Story and photo courtesy of Ohio Dominican Athletics
FINDLAY, Ohio - Ohio Dominican's football team ripped off the game's final 28 points and rolled to a 63-31 victory over host Findlay in GLIAC action on Saturday at Donnell Stadium.
ODU finished with 550 yards of total offense, including 320 yards on the ground. The 63 points scored were the third-most in school history and the 320 rushing yards were fourth-most.
Sophomore quarterback Mark Miller (Cincinnati, Ohio) accounted for five touchdowns, completing 12-of-19 throws for 230 yards and four scores and rushing for another.
Freshman Brandon Schoen (Olentangy, Ohio) ran for 162 yards on 25 carries, his fourth straight 100-yard game, and had two touchdowns. Classmate Tajuan Green (Columbus, Ohio) ran for 85 yards on seven carries and a TD and senior Mark Nichols (Newark, Ohio) toted the ball nine times for 63 yards and a score.
The receivers were led by freshman Ronald McCloud (Cleveland, Ohio), who had 103 yards on just five catches, with two TDs. Freshman Dez Stewart (Cincinnati, Ohio) had 64 yards and a score, and senior Andy Mick (Hamilton, Ohio) had 50 yards and a TD.
Leading 28-24 early in the third quarter, junior Justin Bell (Groveport, Ohio) forced a fumble that freshman Brad McCurdy (Columbus, Ohio) recovered. On ODU's first play, Green took a direct snap, zig zagged through traffic and ran 32 yards for the TD.
Findlay employed a no-huddle offense and answered with a 13-play, 91 yard TD drive, cutting the Panther lead to 35-31 with 8:15 to play in the third.
From that point, it was all Panthers. ODU moved 65 yards in just six plays, with Miller hooking up with McCloud for a 22-yard strike that staked the Panthers to a 42-31 lead.
The defense then forced a three-and-out, and the offense quickly moved downfield again. Nichols, Schoen and Green combined for nine runs for 61 yards, and on the tenth play Miller connected with McCloud again for a 14-yard TD to make it 49-31 Panthers moments into the fourth.
Another Findlay punt and personal foul gave the Panthers possession on the Oiler 35, and this time Nichols capped off the drive with a seven-yard run up the gut to cap the seven play scoring drive.
The Panthers then closed out the game's scoring with another seven-play march, this one covering 75 yards. Schoen had a 28-yard run to the Oiler 19, and four plays later scored his second TD of the game to account for ODU's final points.
Senior Eisen Hardy (Pickerington, Ohio) and Bell both made 11 tackles, and McCurdy finished with nine stops. ODU broke up six passes, and Warren Shields (Richwood, Ohio) was credited with three quarterback hurries.
The Panthers defense forced a turnover on Findlay's first drive of the game, as senior Jeff White (Gahanna, Ohio) picked off a pass at the Oiler 42 and took it back to Findlay's 16. Four plays later, Schoen dove across the goal line to give ODU the early lead.
The teams traded touchdowns from that point out, with the Oilers tying it at seven and ODU answering with a seven-play, 77-yard drive. Miller found McCloud behind Findlay's defense for a 51-yard pass to the nine, then kept it himself from a yard out as ODU regained a 14-7 lead at the 8:15 mark of the first.
Findlay tacked on a score late in the first quarter to knot it up again, but again the Panthers had a quick answer. Schoen had a 28-yard run, and Miller found Mick running down the seam, and Mick plucked the pass over an Oiler defender for a 33-yard touchdown.
That gave ODU a 21-14 edge moments into the second quarter, but the Oilers scored the next 10 points to grab their only lead of the contest at 24-21. The Panthers scored again late in the second quarter when, facing a third-and-21, Stewart beat double coverage and Miller's pass through the wind found him behind the secondary for a 59-yard pass play with 3:11 left.
ODU would take that 28-24 lead into the intermission, finishing with 290 yards of offense in the opening half.
For Miller, it was his second four touchdown game through the air and first time tallying five scores. He averaged 19.1 yards per completion.
Green set a season-high for carries and yards, and Stewart scored his first collegiate touchdown. Seven different players scored for the Panthers in the win.
Ohio Dominican remains on the road for a 7 p.m. kickoff at Notre Dame next Saturday.