COLUMBUS, Ohio – The Ohio Dominican football team will wrap up its 2019 season in the inaugural America's Crossroads Bowl in Hobart, Ind. against nationally-ranked Truman State on Saturday, Dec. 7.
The Panthers and No. 23 Bulldogs are slated for a 1:07 p.m. (CT) kickoff at Brickyard Stadium in the season finale. After kickoff, there will only be 42 schools in Division II without a neutral site contest, as both sides will be making their first neutral-site appearance in their respective Division II eras.
Ohio Dominican concluded its regular season with a 17-7 road win at Hillsdale, to move to 7-2 overall and 6-1 in G-MAC play. The Panthers finished second or better in the final conference standings for the third consecutive year and just missed out on a national playoff bid for the third straight season as well.
Entering the bowl contest, the defense has allowed 10 points or fewer in five consecutive games, while also recording at least one takeaway in each of those outings. The Panthers currently hold the school record for turnover margin, plus-16, and are coming off a single game school record performance against the Chargers, where they recorded seven sacks. ODU now has seven sacks in three games in school history.
Senior Camren Moore (New Carlisle, Ohio) led the defense with 11 total tackles, moving him 11 stops shy of tying the program's career record mark of 294, held by Justin Bell and Ross Thompson. Moore was one of 20 all-conference selections for ODU, and received first team honors for the second time in his career, as he leads the G-MAC and ranks among the top 25 nationally with 9.6 tackles per game.
Sophomore Jaylin Garner (Shaker Heights, Ohio) had 2.5 tackles for loss and 1.5 sacks against Hillsdale, running his season totals up to 13.5 and 8.0, respectively. Both stats rank among the top three all-time at ODU for a single season. Garner has made at least one tackle for loss in six of his last seven outings, including each of the past three. The sophomore received his first all-GMAC honor with a first team selection this fall.
Offensively, senior EJ Colson (Middletown, Ohio) carried the load versus the Chargers, as he rushed for a season-high 150 yards on a career-high 32 rushes. Colson has now rushed for over 100 yards in 12 games during his collegiate career, including each of the past five outings. During his senior campaign, Colson has rushed for 827 yards and nine touchdowns. Colson earned his third all-conference honor this fall, including his second straight appearance on the second team in 2019.
A trio of receivers have eclipsed 30 receptions and 400 yards this season. Leading the way is junior Devanaire Conliffe (Willoughby, Ohio), who was the offense's lone first team all-GMAC selection this season. Conliffe has scored in seven of nine games this season for a career-high 10 receiving touchdowns. The junior has 33 total receptions for a team-best 527 yards.
SCOUTING THE BULLDOGS
Truman State hoists a 9-2 overall record and finished 5-2 in GLVC competition. The Bulldogs have won four of their last five entering play, with the lone loss coming to nationally-ranked Indianapolis.
Truman has relied on the ground game, both offensively and defensively this fall. The Bulldogs have one of the top 25 rushing attacks in the country, averaging 216.5 yards per game. The team is also giving up a shade over 100 yards per contest and ranks 27th nationally in rushing defense.
Leading the way is senior Jordan Salima, who ranks 36th nationally in rushing yards per game, 93.5 (1,028 total), and 15th in Division II with 14 rushing scores. Senior quarterback Jaden Barr has also rushed for over 500 yards and six scores. Barr has completed 65 percent of his passes for 1,884 yards and 14 touchdowns.
Defensively, junior Reed McBroom leads the team with 79 tackles. McBroom also has 11.5 tackles for loss and 5.5 sacks. Senior Sam Reeves leads all NCAA divisions with 40 career sacks, including 8.5 this season. Reeves has registered 43 total tackles, including 12 for a loss.
Contact: Tyler Jester