National spotlight shines on Ohio Dominican, Findlay on Thursday
COLUMBUS, Ohio -- After passing a tough road test at Ashland last Saturday, Ohio Dominican brings the nation's longest winning streak into a Thursday night nationally televised matchup with GLIAC South Division foe Findlay.
The Panthers and Oilers will clash on CBS Sports Network's Thursday Night Football and stream live on NCAA.com, with kickoff slated for 8:06 p.m. from Panther Field.
ODU improved to 6-0 (5-0 GLIAC) after earning a hard-fought 31-19 win at Ashland in the GLIAC's Rivalry Week. The victory stretched ODU's win streak to 11 consecutive games, which is the longest in Division II, and the Panthers moved up to No. 18 in the AFCA Top 25.
ODU jumped out to a 17-6 lead at halftime over Ashland, set up by a pair of big pass plays. First, Mark Miller connected with Dez Stewart on a deep sideline pass for a 53-yard completion, which set up a touchdown pass to Casey Williams in the first quarter.
In the second quarter, Miller hooked up with Ronald McCloud on a 64-yard pass deep down the middle, and the duo connected again on an eight-yard pass for a score to cap the drive.
Mark Nichols scored on a 95-yard kickoff return – the second of his career and the longest return in school history – to give the Panthers a 24-12 lead in the third quarter. After Ashland scored less than a minute into the fourth quarter to make it a 24-19 game, ODU's defense held firm, limiting the Eagles to just one first down the rest of the quarter.
The defense came up with a turnover on downs with 2:28 left in the game, and Miller's third touchdown pass of the afternoon – finding McCloud again –sealed the victory for ODU.
Miller completed 18-of-23 throws for 231 yards, finding McCloud nine times for 126 yards.
The defense, meanwhile, limited Ashland's strong rushing attack to 3.5 yards per carry and just 329 yards of total offense after the Eagles had averaged 345.5 yards rushing and 526.0 yards of total offense in its past two games.
Cody Culbertson matched a career-high with 13 tackles and had a sack andtwo tackles for loss, while Justin Bell also had 13 tackles. The Panthers finished with five sacks and nine tackles for loss and lead the GLIAC with 23 sacks this season.