COLUMBUS, Ohio -- A battle of two of the GLIAC's unbeatens will take place Saturday as Ohio Dominican's football team welcomes No. 9/7 Grand Valley State to Panther Field in a Homecoming showdown in Columbus.
The Panthers enter with an eight-game win streak dating back to last season and are 3-0 in 2013, 2-0 in GLIAC play. Grand Valley comes into play with a 3-0 record as well, 1-0 in the GLIAC. The Lakers are ranked ninth in the AFCA Top 25 Poll and No. 7 in the D2Football.com Top 25 Poll, while ODU is receiving votes in the coaches poll.
The eight-game win streak is the second longest in the country behind last year's national champion Valdosta State, which has won 12 straight.
ODU went on its longest road trip of the season last week and came away with an impressive 30-23 win at Northern Michigan. The Panthers rushed for 301 yards, the sixth-most in a game in school history, and made a 14-0 first quarter lead stand up despite several Wildcat rallies.
The defense came up with three turnovers and also a critical fourth down stop inside the 10-yard line to also help lead the way.
Brandon Schoen's 85 yard touchdown run, a school-record long rush, got the scoring going for ODU. An interception by Cody Culbertson then set up a short touchdown pass from Mark Miller to Abe Johnson for that 14-0 lead.
Northern came back strong in the second quarter, though, and trimmed ODU's lead to 17-10 at halftime. Schoen scored his second rushing TD of the day to start the third quarter, but Northern came right back with a touchdown of its own to make it 24-16.
The defense stiffened in the third, though, and Brent Wahle hit a pair of field goals to extend the Panther lead to 30-16. NMU would score a touchdown with 19 seconds left, but ODU recovered the onside kick to seal the win.
For a second consecutive week, Schoen (141) and Mark Nichols (157) rushed for over 100 yards to lead the offense, while Johnson finished with seven catches.
• ODU has averaged 291.5 rushing yards per game the last two weeks and goes up against a Grand Valley defense that has limited opponents to just 131.7 yards per game on the ground. Last year, ODU ran for 395 yards against GVSU, the second-best total in school history.
• The Lakers recorded seven sacks of Tiffin quarterbacks last week. ODU's offensive line has only allowed one sack through three games and none in the past two weeks.
• ODU's defense hasn't allowed a 100-yard rusher in the last seven games. The Lakers are running for 234.0 yards per game, with Michael Ratay averaging 9.1 yards per carry and 115.3 yards per game to lead the offense.
• During ODU's eight game win streak, the Panthers have outscored their opponents 347-130, with an average margin of victory of 27.1 points per game. It's the second longest win streak in school history (12 in 2007).
• The Panthers were selected as the ninth-best football team in the state of Ohio by FootballScoop.com and tops amongst the state's Division II and FCS programs.
ALL OHIO DOMINICAN FOOTBALL GAMES LIVE ON THE RADIO AND INTERNET
Fans in Central Ohio can listen to Ohio Dominican football LIVE on the radio on 820 AM (St. Gabriel Radio) and simulcast online everywhere at www.pressboxproductions.net. This week's broadcast starts at 6:45 p.m. with the Panther Countdown Pregame Show. Veteran broadcaster Todd Bell returns for his sixth year in the booth as the play-by-play announcer and is joined by Matt Natali.
Contact: Scott Miles