Defense Dominates on Rainy Day, Panthers Down Dragons 18-0

Defense Dominates on Rainy Day, Panthers Down Dragons 18-0

TIFFIN, Ohio – Ohio Dominican's defense put forth its strongest effort of the year, holding Tiffin to 158 yards of offense and seven first downs as the Panthers remained undefeated with an 18-0 rain-soaked victory Saturday in GLIAC play.

ODU (No. 11 AFCA/No. 14 improved to 8-0 (7-0 GLIAC) on the season, extending its Division II-best win streak to 13 consecutive games. The Panthers are also ranked No. 2 in Super Region Four.

The defense finished with four sacks and had four takeaways, with interceptions by sophomore Da'Twane Harris (Cleveland, Ohio) and senior Justin Bell (Columbus, Ohio) and fumble recoveries by Bell and sophomore Di'Andre Harrison (Columbus, Ohio). Sophomore Sydney Omameh (Columbus, Ohio) had 2.5 sacks, sophomore Billy Eakins (Pickerington, Ohio) made eight tackles and sophomore Warren Shields (Richwood, Ohio) had seven tackles and a sack as well to lead the unit.

The shutout was the first for ODU since a 56-0 win over Urbana in 2008.

After coming up empty on their first two possessions, ODU's offense found its rhythm later in the first quarter. Sophomore Brent Wahle (Pataskala, Ohio) booted a 29 yard field goal and with a heavy rain falling, sophomore Brandon Schoen (Olentangy, Ohio) burst through the line for a 58-yard touchdown to give the Panthers a 9-0 lead with 3:30 left to play in the quarter.

Wahle drilled another field goal, this from 42 yards out, to give the Panthers a 12-0 lead in the second quarter, and they would carry that score into the locker room.

The Panther defense registered three sacks in the first half, holding Tiffin (2-7, 1-6 GLIAC) without a first down in the first 30 minutes. The Dragons managed just 11 yards in the half and punted seven times.

Sophomore Brad McCurdy (Columbus, Ohio) stopped Tiffin's first drive of the half, blowing up a fourth down screen pass, and Wahle capped ODU's ensuing offensive possession with a 36-yard field goal.

That would be the lone scoring in the quarter, as ODU had two drives end on interceptions and its first drive of the fourth quarter stopped on downs inside Tiffin territory.

Tiffin then mishandled a snap on its first drive of the fourth, with Harrison outracing quarterback Antonio Pipkin to the ball on the Dragon 13. Wahle booted his fourth field goal of the day to give the Panthers an 18-0 lead early in the quarter.

Harris then came up with an acrobatic interception, outjumping a Dragon wideout at the ODU goal line, for another takeaway to stop Tiffin's most promising offensive drive to date. Bell stopped another Dragon possession with an interception late, and ODU ran out the final 3:37 of the clock.

The Panthers totaled 381 yards on offense, rushing for 264 yards. Schoen and senior Mark Nichols (Pataskala, Ohio) each went over 100 yards for the fourth time this season, with Schoen picking up 152 yards on 18 carries and Nichols gaining 109 yards.

Ohio Dominican returns home to take on Lake Erie at noon on Saturday, Nov. 9.

Contact: Scott Miles

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