NORTH CANTON, Ohio – A trio of third quarter touchdowns helped Ohio Dominican's football team pull away from host Walsh as the Panthers defeated the Cavaliers 42-13 Saturday afternoon in GLIAC play.
ODU (6-3, 6-3 GLIAC) led just 14-13 at the break, but needed just 46 seconds to extend the lead. On the first play of the second half, junior Grant Russell (Newark, Ohio) found freshman David Turner (Fort Wayne, Ind.) on a 61 yard pass play, and two plays later freshman EJ Colson (Middletown, Ohio) found the end zone on a six yard run to make it 21-13.
Walsh (1-8, 0-8 GLIAC) drove to the Panther 39 yard line on its next drive, but sophomore Brian Hunter (Mayfield, Ohio) had a sack on a fourth-and-nine to stop the drive. The Panther offense then marched 58 yards in 12 plays, chewing up 6:33 of clock, with Russell capping the drive by tossing a four yard touchdown pass to Colson.
The Panther defense came up big again, with sophomore Ross Thompson (Delphos, Ohio) forcing a fumble that Ryan Sayers (Austintown, Ohio) recovered at the ODU 47 on Walsh's next possession. The Panthers capitalized immediately as Russell and senior Aaron Stephens (Ironton, Ohio) connected on a 53 yard touchdown pass to extend the ODU lead to 35-13 with just over a minute left in the quarter.
ODU outgained Walsh 186-38 in the quarter, and put the game away in the fourth. Walsh reached the Panther 22 yard line but failed to convert on a fourth down play, and the Panthers responded with a 10 play, 71 yard touchdown drive, with junior Joe Hines (Louisville, Ky.) scoring on a two yard run to account for the final scoring of the game.
ODU finished with 505 yards of offense and held Walsh to just 188 yards, which is a season-low allowed by the defense. The Cavaliers threw for just 84 yards and ran for 104 and managed just 50 yards in the second half, including 12 in the fourth quarter.
Thompson finished with a team-high 10 tackles and junior Demetrius Farmer (Dover, Ohio) had a superlative effort with nine tackles (3.5 TFL) and a sack. Hunter tallied five tackles (2.5 TFL) and two sacks and freshman Camren Moore (New Carlisle, Ohio) and senior Marquise Tyus (Lakewood, Ohio) each recorded nine tackles.
For a second straight week, Russell was superb, completing 30-of-35 passes for 371 yards and four touchdowns. He completed 85.7 percent of his passes, tied for the seventh-best mark in ODU history. He became just the third Panther quarterback to surpass 5,000 career passing yards as well (5,105) and he's now completing 70.1 percent of his passes this fall.
Turner had the best receiving day of a freshman in school history, racking up 166 yards on 11 catches and two touchdowns. No true freshman had more than 11 catches in a game nor as many yards.
Stephens set a career high with 86 yards, Colson ran for 60 yards and also had five catches, and sophomore Cory Contini (Dover, Ohio) caught four passes for 54 yards.
Walsh kicked a field goal on its first drive of the game, but the Panthers answered with an 11 play, 69 yard drive that culminated in Russell's two yard touchdown pass to Turner. After the Cavaliers went three-and-out, Russell and Turner hooked up again, this time on a 31 yard pass play, to extend the lead to 14-3 with 4:09 to play in the first.
The score remained that way until the middle of the second quarter when Walsh scored on a 10 yard touchdown run to make it 14-10, and the Cavaliers booted a 51 yard field goal just before halftime to cut the score to 14-13.
Winners of four straight, Ohio Dominican returns home to host Wayne State at noon on Saturday in Panther Stadium.
Contact: Scott Miles