#18/#15 Panthers Electrify Crowd with 41-21 Win Over Findlay

Mark Nichols (Courtesy NMU Sports Information)
Mark Nichols (Courtesy NMU Sports Information)

COLUMBUS, Ohio – With the nation's attention on Panther Field Thursday night, Ohio Dominican's football team did not disappoint, extending Division II's longest win streak to 12 straight games following a 41-21 home victory over Findlay.

The game, televised on CBS Sports Network as the Division II Game of the Week, was ODU's first appearance on national television, and the Panthers (No. 18 AFCA/No. 15 D2Football.com) rolled up 640 yards of total offense, including 381 on the ground.

Mark Nichols rushed for 273 yards on 31 carries and scored three times, while Mark Miller completed 27-of-31 passes for 259 yards and two touchdowns.

The Panthers (7-0, 6-0 GLIAC) rolled to a 31-7 halftime lead, as Abe Johnson caught a 12-yard touchdown from Miller on ODU's first possession, then went up 14-0 later in the quarter on Nichols' first TD run. That run capped a 90-yard drive, all of which came on the ground, and was highlighted by Nichols' 52-yard jaunt.

After Findlay (4-3, 2-3 GLIAC) scored  early in the second quarter to make it 14-7, the Panthers took over. Miller connected with Dez Stewart on a 13-yard pass to make it 21-7, and after an interception by Brad McCurdy, Nichols took off on a 70-yard run to the Oiler two, scoring two plays later.

That extended the ODU lead to 28-7, and the Panthers closed the half with a Brent Wahle field goal to take the 24-point margin into the locker room.

ODU racked up 440 yards of offense in the first half alone, including 271 yards rushing.

Dominic Clegg stopped Findlay's first drive of the second half with a pick, and Nichols scored his third TD of the night to cap a 12-play, 81-yard drive and put ODU on top 38-7 with 2:41 in the third.

Justin Bell led the ODU defense with 10 tackles, while Cody Culbertson registered nine tackles, a sack and 2.5 tackles for loss. Warren Shields also finished with nine tackles and 2.5 tackles for loss.

Stewart caught nine passes for 73 yards and Johnson tallied seven grabs for 86 yards to lead the receiving corps.

The Panthers scored on all seven of their red zone opportunities and held Findlay 18 points below its scoring average. ODU limited the conference's top-ranked passing attack to just 137 yards in the air.

Ohio Dominican is off next Saturday and will travel to Tiffin for a 1:30 p.m. contest on Saturday, Nov. 2.

Contact: Scott Miles

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