Football Returns Home For G-MAC Contest With Walsh

(Photo by Ralph Schudel)
(Photo by Ralph Schudel)

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COLUMBUS, Ohio – After three consecutive road games, the Ohio Dominican football team returns to Panther Stadium to close out the month of October against Walsh. The Panthers welcome the Cavaliers for a noon kick off Saturday, Oct. 26, on Veteran's Appreciation Day.

Ohio Dominican is coming off a 47-7 victory at Kentucky Wesleyan last Saturday to improve to 4-2 on the season and 3-1 in the G-MAC. The Black & Gold enter this Saturday riding their first winning streak of the season, as the team also defeated Alderson Broaddus 56-10 to open the month of October.

In the team's most recent outing, the defense shined, allowing its fewest points (7) and yards (280) to an opposing offense this season, while finding the end zone themselves on two occasions. Senior Alessio Amato (Zanesville, Ohio) became the first player in school history with multiple career interception returns for a touchdown, as he did so against AB and KWC. Thanks to a three-pick game versus AB, the senior is tied for the program's single season interception record with five. Sophomore Rich Jones (Columbus, Ohio) also had a pick-six against KWC, as his 44-yard return gave ODU multiple interception touchdown returns in a game for the first time in school history.

Sophomore Ashton Gilkey (Westerville, Ohio) also picked off a pass against KWC, giving ODU's defense at least three takeaways in four-of-six outings this fall. The Panthers lead the country in turnover margin per game, plus-2.2, and are second in total turnovers lost, four.

Offensively, senior running back EJ Colson (Middletown, Ohio) ran for a season-best 140 yards on just 16 carries. Colson found the end zone three times as well, giving him six combined scores in the past two outings. The senior is climbing the career leaderboard at ODU, ranking second with 28 touchdowns and his 2,351 yards are just eight shy of moving him into the top three.

Sophomore Evan Ernst (Mason, Ohio) tossed a 42-yard touchdown to senior Cedric Washington (Knoxville, Ohio), while also scoring on the ground with a career-long rush of 37 yards. Ernst is still among the top 10 in the country in completion percentage, 67.0, and has tallied 16 total touchdowns this fall. Washington, who had three catches for 84 yards against KWC, now has 25 catches, 391 yards and two touchdowns this season.

Leading the receiving corps this season has been junior Devanaire Conliffe (Willoughby, Ohio) and sophomore DeAndre Clark (Dover, Ohio). Conliffe has a team-best 420 receiving yards and eight touchdowns, while Clark leads the squad with 26 receptions for 289 yards. The sophomore is also pacing the Panthers with over 134 all-purpose yards per game.

Defensively, senior Camren Moore (New Carlisle, Ohio) and junior Jayden Davis (Springfield, Ohio) are tied for the team lead with 53 tackles. Moore recently set the school record for career assisted tackles with 154. Five stops this week would move the senior into the top five all-time at ODU in total tackles.

Walsh enters Saturday with a 1-6 record overall, including a 1-3 mark in G-MAC play. After a slow start offensively, where the Cavaliers scored just two touchdowns in the month of September, the team has scored at least three touchdowns in two of the past three outings, including its most recent game, a 41-38 overtime loss to West Liberty.

On the season, Walsh is last in the G-MAC in scoring (12.0), passing (112.7) and total offense (198.0) per game. Junior Nick Gassman has a team-high 517 passing yards, completing 31-of-65 passes, with four touchdowns and six interceptions. Junior Koby Adu-Poku leads the team in rushing (402) and receiving (237) yards. Adu-Poku is averaging 132.3 all-purpose yards per game and has three total scores this fall.

Defensively, the Cavaliers are giving up 32.3 points per game, as well as 431.9 yards of total offense. Walsh has three players with 40-plus tackles this season, led by junior Sal Sidebotham with 52. Leondre Crosby has 42 stops, including a team-high nine tackles for loss. Stephen Baugh has 41 tackles and is one of three players with two picks.

Contact: Tyler Jester

jestert@ohiodominican.edu