COLUMBUS, Ohio – The offense racked up 638 total yards and the defense limited Kentucky Wesleyan to 278 as Ohio Dominican's football team raced to a 63-7 home victory on Saturday afternoon, remaining unbeaten in G-MAC play and setting up a conference title showdown against Findlay next Saturday.
The Panthers won their sixth straight game, the longest win streak for ODU since the 2012-13 seasons, as ODU improved to 6-3 (6-0 G-MAC). Findlay, who entered today ranked No. 22 in the country and No. 4 in Super Region One, enters next Saturday's contest with a 9-1 record (6-0 G-MAC).
ODU threw for 390 yards and ran for 248 more as the Panthers' 63 points are tied for the fourth-most in single-game history, while the 638 yards are the seventh-most. Senior quarterback Grant Russell (Newark, Ohio) completed 20-of-26 passes (76.9 percent) for 352 yards and five touchdowns and ran for another score. He moved into second on ODU's all-time passing list as he now has 8,390 yards, moving ahead of Mark Miller (2010-14, 8,261 yards.)
His top target was junior Cory Contini (Dover, Ohio), who tied a school record with four touchdown catches. He caught five passes total for 142 yards and joins Justin Sayre, nearly 10 years to the day (Nov. 3, 2007 against Urbana) as the only Panther wide outs with a quartet of touchdown grabs in a single game. Contini now has 1,006 receiving yards this fall, becoming just the fifth player in school history to surpass 1,000 yards in a single season.
Joining in on the fun was sophomore EJ Colson (Middletown, Ohio), who ran for 106 yards and a score and added a 38 yard touchdown catch. Colson has now surpassed the century mark on the ground in three straight games and four of the last five overall, and has 1,003 career rushing yards.
ODU's defense, meanwhile, controlled the action, holding KWC to 87 yards on the ground and 2.2 yards per carry. Junior Tristan Kehres (Shelby, Ohio) had another superlative week with 12 tackles (2.5 TFL) and a sack and freshman Dauson Dales (Defiance, Ohio) had a personal-best 12 stops as well. Senior Cameron Kohl (Hilliard, Ohio) finished in double figures in tackles for a third straight week, registering 10 stops.
The Panthers started the scoring on the game's opening possession as Colson accounted for all 56 yards on the drive, with 50 on the ground and six on a catch. His five yard TD run put ODU in front 7-0 less than four minutes in.
After a missed KWC field goal and a pair of punts, Russell hooked up with Contini on a 49 yard touchdown with just 12 seconds to play in the quarter. After another KWC punt, ODU needed just two plays to strike again, as Russell found sophomore David Turner (Fort Wayne, Ind.) for a 40 yard completion, and then connected with Contini again for 12 yards to make it 21-0 just over a minute into the second quarter.
Later in the period, Russell found Colson wide open in the middle of the field for a 38 yard catch and run for a score to make it 28-0, and the Panthers needed just four plays at the end of the quarter to score once again, this one a 19 yard pass to Contini, to take a 35-7 lead at the half.
Russell completed 13-of-14 throws for 230 yards and three touchdowns in the second quarter alone. The Panther offense racked up 390 yards in the first half and held KWC to 23 rushing yards on 21 carries.
In the third quarter, Contini had a 28 yard touchdown catch and Russell a two yard touchdown keeper to make it 49-7, and a short touchdown run by freshman Fred Pitts (Huber Heights, Ohio) made it 56-7. Senior quarterback Austin Ernst (Cincinnati, Ohio) then threw a 16 yard touchdown to freshman Devanaire Conliffe (Willoughby, Ohio) early in the fourth to cap the scoring.
Turner finished with eight catches for 99 yards, Conliffe added 81 yards – including a 21 yard reception in which he bowled over several would-be tacklers – and freshman Monalo Caldwell (Cincinnati, Ohio) had a 55 yard run as well.
Kickoff between Ohio Dominican and Findlay is slated for noon on Saturday from Panther Stadium.
Contact: Scott Miles