Football Wins Fourth Straight Game, Takes Down Malone 57-17

Photo by David Heasley
Photo by David Heasley

COLUMBUS, Ohio – Ohio Dominican's football team scored 26 unanswered points to start the game and coasted to a 57-17 victory over visiting Malone in G-MAC play Saturday in Panther Stadium.

The Panthers (6-1, 5-1 G-MAC) did not punt in the game, finishing with 34 first downs, and also created three turnovers without a single miscue on their end.

Playing just one series into the third quarter, freshman quarterback Evan Ernst (Mason, Ohio) went 16-of-22 for 240 yards and three touchdowns while running for another score.

Ten different receivers caught at least one pass, led by senior Cory Contini (Dover, Ohio), who finished with five grabs for 80 yards. Contini has now caught a touchdown in 14 straight games.

Junior David Turner (Fort Wayne, Ind.) was electric on offense and in the return game. He caught five passes for 76 yards and a score and returned three kicks for 142 yards (47.3 average), with each return covering at least 41 yards.

Sophomore Fred Pitts (Huber Heights, Ohio) ran for a game-high 72 yards and junior EJ Colson (Middletown, Ohio) ran for two scores and 58 yards as well.

A trio of ODU defenders had 10 tackles in seniors Brian Hunter (Mayfield, Ohio) and Nick Isaacs (Cincinnati, Ohio) as well as freshman Julian Linkhart (Beavercreek, Ohio). Both Linkhart and Hunter forced fumbles.

Junior Camren Moore (New Carlisle, Ohio) finished with nine tackles and senior Tawain Gordon (Pickerington, Ohio) made five tackles with a sack, a forced fumble, two pass break ups, and also blocked a field goal.

ODU needed just 59 seconds to get on the board as Turner took the opening kickoff to midfield. A 41 yard completion to junior Cedric Washington (Knoxville, Tenn.) then led to a three-yard touchdown grab by Contini.

The Panther defense then stuffed Malone on a fourth-and-one try near midfield, and ODU needed just six plays to increase its lead. A 16 yard completion to Contini set up a diving 17 yard TD grab by Turner to extend the ODU lead to 15-0 just over five minutes in.

After a Malone punt, the Panthers went 67 yards in 10 plays, capped by a 21 yard field goal from sophomore Jed Quackenbush (Newark, Ohio).

Gordon then blocked a 30 yard Malone field goal attempt, which was scooped up by freshman Ashton Gilkey (Westerville, Ohio) and returned 52 yards to the Pioneer 38. Four plays later, sophomore Devanaire Conliffe (Willoughby, Ohio) caught a pop pass from Ernst and bowled into the end zone from 11 yards out to help extend the lead to 26-0.

ODU outgained Malone 201-65 in the opening period, racking up 10 first downs to just one for the Pioneers.

After a Malone field goal with 5:22 in the second quarter, Turner took that kickoff 54 yards to the Pioneer 42 yard line. Completions of 17 yards to Contini and of 24 yards to Turner set up Colson's one yard score to make it 33-3 with 4:01 left in the half.

Hunter then forced a fumble on a sack that was recovered at the Malone 32, and a short five play drive was ended on Ernst's keeper from the goal line to make it a 40-3 game at intermission.

Colson and sophomore Monalo Caldwell (Cincinnati, Ohio) would score touchdowns in the second half, along with a 30 yard field goal by sophomore Cooper Johnson (Urbana, Ohio), to cap the scoring for the Panthers.

The Panthers finished with 505 yards of offense on 77 plays and ODU's average starting field position was its own 42 yard line.

ODU's defense limited Malone to just 3.3 yards per carry. The Pioneers entered the day second in the league in scoring at 36.2 points per game as well.

Ohio Dominican hits the road to take on No. 22 Tiffin at 4 p.m. Saturday.

Contact: Scott Miles