COLUMBUS, Ohio -- After authoring one of the best defensive performances in school history against Hillsdale, Ohio Dominican's football team will be put to the test again this week as the Panthers play host to No. 11 Ferris State on Saturday for Homecoming.
Fans are encouraged to wear black shirts to the game this weekend.
The Panthers have won 21 consecutive regular season games and enter the week ranked No. 8 themselves following a 9-3 victory over Hillsdale last Saturday. In that contest, ODU limited Hillsdale to just 130 total yards, including 27 rushing yards. It's the second time this fall that an opponent has had less than 30 yards rushing against ODU.
Overall, ODU's defense ranks first in the GLIAC in points per game (13.6) and yards per game (255.8). The Panthers are seventh nationally in total defense. They'll be challenged by a Ferris State offense that ranks first in the GLIACin those categories, averaging 51.3 points and 557.8 yards per game. The Bulldogs have surpassed 760 yards of offense in a game twice, including in last week's 68-20 win over Tiffin. They've rushed for at least 251 yards in each of their first six games.
The Panthers persevered against a resilient Hillsdale team despite twointerceptions, a fumble and two turnovers on downs inside Hillsdale territory. ODU reached the red zone three times but had to settle for a trio of Brent Wahle field goals to account for its scoring.
ODU outgained Hillsdale 376-130 and had the ball for 36:20. The Chargers ran just 51 offensive plays, compared to 83 for the Panthers, and converted on just 2 of 14 third downs. Hillsdale picked up just eight first downs in the game, two in the first half.
Brad McCurdy made seven tackles and sealed the win with an interception in the waning moments. Warren Shields had six tackles, and Di'Andre Harrison, Paul Wesselhoeft, Sydney Omameh and DeWayne Clemmons each had a sack.
Mark Miller threw for 222 yards, completing seven passes to both Nick McKnight and Dez Stewart. McKnight set a career best with those seven receptions, along with 77 yards. Stewart finished with 68 yards. Brandon Schoen ran for 53 yards and Aaron Everson had 46 yards rushing as well.
• Since 2006, ODU has an overall record of 66-26 (.717 win percentage.) The Panthers are 28-4 in their last 32 games (.875 win percentage.)
• ODU is 30-5 against opponents from Ohio since 2007 (.857 win percentage.)
• During the 21-game regular season win streak, ODU has outscored opponents 837-327, with an average margin of victory of 24.3 points per game. The Panthers have scored 30 or more points 17 times in the streak and held opponents to 14 points or fewer 12 times.
• Over the past 28 games, ODU's offensive line has allowed just 12 sacks. They have allowed just two sacks this fall, which is the fifth-fewest in the country.
• The Panthers have outscored their first six opponents 116-20 in the second halves of games and outgained them 1,311-549. ODU has outscored teams 61-11 in the fourth quarters of games as well.
• The Panthers have run 83 more offensive plays than their opponents and have 57 more first downs through six games.
Contact: Scott Miles