COLUMBUS, Ohio -- Winners of 10 straight games, nationally ranked Ohio Dominican hits the road for a Rivalry Week showdown with Ashland on Saturday.
The Panthers enter the game with a 5-0 record (4-0 GLIAC) and are ranked No. 20 in the AFCA Top 25 poll and No. 18 in the D2Football.com poll. Ashland started the year with a three-game losing skid but has won consecutive games to bring a 2-3 (2-2) record into the matchup.
ODU shook off a slow start at Walsh to score a 33-20 road victory over the Cavaliers last Saturday in a game that was delayed for over an hour in the fourth quarter due to lightning.
The Panthers trailed 14-7 midway through the second quarter, but scored 19 unanswered points – 12 on Brent Wahle field goals – to go in front 26-14 at the start of the fourth.
Walsh would score on the first play out of the weather delay to cut the deficit to 26-20, but Mark Nichols scored his second touchdown of the night with 4:11 left and the defense kept the Cavaliers off the board the rest of the way to secure the win.
ODU had a 511-370 edge in total yards for the game and ripped off 94 plays on the night. The Panthers were balanced offensively, rushing for 262 yards and throwing for 249, but scored just three touchdowns in seven red zone trips and converted 4-of-18 third downs.
Nichols ran for 135 yards on a school-record 33 carries with his two touchdowns and Brandon Schoen finished with 123 yards on 19 carries. Mark Miller completed 23-of-35 throws for his 249 yards, with Ronald McCloud leading the receivers with 10 catches for 97 yards.
Justin Bell had seven tackles and continued to be a threat in the return game, totaling 104 yards on five punt returns a week after finishing with 127 punt return yards against Grand Valley. Nichols also had a 70-yard kickoff return.
• The road team has won all three meetings in this series.
• This is the fourth consecutive Homecoming game that ODU is participating in.
• During ODU's 10-game win streak, the Panthers have outscored their opponents 437-170, winning by an average of 26.7 points per game in that stretch. It's the second longest win streak in school history (12 in 2007) and second longest in the nation behind Valdosta State (14).
• The Panther offense is averaging 489.4 yards per game on offense during the win streak (258.6 rushing) and the defense is allowing just 347.8 yards per game.
• ODU has yet to score more than 20 points or finish with more than 344 total yards against Ashland's defense in the three meetings between the teams.
• ODU is averaging 231.5 kick and punt return yards the past two games, with returns of 93, 91, 70, 45 and 38 yards.
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 12:30 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