Strong Second Half Sends Football Past Wayne State, 28-17

Strong Second Half Sends Football Past Wayne State, 28-17
COLUMBUS, Ohio – Ohio Dominican's defense stood strong against Wayne State's high-powered offense, and the Panthers offense came to life itself in the second half as the Panthers won a physical 28-17 contest against the Warriors Saturday afternoon in GLIAC play.

Sophomore Ross Thompson (Delphos, Ohio) made a career-high 17 tackles (4.0 TFL) as the Panthers held Wayne 19 points and 117 yards below its season averages. Senior Marquise Tyus (Lakewood, Ohio) finished with 10 tackles and juniors Nick Isaacs (Cincinnati, Ohio) and Tre McIntyre (North Lewisburg, Ohio) had seven tackles apiece.

After mustering 117 yards in the first half, ODU tallied 240 yards after the break as the Panthers came back from a 10-6 deficit. Junior Joe Hines (Louisville, Ky.) had a career best 141 yards rushing, along with 38 yards receiving, sophomore Dar Stanford (Zanesville, Ohio) finished with 84 yards and an acrobatic touchdown catch, and junior Grant Russell (Newark, Ohio) threw for 211 yards and three scores.

Wayne State (7-3, 7-3 GLIAC) entered the game ranked No. 10 in the region and was the third-highest team receiving votes in the AFCA Top 25 poll. ODU, meanwhile, won its fifth straight game to improve to 7-3 (7-3 GLIAC). The Panthers have won at least seven games every season since 2011.

ODU had the first possession of the second half and went 75 yards in seven plays. Hines had a 35 yard run to the Wayne State 37, and Russell flipped a shovel pass to David Turner around the right edge for an 18 yard touchdown. The extra point snap was low, but junior Austin Ernst (Cincinnati, Ohio) recovered it and flipped it to freshman Joey Artrip (Loudonville, Ohio) in the end zone for the conversion to give ODU a 14-10 lead.

Wayne marched 72 yards on its next drive, capping it with a six yard touchdown pass to regain the lead at 17-14, but ODU had a quick answer. Hines took a handoff around the right side and outran the defense down the Panther sideline for a 56 yard touchdown, putting ODU on top 21-17 with 5:32 left in the third. It was the longest running play of Hines' career and the longest run from scrimmage by ODU this fall.

ODU looked to tack on more points early in the fourth, but a fumble at the Wayne State 20 ended the drive with 12:40 to play in the quarter. The defense, though, forced a three-and-out, putting ODU back on the field with 10:29 left.

Facing a third-and-two, Russell completed a pass to Stanford on the Warrior sideline, and he spun out of a tackle and took it 37 yards to the Wayne State 24. Three plays later, ODU had a fourth-and-two at the 16, and Russell kept it himself to the 10 for a first down. On third-and-goal from the nine, he threw a pass that was deflected, but Stanford made a diving grab of in the end zone for a touchdown to make it 28-17 in favor of ODU with 5:01 left.

The Warriors drove to the ODU 12 yard line, but the defense held from there and forced a turnover on downs with 2:11 left, essentially ending the game.

Wayne State finished with 349 yards of offense compared to 357 for the Panthers. ODU limited Wayne State to just 4-of-13 on third downs while picking up 8-of-16 itself.

Ohio Dominican moved inside the Wayne State red zone on its first drive of the game, converting a pair of third downs, but stalled at the 17 and had a 34 yard field goal attempt blocked.

The Warriors answered with a touchdown drive, moving 80 yards in 12 plays, to take a 7-0 lead with less than three minutes to play in the first quarter.

After a Panther punt, Wayne State took over possession on its own 20, but ODU came away with an interception on a bobbled pass as McIntyre made a diving catch for the takeaway near the ODU sideline.

ODU needed just one play to score, as Russell connected with senior Aaron Stephens (Ironton, Ohio) in the end zone for a 23 yard score. The extra point was blocked, leaving Wayne on top 7-6 with 12:27 to play in the second.

The Warriors answered with a field goal to go in front 10-6, and later in the quarter, ODU's defense forced a turnover on downs at its 28 to stop a potential scoring threat.

ODU had a chance to score points before the break, starting its final offensive possession on the WSU 38 yard line with 1:37 left, but an interception three plays later ended the scoring chance.

Thompson made 10 tackles in the first half as ODU was outgained 196-117 in the opening half.

Ohio Dominican remains at home to host Ashland at noon Saturday, Nov. 12. The Eagles are ranked No. 7 in the region, and in the national polls are No. 21 in the AFCA and No. 17 by D2Football.


Contact: Scott Miles