MIDLAND, Mich. – Ohio Dominican's football team raced out to a 28-0 lead and didn't look back as the 12th-ranked Panthers scored a 49-21 victory at Northwood in GLIAC play Saturday afternoon.
With the win, ODU – which is ranked No. 3 in Super Region Four – improved to 7-1 (7-1 GLIAC), while the Timberwolves fell to 4-5 (3-5 GLIAC).
Senior quarterback Mark Miller (Cincinnati, Ohio) completed 17-of-20 throws for 193 yards and four touchdowns and the defense came up with three takeaways in the first half to help pick up the road victory.
ODU cracked the scoring column first, needing just four plays to move 68 yards. Miller flipped a pass to senior Robert Williams (Cincinnati, Ohio) near the Northwood 25, and Williams broke a tackle and tiptoed down the sideline for a touchdown.
On Northwood's first play from scrimmage, junior Cody Culbertson (Galloway, Ohio) forced and recovered a fumble at the NU 28. ODU needed just four more plays to reach paydirt again. This time it was Miller connecting on a pass with junior Dez Stewart (Cincinnati, Ohio) in the front part of the Northwood end zone, giving ODU a 14-0 edge just 4:31 into the game.
ODU then embarked on a 15-play, 91-yard drive spanning the first half of the second quarter. Facing third and goal from the Northwood three, Miller rolled left and Stewart worked his way open in the back of the end zone for his second TD of the day. That extended the ODU lead to 21-0 with 8:48 to play in the half.
The lead went to four touchdowns on ODU's next drive as Williams broke free down the left sideline for a 50 yard touchdown, the longest run of his career, extending the Panther advantage to 28-0.
After a Northwood touchdown made it 28-7, the Panther defense came up with a huge play. Junior Austin Osborne (Jackson, Ohio) intercepted a pass at the NU 40 and raced untouched to the end zone to give the Panthers a 35-7 lead with 1:32 to play in the half. That was the first defensive touchdown for ODU since Culbertson returned an interception for a score at Georgetown last September.
The third quarter was scoreless, but ODU tacked on a touchdown at the start of the fourth on an eight yard dart from Miller to senior Nick McKnight (Middletown, Ohio) to give ODU a 42-14 lead.
Also in the fourth quarter, junior Billy Eakins (Pickerington, Ohio) intercepted a pass in the end zone, giving him nine career interceptions, which ties a school record.
For the game, ODU finished with 406 yards of offense. Williams tallied 88 on the ground on just 12 carries along with his touchdown catch. Stewart had 61 yards receiving and the two scores while running for 36 yards, and junior Ronald McCloud (Cleveland, Ohio) finished with 55 yards receiving.
Eakins finished with 10 tackles to lead the defense and Culbertson made seven stops. Sophomore Mason Sawicki (Dublin, Ohio) made six tackles as well.
Ohio Dominican returns home to face off against Saginaw Valley at noon on Saturday at Panther Stadium in the team's home finale.
Contact: Scott Miles