Upon its return to Port Columbus from an NCAA Division II quarterfinal in the wee hours of Sunday morning, Ohio Dominican will have logged approximately 6,000 miles by air and road in the past four weeks.

Upon its return to Port Columbus from an NCAA Division II quarterfinal in the wee hours of Sunday morning, Ohio Dominican will have logged approximately 6,000 miles by air and road in the past four weeks.

Coach Bill Conley cracked that the university does not have a class that teaches students how to pack a suitcase.

Redshirt freshman linebacker Cameron Kohl of Hilliard Darby isn't complaining about scouring the dresser and closet in his dorm room for clean clothes.

"We're branching out," Kohl said. "It's an adventure. It's a lot of fun, actually. Most of the guys on the team haven't been to Colorado before. Now, we're going twice."

Conley was more precise.

"Before this, we had guys who hadn't been on a plane," he said.

The Panthers will play Colorado State-Pueblo, which is second-seeded in Super Region 4, for a spot in the national semifinals.

The ThunderWolves are limiting opponents to 13.1 points and 291.2 yards per game, and have game-changers in quarterback Chris Bonner and tailback Cameron McDondle. Bonner has thrown for 2,771 yards and 26 touchdowns. McDondle has run for 1,722 yards and 15 touchdowns.

But the Panthers are confident and on a high coming off a 46-33 victory over Ferris State in Big Rapids, Mich. The Bulldogs defeated ODU during the regular season and won the Great Lakes Intercollegiate Athletic Conference championship.

"That victory was special," Conley said. "We had so many guys step up and play well. Now, we're playing another exceptional team in terms of offense and defense. They will be the best we've seen."

Kohl said the toughest team will win.

"They are a power team and try to kick your butt," he said. "It's going to be a man's game up front."

Ohio Dominican played at Tiffin in a must-win situation the final game of the regular season to make the playoffs. Then it defeated Colorado Mines and Ferris State on the road in its first two postseason games.

"What pumps us up is hearing the cheers going against us when we're on the road," Kohl said.

Ohio Dominican plays at atColorado State-Pueblo at 2 p.m. Saturday.

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mznidar@dispatch.com

@MarkZnidar