Football Heads to Kentucky Wesleyan In Battle of the Panthers

Evan Ernst (Photo By Ralph Schudel)
Evan Ernst (Photo By Ralph Schudel)


COLUMBUS, Ohio – After a week off, the Ohio Dominican football team returns to action Saturday, Oct. 19, with its third consecutive road game, a date with Great Midwest rival Kentucky Wesleyan. The battle of Panthers is set for a 1 p.m. CDT kickoff Saturday.

Prior to the first of two scheduled bye weeks, Ohio Dominican (3-2, 2-1 G-MAC) used a strong all-around effort at Alderson Broaddus to defeat the Battlers, 56-10. The Panthers' offense eclipsed 50 points and 500 yards for the first time this fall, while the defense matched their season-low in points allowed (10) and set a new best in yards given up (332). ODU also forced five AB turnovers, giving the program at least four takeaways in four of its last six outings, dating back to the end of the 2018 season.

Leading the defensive charge was senior Alessio Amato (Zanesville, Ohio), who set a career-high with eight tackles and two sacks, while tying the school and conference single game record with three interceptions. Amato accumulated 98 return yards on his picks, including a 44-yard touchdown in the third quarter. The 98 yards set a new single game G-MAC record. For his efforts, Amato was named G-MAC Defensive Player of the Week, as well as Defensive Player of the Week. The senior was ODU's first national weekly award winner since former Panther running back Brandon Schoen did so in 2012.

Three additional Panthers recorded eight-plus tackles against Alderson Broaddus, including sophomore Ashton Gilkey (Westerville, Ohio), senior Camren Moore (New Carlisle, Ohio) and sophomore Jaylin Garner (Shaker Heights, Ohio), who finished with nine, eight and eight stops respectively. Garner also led the team with 3.5 tackles for loss, including 1.5 sacks. Moore's efforts improved his team-leading tackle total to 48. The senior is just four assisted tackles away from breaking the career school record of 153 held by former linebackers Cameron Kohl and Ross Thompson.

Offensively, sophomore quarterback Evan Ernst (Mason, Ohio) logged three scores against the Battlers, two in the air and one on the ground, giving him 14 total scores this season and three games with at least three touchdowns. Ernst is among the top 10 in the country in completion percentage, 67.9, while his 17.2 points responsible for per game are 18th-best in Division II. Through the air, Ernst has completed 110-of-162 passes for 1,279 yards and 11 touchdowns.

At the skill positions, senior EJ Colson (Middletown, Ohio) and sophomore DeAndre Clark (Dover, Ohio) led the way in ODU's last outing. Colson rushed for 115 yards and three scores on just 14 carries, which included a season-long run of 63 yards. He also added two catches for 64 yards. Colson's efforts moved him into the top three all-time at ODU in rushing attempts, 421, and touchdowns, 25. Clark, who was starting just the third game of his collegiate career, registered six catches for 114 yards, including a 71-yard touchdown. Through three appearances this fall, Clark has 21 receptions for 242 yards.

Junior Devanaire Conliffe (Willoughby, Ohio) also caught a touchdown pass at AB, giving him eight this season. Conliffe has been explosive this fall, totaling 376 yards on 16 catches, as his 23.5 yards per reception ranks ninth in Division II.

Kentucky Wesleyan enters the weekend with a 0-6 overall record, including a 0-3 mark in G-MAC competition. Despite the slow start, the purple Panthers have been in most games this fall, losing three outings by a touchdown or less. Offensively, KWC is averaging 17.3 points per game, while the defense has allowed 36.17 points per contest.

Wiley Cain has thrown for 1,296 yards and seven touchdowns, while De'Ondre Boggs is one of three players with 200-plus receiving yards, pacing the group at 320. Corey Johnson Jr. and Landon Newman have combined for 411 yards on the ground. Defensively, Jalen Humphrey and Jalen Wilson lead the team with 48 and 45 tackles, respectively. The duo has combined for 8.5 tackles for loss, with Wilson having two interceptions as well.

Contact: Tyler Jester