COLUMBUS, Ohio – Ohio Dominican's football team couldn't overcome six turnovers as the No. 12 Panthers fell 34-18 to visiting Hillsdale on Saturday night in Panther Stadium.
ODU racked up 595 yards of total offense on 90 plays, but scored just twice on five red zone trips, and also managed just three points off of five Hillsdale turnovers.
Junior EJ Colson (Middletown, Ohio) ran for 174 yards on 23 carries and freshman Evan Ernst (Mason, Ohio) threw for 284 yards and two scores in his first extended action. Junior David Turner (Fort Wayne, Ind.) caught nine passes for 99 yards and a score and junior Cedric Washington (Knoxville, Tenn.) added 91 yards.
The defense was led by senior Ross Thompson (Delphos, Ohio), who had 10 tackles, a sack and a forced fumble. Camren Moore (New Carlisle, Ohio) had eight tackles and a pick, and Tawain Gordon (Pickerington, Ohio) and Alessio Amato (Zanesville, Ohio) also had interceptions.
The Panthers intercepted Hillsdale on each of its first three possessions but managed just a 30 yard Jed Quackenbush (Newark, Ohio) field goal five minutes into the game off of the miscues.
Hillsdale scored early in the second quarter to take a 7-3 lead, then tacked on another touchdown with 48 seconds in the period to take a 14-3 advantage into the locker room.
ODU took the opening kickoff of the second half and moved 90 yards in 14 plays, capped off on an 11 yard TD from Ernst to senior Cory Contini (Dover, Ohio) to close the gap to 14-10.
The Chargers struck back with a quick TD drive, then scored later in the quarter to extend the lead to 27-10. Hillsdale then blocked an ODU field goal attempt early in the fourth quarter and returned it for a touchdown to go in front 34-10.
Ernst threw his second TD of the night on a 23 yard catch-and-run to Turner, and Contini hooked up with sophomore Devanaire Conliffe (Willoughby, Ohio) to make it 34-18 with 11:55 in the game, but the Panthers committed two more turnovers down the stretch to fall short.
Ohio Dominican will travel to Findlay to take on the Oilers in the Division II National Showcase Game at 7:05 p.m. on Saturday.
Contact: Scott Miles