COLUMBUS, Ohio -- After earning a hard fought road victory at No. 18 Grand Valley last Saturday, Ohio Dominican's football team returns home for a tough South Division contest against unbeaten Ashland this weekend.
The Panthers have won 17 consecutive regular season games, with their last setback coming against this same Ashland team in Columbus on Oct. 6, 2012.
ODU enters this matchup ranked No. 9 in the AFCA poll and No. 7 in the D2Football.com rankings, while the Eagles are receiving votes in the AFCA poll.
On the road, trailing 24-14 and backed up inside its own 10 with less than nine minutes left, Ohio Dominican roared to life to stun an overflow crowd of 15,005 at Lubbers Stadium last week. A 54 yard completion from Mark Miller to Ronald McCloud set up a Brandon Schoen touchdown run to cut the score to 24-21 at the 6:08 mark.
The defense forced a three and out, and ODU took over its next possession on its own 10. On the second play from scrimmage, Miller found Dez Stewart behind the defense for a 90 yard touchdown, putting the Panthers on top 28-24 with just 2:44 left.
The defense came up with two more stops down the stretch, giving ODU the victory over the two teams projected to claim the GLIAC's division titles.
ODU's defense held Grand Valley to just 318 yards – 82 in the second half – and just 26 yards rushing. The Panthers totaled five sacks, had 10 tackles for loss, and stopped the Lakers on 12 of 17 third downs and on a pair of fourth downs in the game's waning minutes.
The offense racked up 229 of its 430 yards in the fourth quarter. Schoen racked up 183 rushing yards with two touchdowns and Stewart led all players with 114 yards receiving. Miller threw for 238 yards as well.
• Since 2006, ODU has an overall record of 62-26 (.705 win percentage.) The Panthers are 24-4 in their last 28 games (.857 win percentage.)
• ODU is 27-5 against opponents from Ohio since 2007 (.844 win percentage.)
• During the 17-game regular season win streak, ODU has outscored opponents 716-282, with an average margin of victory of 25.5 points per game. The Panthers have scored 30 or more points 15 times in the streak and held opponents to 14 points or fewer nine times.
• Over the past 24 games, ODU's offensive line has allowed just 11 sacks.
• The home team has yet to win in the series between Ashland and ODU. The Panthers won road games in 2011 and 2013, while Ashland won contests in Columbus in 2010 and 2012.
• The Panthers have outscored their first two opponents 56-3 in the second halves of games and outgained them 541-123.