By: Drake Facione
The Findlay Oilers took on defending G-MAC champions, the Ohio Dominican Panthers, last Saturday at Donnell Stadium. The stakes were high, as it was the NCAA Division II Showcase and the game was broadcasted on ESPN. We saw a great effort from both times, however ODU walked away with the 34-21 victory over the Oilers.
The game started with the Panthers getting an early lead within the first few minutes of the game, as Evan Ernst connected with Cory Contini for a 63-yard touchdown pass to give ODU a 7-0 lead. The rest of the opening quarter was rather dull for both teams, as nobody else could get anything going. At the beginning of the second quarter ODU scored again, this time it was EJ Colson rushing it in. The Panthers scored 2 TDs before the Oilers could get on the board, and Findlay knew they had to try to fight back.
The next score came from the Oilers in the second quarter, when junior running back Richard Wilson ran it in from two yards out. This brought the score to 14-7 with nine minutes remaining in the half. ODU took the ball and put together a 75-yard drive, ending in a Fred Pitts 10-yard run into the end zone. The Panthers went into the half with a 21-7 lead.
Findlay started off the second half strong, putting together a quick 60-yard drive in just under two minutes. This drive ended in another rushing touchdown by Richard Wilson, his second of the game, and brought it back to a one score game. However, ODU made even quicker work of the ball, going 65 yards in four plays in under a minute in a half. This was capped off by a 9-yard pass caught by Wyatt McLeod. The final 11 minutes of the third quarter flew by rather uneventful after the two quick scores by both teams.
The fourth quarter began with a 99-yard drive by ODU, taking it from their one-yard line to the end zone in four minutes and 44 seconds. It was the score that put this game out of reach, as they took a 20-point lead with 13 minutes left to play. Findlay responded by putting up another touchdown drive with six minutes left, when Drew Ogletree caught a 10-yard pass by Rhys Gervais. This was the last score of the game, however, and the final score ended in a 34-21 victory for the Panthers.
Leading for the Oilers offense was Richard Wilson with 159 yards and two touchdowns, along with Rhys Gervais and Drew Ogletree having a touchdown together. Findlay moved the ball well with 30 first downs throughout the game, there just were not enough trips to the end zone. Defensively, Tyler Long led the Oilers defense with 10 tackles. Junior defensive back Myles Ross contributed eight tackles. Justice Jenkins, Isaac Miles, and Grant Kinsinger each had six tackles for the Oilers.
This loss brought the Oilers to 2-2 on the season, after two early season battles with ODU and Ferris State. The Oilers travel to Painesville on Saturday to take on Lake Erie College where the game starts at noon.