COLUMBUS, Ohio – After picking up a victory in its Great Midwest Athletic Conference opener over the weekend, the Ohio Dominican football team has won two of the league's three individual weekly awards.
Junior Logen Neidhardt (Hicksville, Ohio) was named Special Teams Player of the Week for the fifth time in his career, while sophomore Ashton Gilkey (Westerville, Ohio) is picking up his first weekly defensive honor. The Panthers now have three G-MAC Player of the Week awards this season, as sophomore kicker Kevin Laming (Powell, Ohio) received recognition in Week One.
ODU defeated Findlay 21-10 on Saturday, Sept. 21, in what was the Panthers' Homecoming and Hall of Fame celebration, as well as the NCAA Division II National Showcase Game of the Week. The Black & Gold are now 2-1 in 2019 and have won two of their three G-MAC openers since joining the conference in 2017.
Neidhardt recoded a season-best 46.3 yards per punt, which is the fifth highest single game mark in conference history. The junior had four of his seven punt attempts finish inside the Oiler 20-yard line, while also having no touchbacks. Two of Neidhardt's punts were placed inside the five-yard line, including his final attempt, which backed Findlay up to its own one-yard line. He also had his longest punt of the young season at 56 yards.
Gilkey played a key role in ODU turning Findlay over four times. The sophomore, who was starting for the first time this season, had five tackles, two interceptions and two pass break ups. With Findlay attempting to come from behind late in the fourth quarter, Gilkey denied the attempt with his second interception with less than four minutes to play. His tackle total matched a career-high, while his interception and break up marks also set new personal bests. His multi-pick game was the first for ODU since Alessio Amato (Zanesville, Ohio) did so in the season opener of the 2018 season.
As a team, the Panthers held Findlay to 17 points under their previous season scoring average of 27.0 points per game. Dating back to last season, ODU has also recorded four takeaways in three of the past four outings.
Ohio Dominican will look to continue its strong start to conference play when the team travels to face Tiffin at 4 p.m., Saturday, Sept. 28.
Contact: Tyler Jester