred Pitts (Toledo, Ohio) ran for 66 yards and Colson finished with 58 yards on the ground, while junior David Turner (Fort Wayne, Ind.) caught six passes for 65 yards.
Ohio Dominican's football team returns home for a 1 p.m. kickoff against Malone on Saturday.
Contact: Scott Miles