COLUMBUS, Ohio -- Following its 18-0 win over Tiffin last Saturday, Ohio Dominican's football team will play its final regular season home game this weekend as the Panthers play host to high-scoring Lake Erie at noon Saturday.
The Panthers broke into the top-10 in the AFCA Top 25 Poll for the first time as a Division II program, sitting ninth in the coaches' rankings. ODU is also ranked No. 8 in the D2Football.com poll and is second in the NCAA's Super Region Four rankings, which determines postseason play.
ODU's defense dominated the day last week, holding Tiffin to 158 yards and seven first downs. That's tied for the fewest first downs the Panthers have allowed in a game in school history (Iowa Wesleyan, 2007).
Tiffin entered the game averaging 285.9 passing yards per game but ODU limited the Dragons to 102 yards in the air. The Dragons had just 11 yards of offense in the first half and did not pick up its initial first down of the game until the third quarter.
ODU came up with four takeaways– two fumbles and two interceptions – forced Tiffin to punt nine times and totaled four sacks.
Sophomore Sydney Omameh had career-highs in tackles (six), tackles for loss (3.5) and sacks (2.5), while senior Justin Bell had five tackles, an interception and a fumble recovery. Sophomore Billy Eakins finished with eight tackles, sophomore Warren Shields had seven tackles and a sack and sophomore Da'Twane Harris had an interception.
Sophomore Brandon Schoen paced the offense with a season-high 152 yards on 18 carries, scoring ODU's lone touchdown of the afternoon on a 58-yard run. Senior Mark Nichols added 109 yards, marking the fourth time this season the duo has rushed for over 100 yards in the same game.
Overall, the Panthers rushed for 264 yards and ran 86 plays on offense to just 58 for Tiffin. ODU had a 35:22-24:38 edge in time of possession as well.
• Saturday's game features the number one offense in the GLIAC in Lake Erie (577.3 yards per game) against the number one defense in the GLIAC in ODU (351.6 yards allowed per game). The Storm also ranks second in scoring (39.6 points per game) in the GLIAC, while ODU is tops in holding opponents to just 16.4 points per game.
• The Panthers were +2 in the turnover margin last week and rank second in the country in fumbles lost with just two in eight games.
• Over the past two seasons, ODU's offensive line has allowed just nine sacks in 19 games. The Panthers have allowed just four sacks in 2013, which ranks third in the country.
• During ODU's 13-game win streak, the Panthers have outscored their opponents 527-210, with an average margin of victory of 24.4 points per game. It's the second longest win streak in school history (15 in 2006-07) and the Panthers have scored at least 30 points in 12 of the 13 contests.
• In 10 years of sponsoring football, the Panthers have had seven winning seasons. ODU has a .592 winning percentage (61-42 overall) in program history and is 20-3 in its last 23 games (.870 winning percentage).
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 11:30 a.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