Huge Second Half Propels Monarchs Over James Madison, 38-28

November 17, 2012
By ODU Athletics
ODU Sports

Nov. 17, 2012

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Post-Game Recap:

Post-Game Press Conference:

HARRISONBURG, Va. - Taylor Heinicke threw for 357 and four second half touchdowns as Old Dominion University football scored 28 second half points to come back from a 21-10 halftime deficit to defeat James Madison 38-28 Saturday night in Harrisonburg.

Old Dominion improves to 10-1 overall and 7-1 in the CAA, and stands alone atop the conference standings. With his 357 passing yards, Heinicke finished the regular season with 4,158 yards, ranking him 13th on the single-season passing yards list in FCS history.

After gaining just 117 yards at halftime and trailing 21-10, ODU exploded for 21 points in the second half.

The Monarchs completed a four play, 41-yard drive in just 1:23 to close the gap to 21-17 on a Heinicke to Nick Mayers nine-yard score.

Justin Thorpe recorded his third rushing TD of the night, this a five-yard run, to put the Dukes on top 28-17, but Old Dominion bounced right back with a quick strike from Heinicke to Vaughan to make the score 28-24. This was the play Heinicke went over 4,000 yards on the year.

ODU took the lead and never gave it back just four minutes later, when after another defensive stop, Heinicke hit Larry Pinkard down the seam for 17 yards and a 31-28 lead for ODU.

The Monarchs capped the scoring with a 50-yard drive that took just 1:50 as Heinicke hit Mayers for another nine-yard score to make the score 38-28.

Old Dominion finishes atop the CAA with a 7-1 mark, but is ineligible for the leagues automatic bid.

James Madison took the opening drive 73 yards in 13 plays to take a 7-0 lead capped off with a nine-yard run from Thorpe.

The Monarchs also put points on the board with their opening drive, using a 43-yard kickoff return from Aaron Evans and a 19-yard pass from Heinicke to Tyree Lee to help set up a 47-yard field goal from Jarod Brown.

Thorpe added his second rushing touchdown of the day to give JMU a 14-3 lead, going in from a yard out. He had the big play in the drive with a 45-yard run to get the Dukes to the ODU 15.

Colby Goodwyn pulled the Monarchs back to within four as he capped off an eight play, 48-yard drive with a five yard run up the middle to make the score 14-10.

James Madison struck back quickly with a 50-yard pass from Thorpe to Dae'Quan Scott. Scott wheeled out of the left side of the backfield and Thorpe hit him in stride down the left sideline for the score.

Heinicke finished the day 32-of-45 through the air for 357 yards and four touchdowns. Vaughan caught 10 passes for 123 yards and a score while Tyree Lee caught a career-high seven passes with Blair Roberts grabbing six for 82 yards.

Thorpe ran for 85 yards on 26 carries and his three touchdowns was a career-best. He also was 10-of-17 passing for 155 yards.

DeAndre' Smith caught four passes for 47 yards while Scott had three passes for 68 yards.

Caleb Taylor and Paul Morant each had a game-high 11 tackles, while Taylor and Craig Wilkins had 1.5 sacks. Chris Burnette, Alex Johnson and Erik Saylor all recorded sacks.

The Monarchs will watch the NCAA FCS Selection show tomorrow at 1:30 p.m. at the Sheraton Norfolk Waterside.

Notes -
Senior offensive lineman Brandon Carr was the game captain.

Colby Goodwyn scored his fifth TD of the year and first since the Richmond game.

Nick Mayers caught his 12th and 13th TD's of the year.

Taylor Heinicke threw four TD's and now has 35 for the season. He leads the nation in TD passes.

This is the fifth time Heinicke has thrown four or more TD passes in a game this season.

With his 59-yard TD to Antonio Vaughan, Heinicke became the 18th QB in FCS history to throw for 4,000 in a season.

Caleb Taylor and Paul Morant both finished with a career-high 11 tackles.

ODU finishes 7-1 in the CAA and finishes in first place in the CAA. The Monarchs are ineligible to receive the leagues automatic bid to the playoffs. With four teams tied at 6-2, Villanova will get the CAA's automatic bid to the FCS playoffs.