Rams to see an offensive-minded Ohio Dominican
SHEPHERDSTOWN — This summer has been a learning experience for the Shepherd followers waiting to see what the Pennsylvania State Athletic Conference will have to offer.
But when the food and beverages are being joyfully consumed on Sept. 7 at the tailgate gatherings and under the shade-throwing pavilion, it won’t be a PSAC team aiming its high-scoring offense at the scoreboard above the Boone facility.
Giving the answers to some of the questions on the lips of those followers, will be Ohio Dominican, a team from Columbus that went on a prolonged winning streak at the close of the 2018 season to finish at 9-2.
The Panthers and their experienced offense play in the Great Midwest Conference, an eight-team league where Hillsdale (Michigan) and Findlay (Ohio) are the other kingpins.
The followers might remember Findlay, the team that pushed Shepherd out of the Division II playoffs in 2017. It was then-coach Monte Cater’s last game.
Ohio Dominican scored 40.5 points a game last season and added 438 yards of total offense each time it played. The Panthers allowed 371 yards of total offense and 20 points in their 11-game season.
There is simply a wealth of experience surrounding Ohio Dominican’s offense. Quarterback Evan Ernst completed 75 percent of his 263 passes and suffered only seven interceptions. Ernst threw 28 touchdown passes last season as a redshirt freshman.
Running backs EJ Colson and Fred Pitts were also effective. Colson rushed for 781 yards, had a 5.0 yards per carry average and scored 10 times. Pitts is now a junior and he averaged 5.4 yards per carry, gaining 433 yards and adding three scores.
The receiving corps shows David Turner with 76 receptions a year ago, good for 733 yards and four touchdowns. Devanaire Conliffe had 36 catches and seven scores and Cedric Washington had 28 receptions and three touchdowns.
Ohio Dominican expects to score, and score often. If its opponent can sting it with touchdowns and points of their own, then the Panthers expect to win any shootout where points are sprayed all over the field.
This isn’t a PSAC game.
But the Panthers will still be able to give the followers an impression of what life will be in the new league when Saturday’s are filled with West Chester, Kutztown, Shippensburg, Mercyhurst and Bloomsburg.