COLUMBUS, Ohio – On a cold and rainy Saturday fall afternoon at Panther Stadium, the Ohio Dominican defense kept Walsh off the scoreboard in a 7-0 Great Midwest Athletic Conference victory.
With precipitation falling throughout, the Panthers were limited to just seven points and 215 yards of offense, both season lows. However, the defense surrendered only 251 yards and earned its first shutout since Sept. 23, 2017. ODU blanked an opponent for the eighth time in school history, while the seven points scored are the fewest in a Panther win all-time.
The Panthers (5-2, 4-1 G-MAC) took the opening drive 76 yards over nine plays and scored the game's lone touchdown with 10:40 showing on the first quarter clock. Sophomore Evan Ernst (Mason, Ohio) and junior Devanaire Conliffe (Willoughby, Ohio) connected on a three-yard pass in the back corner of the end zone for the score. Senior EJ Colson (Middletown, Ohio) setup the touchdown with a 43-yard rush earlier in the drive.
Colson carried the ball a season-high 21 times for 122 yards, averaging 5.8 yards per rush. The senior moved into third on ODU's all-time rushing list, as he currently has 2,473 yards during his time with the Black & Gold. Ernst completed 16-of-25 passes for 100 yards. Conliffe led the receiving group with five receptions for 36 yards. His touchdown reception was his ninth of the season, a new career high.
The remainder of the first half saw the two sides combine for seven punts and four turnovers on downs. Walsh was held to only 104 yards offensively in the first half.
Out of the break, ODU forced another punt by the Cavaliers (1-7, 1-4 G-MAC) and then took its first offensive possession of the second half down to the Walsh 36-yard line. However, the drive stalled there after a failed conversion on fourth-and-three.
Junior Logen Neidhardt (Hicksville, Ohio) had his fifth punt of the contest near the start of the fourth quarter, booming the ball 61 yards to where it was downed at Walsh's seven-yard line. Neidhardt averaged 46.2 yards per punt, placing three inside the 20-yard line.
During the ensuing Cavalier possession, senior Alessio Amato (Zanesville, Ohio) picked off his sixth pass of the season, giving him the new single season school record. ODU though, threw an interception of their own just outside the red zone, giving Walsh possession with 6:51 left to play.
The Cavaliers drove 66 yards over 13 plays and had first and goal on the Panther nine-yard line. After a pair of rushes moved the ball to the five-yard line, ODU forced back-to-back incompletions, including senior Gus Dimmerling's (Perrysburg, Ohio) break up on fourth down with 22 seconds remaining.
Leading the defensive effort was senior Camren Moore (New Carlisle, Ohio), who tied a career high with 16 tackles, which is seventh most for a single game in program history. Moore, who now has four outings with double-digit tackles this fall, added a pass breakup in coverage as well. Fellow linebacker, junior Dauson Dales (Defiance, Ohio), pitched in with nine stops and two break ups.
ODU finished with six tackles for loss, its fifth consecutive outing with at least five stops in the backfield. Sophomore Jaylin Garner (Shaker Heights, Ohio) recorded seven tackles, including 2.5 for loss. Garner also picked up two quarterback hurries and one break up. Senior Chris Green (Toledo, Ohio) and juniors Jayden Davis (Springfield, Ohio) and Aarin Smoot-Baker (Columbus, Ohio) all had at least one tackle for loss and six total stops as well.
The Panthers, who went a perfect 3-0 in the month of October, will now break from competition with their second bye week of the season. Ohio Dominican will return to action at 1 p.m., Saturday, Nov. 9, with a Senior Day contest against Lake Erie at Panther Stadium.
Contact: Tyler Jester