COLUMBUS, Ohio – Ohio Dominican's football team sent its seniors off in style as the No. 11 Panthers earned a 38-14 win over visiting Saginaw Valley in the team's regular season home finale on Saturday at Panther Stadium.
ODU outgained the Cardinals by 240 yards (501-261) in improving to 8-1 (8-1 GLIAC) on the season. Saginaw Valley fell to 2-8 (2-7 GLIAC).
Junior running back Brandon Schoen (Lewis Center, Ohio) had a performance to remember with 166 yards rushing and 81 receiving. He had both a rushing and receiving touchdown on the day, and his 247 all-purpose yards gained are the fifth-most in school single-game history.
Senior quarterback Mark Miller (Cincinnati, Ohio) completed 19-of-30 throws for 234 yards and two touchdowns, while senior Nick McKnight (Middletown, Ohio) had four catches for a career-high 100 yards and two scores.
The defense held SVSU to just 45 yards rushing, the eighth-fewest in a game in school history. Junior Billy Eakins (Pickerington, Ohio) had 11 stops and his school-record 10th career interception (fourth in 2014) and classmate Sydney Omameh (Columbus, Ohio) had eight tackles (3.0 for loss), two sacks and a forced fumble.
ODU marched 69 yards on the game's opening drive, chewing up over five minutes on the clock before settling for a 23-yard field goal by junior Brent Wahle (Pataskala, Ohio) to give the Panthers a 3-0 lead.
Later in the first quarter, the Panthers then moved out from their own one yard line and advanced into SVSU territory on a 28 yard completion to junior Dez Stewart (Cincinnati, Ohio). ODU finished the drive with a 51 yard field goal make by Wahle early in the second quarter to give the Panthers a 6-0 lead.
SVSU responded with a touchdown on its ensuing drive in the second quarter, but ODU needed just one play to answer. Stewart took an end around from Miller and rolled to his right, hitting McKnight down the middle of the field in stride for a 71 yard touchdown pass to give the Panthers a 13-7 lead with 8:18 to play in the frame.
The Cardinals threatened on their next drive, reaching the Panther 14 yard line, but Eakins came up with a diving interception in the end zone to halt their scoring threat. It was the second interception in the end zone in as many weeks for the corner.
ODU's defense came up with another stop late in the half as Omameh's strip sack of SVSU quarterback Tyler Palka was recovered by junior Warren Shields (Richwood, Ohio) at the ODU 31. Pass plays of 24 and 18 yards moved the Panthers into SVSU territory, and Wahle drilled a 53 yard field goal at the end of the half, setting a new school record for longest made field goal, to give the Panthers a 16-7 lead at intermission.
On ODU's first possession of the second half, the Panthers again advanced to Saginaw territory and this time were able to cash in with a touchdown. Schoen caught a screen pass from Miller and zig zagged his way through the Cardinal defense for a 21 yard touchdown, extending the ODU lead to 23-7 early in the third quarter.
SVSU answered with a touchdown, but ODU needed just two plays to respond. Schoen broke a tackle sweeping around the left side and was off to the races for a 70 yard scamper down the Panther sideline for a touchdown. Junior Michael Snyder (Clayton, Ohio) ran in the conversion to give the Panthers a 31-14 lead at the end of the third quarter.
Schoen's 70 yard touchdown run was the sixth longest in school history, and his 166 yards rushing is the ninth most in a game in ODU history.
The Panthers capped the day's action with a 12 yard TD pass from Miller to McKnight in the back of the end zone, which capped a 14-play, 86-yard drive that chewed up over eight minutes on the fourth quarter clock.
ODU's defense finished with four sacks, as senior DeWayne Clemmons (Indianapolis, Ind.) and junior Di'Andre Harrison (Columbus, Ohio) each tallied one. The Panthers also broke up seven passes, led by two apiece from Shields and junior Cody Culbertson (Galloway, Ohio).
Ohio Dominican, which is ranked No. 2 in Super Region Four, will hit the road to take on Tiffin at 1:30 p.m. Saturday in the regular season finale for the Panthers.
Contact: Scott Miles