No. 18/22 Football Drops Heartbreaker to No. 17/23 Towson, 39-35
By ODU Athletics
Oct. 15, 2011
Post-Game Press Conference:
NORFOLK, Va. - Grant Enders hit Tom Ryan on fourth and 29 for a 63-yard touchdown pass to lift Towson over Old Dominion 39-35 in CAA action Saturday evening in Norfolk.
ODU sacked Enders and backup quarterback Peter Athens on conzecutive plays to push the Tigers into third and long, but Enders came back in for fourth down and hit Ryan over the middle, who broke a tackle and just broke the goalline for the touchdown.
The Monarchs hoping to make last second comeback saw Taylor Heinicke's pass intercepted by Frank Beltre to clinch the game for the Tigers.
The loss drops the Monarchs to 5-2 overall and 2-2 in the Colonial Athletic Association Football race. The Tigers improved to 5-1 and 3-0 in the CAA. The game featured the two teams featured in the bottom of the preseason polls which have played their way into national rankings and atop the CAA standings.
ODU took a 35-24 lead at the end of the third quarter. Starting first and 10 at their own four, Heinicke hit Nick Mayers down the left sideline, Mayers ran all the way to the Towson three, where he fumbled and Prentice Gill recovered in the end zone. The 93-yard play is the longest play in school history.
With time running down in the fourth quarter, the Tigers closed the gap when Enders capped a nine play, 75-yard drive with an eight yard run. Leon Kinnard converted a halfback option pass to Mike Evans for the two-point conversion to make the score 35-32 setting up the winning score for Towson.
Terrance West started the scoring in the first quarter for Towson with a 47-yard run.
ODU came right back as Tyree Lee capped a 10-play, 60-yard drive with a three-yard run to knot the score.
West came right back for Towson with a 54-yard score but ODU fought back again with a 64-yarder from Angus Harper to open the second quarter.
ODU gained its first lead of the night when Mayers hauled in a 36-yard TD pass from Heinicke.
D.J. Soven kicked a career-best 47-yard field goal with less than two minutes remaining in the first half to make the halftime score 21-17 in favor of the Monarchs.
In a game of back and forth, Towson got the opening kickoff of the second half and marched 64 yards in eight plays as Enders hit Tyler Wharton for a 26-yard score to regain the lead for the Tigers, but ODU punched right back as the Monarchs drove down the field and a 75-yard scoring drive was finished with a 14-yard pass from Heinicke to Gill for a 28-24 Monarch lead.
With Towson driving near the end of the third quarter, Carvin Powell intercepted Enders at the goalline and advanced the ball to the four to set up Gill's fumble recovery touchdown.
Heinicke finished the day with 360-yards passing on 22-of-37 with three scores and an interception, while Enders was 24-of-37 for 314 yards, throwing two TD's and a pick.
Harper rushed for 68 yards on just six carries for ODU and a touchdown while Terrance West carried 16 times for 151 and two touchdowns for Towson.
Mayers finished the day with seven catches for a career-high 166 yards and a touchdown.
The Football Monarchs return to action next Saturday when they travel to Villanova.
Old Dominion fell to 13-5 all-time and 3-1 this season at Foreman Field at S.B. Ballard Stadium. The Monarchs had won six straight prior to Saturday's loss to the Tigers. Their last loss on home soil was a 50-37 set back to Cal Poly on Oct. 9th last season.
PLAYING THE RANKED TEAMS:
Old Dominion fell to 1-2 against the Top 25 this season and 1-4 all-time versus nationally ranked opponents.
SOME LUCK TO START:
Saturday's game was the first time Towson has lost the coin toss all season.
LONGEST PLAY FROM SCRIMMAGE:
Angus Harpers' 64-yard touchdown run was the longest play from scrimmage in ODU's history. But that record stood just briefly when Nick Mayers had a 93-yard receptions from Taylor Heinicke late in third quarter.
The longest run from scrimmage prior to tonight was a 53-yard run by Colby Goodwyn at Georgia State this season, while the longest pass completion was 62-yards by Thomas DeMarco to Prentice Gill against Cal Poly on Oct 9, 2011. The play was also the longest by a Towson opponent this season.
DOUBLE DIGIT STOPS:
Linebacker Craig Wilkins, who earned CFPA National Linebacker of the Week following his performance last week against Rhode Island, led the Monarchs with double digit tackles for the second time this season. The Washington, D.C. native had six solo and seven assisted tackles for 13 total. Wilkins also had 17 stops against Hampton. He currently leads the Monarchs with 70 total tackles over the course of the Monarchs' seven games this season.
SACK IT TO ME:
The six sacks, led by 2.5 by defensive lineman Ronnie Cameron, recorded by the Monarchs defense were the most this season. Previous high was five against Campbell and then-#20 UMass.
Nick Mayer's 166 receiving yards versus the Tigers is another school record set on Saturday evening. The previous high was 154 yards by Prentice Gill at Monmouth on Sept. 25 of last season.
SCORING AGAINST THE MONARCHS:
Prior to Towson's Terrance West's 47 and 54-yard touchdown runs, the longest scores against Old Dominion this season came from Hampton's Jeremy Jermin as he had a 42-yard fumble recovery and from Delaware on a 32-yard pass.
UPDATING THE NUMBERS - POST TOWSON:
Tyree Lee nabbed his second touchdown run of the year as he tied the game at 7-7....Angus Harper has his fourth touchdown run of the season...Nick Mayers had his fourth touchdown reception of the year and 11th of his career to give the Monarchs the 21-17 lead...Prentice Gill's 14-yard touchdown reception to give ODU a 28-24 lead was his first of the 2011 season...With this 14-yard td reception and fumble recovery in the endzone, he brought his career touchdown total to seven...Carvin Powell has his second interception of the season...