NEW YORK, NEW YORK: Football Travels To Fordham

September 29, 2009
By ODU Athletics
ODU Sports

Sept. 29, 2009

Game Five
Saturday, October 3rd - 1:00 p.m. (EST)
Jack Coffey Field - Bronx, N.Y.
Old Dominion Monarchs (3-1) vs.
Fordham Rams (0-3)

Complete Game Notes in PDF Format Get Acrobat Reader

Game Day Central

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• Fordham enters the game at 0-3 having given up 40 points or more in their first two games at Rhode Island and at home against Columbia. The Rams lost to Colgate last Saturday, but held the Raiders to just 20 points.

• Rams missed two fg and two PATs last Saturday in looking for their first victory. Fordham has a change to win the game as they were at the Colgate 28 with 10 seconds remaining, but the Rams were unable to get the snap off in time.

• Fordham's passing offense ranked sixth in the country behind John Skelton, the Rams' 6-5, 250-pound quarterback. Skelton is second in the nation in total offense with 346 yards per game. He completed 67 of his 118 pass attempts totaling 935 yards in the air. The senior QB has totaled eight TDs - two on ther ground and six in the air.

• Senior Jason Caldwell leads the receiving corps with 17 receptions and three touchdowns. He is currently averaging 90.3 yards per contest.

• On the run is junior Xavier Martin. Martin's 35 carries has netted him 153 yards this season averaging 51.0 per game. Skelton is second on the stat sheet averaging 33.7 yards per game on his carries.

• Senior Isiejah Allen leads the defense with 29 tackles - 22 solo, 7 assisted. As team, Fordham ranks fourth nationally in tackles for loss averaging just over nine a game. Classmate Darzell Wright leads the Rams in the category with five tackles for loss totaling a loss of 23 yards for the opposition.

• On June 5th, Fordham announced they would begin awarding football scholarships beginning in the fall of 2010. This policy marks the first time that Fordham will award football scholarships since 1954.

The Monarchs aren't dwelling on last Saturday's 31-28 defeat to Monmouth - ODU's first loss of the season. The squad is looking to return to the win column with its second road trip of the season at Fordham.

Freshman wide receiver Nick Mayers (Va. Beach, Va.) started last Saturday's Monmouth contest in place of the injured Marquell Thomas (Va. Beach, Va.). Mayers ran 55 yards on ODU's first drive of the game to give Old Dominion a 7-0 lead over the Hawks the first two minutes into the game.

The Monarchs, who trailed at one point 31-21 last Saturday to Monmouth, almost made its second straight come-from-behind victory. ODU made it a three-point game with just under seven minutes left. Monmouth's Kenny Amsel fumbled a punt return as Marquis Johnson recovered at the Hawk's 15. On the next play, Desmond Williams took off for 15 yards and Hareza's PAT had the Monarchs trailing just 31-28. Monmouth controlled possession the rest of the way however not allowing the ODU offense to return to the field and garner another scoring opportunity.

Kicker Drew Hareza continues to make his PATs having gone 18 for 18.

Quarterback Thomas DeMarco captured over 200 passing yard in a game for the first time this season throwing for 215 yards. His 55-yard pass to Nick Mayers for the Monarchs first touchdown was his longest pass of the season. His 16 completions also tied his season high having also made 16 completions against Jacksonville last weekend.

While September 5th saw a lot of firsts for the Old Dominion football Monarchs, there was another first on Sept. 19 against Jacksonville. The 28-27 thrilling come from behind victory was not only the Monarchs' first road win, but the victory over the Dolphins was also the first ever Division I (FCS) win.

The Monarchs have blocked at least one kick in three of the four games played so far this season - four blocked PAT attempts and a blocked field goal attempt. Edmon McClam (Cowart, S.C.) set an NCAA record with three blocked PATs against Chowan and then had a block of the extra point on Jacksonville's first touchdown, which proved to be crucial as ODU left D.B. Milne field with a one-point victory, 28-27. (See A RECORD SETTING DAY for more on McClam's blocked kicks). Chris Burnette (Randallstown, Md.) captured ODU's other blocked kick thwarting a Virginia Union field goal attempt.

Old Dominion trailed for a majority of Sept. 19th's contest at Jacksonville until its last drive. The Monarchs used a 91-yard, 10-play drive starting from its own nine-yard line with 2:08 remaining in the game. Freshman wide receiver Reid Evans (Hampton, Va.) accounted for four of ODU's first downs getting the Monarchs to the Jacksonville 32. Then quarterback Thomas DeMarco (Palm Desert, Calif.) threw a 32-yard touchdown to Dorian Jackson (Colonial Heights, Va.) to tie the game at 27 all. Drew Hareza (Davidsonville, Md.) connected on his 14th straight PAT to give Old Dominion the lead 28-27 with 45 seconds left. Jacksonville got the ball down to the ODU 35, but a 52-yard field goal attempt went wide to give the Monarchs their third straight win.

Quarterback Thomas DeMarco (Palm Desert, Calif.) currently leads ODU in passing and is second on the squad in rushing. In the air, the redshirt sophomore has completed 56 of his 111 attempts to average 177.8 yards per game along with six touchdowns. He eclipsed the 200-yard passing mark in a game last Saturday with 215 yards against Monmouth. On the ground, he has had 46 carries for a 57.8 yards per rush, just two yards behind rushing leader Mario Crawford (Detroit, Mich.) along with four touchdowns. His 47-yard carry against Jacksonville two weeks ago, which sparked the fourth quarter comeback for the Monarchs was the longest rush of the year for Old Dominion.

Chad King is currently tied for 17th among FCS defenders in tackles for loss. The redshirt sophomore defensive lineman is averaging 1.75 stops behind the line of scrimmage. To date, he has made seven tackles to total a loss of 29 yards for the opposition. He also made a 10-yard sack against the Dolphins two weeks ago.

There may be 11 defenders on the field, but the 12th one is in the stands. Head coach Bobby Wilder wants the ODU fans to be the 12th defender for the team by becoming the loudest when the opponent is on the offense. Thanks to the noise at the stadium the last two Saturdays, the crowd helped the opponent commit 18 penalties at Foreman Field this season.
12th Monarch Stats:
Chowan: Seven Penalties
Virginia Union: Eight Penalties
Monmouth: Three Penalties

Help the Monarchs further its home field advantage by washing Foreman Field at S.B. Ballard Stadium in blue with your very own 12th Monarch T-Shirt available at the ODU University Village Bookstore or at the online store.

Thomas DeMarco (Palm Desert, Calif.) solidified his position at starting quarterback two weeks ago as the redshirt sophomore captured five touchdowns and completed 13 of his 18 attempts for 198 yards. DeMarco carried the ball into the endzone three times against Virginia Union, including the game's first two scores. He ran the ball in for a touchdown in the third quarter, this time crossing the line backwards pushing against a pile of Panther defenders.

The defense put out a potentially momentum changing situation against Virginia Union. After a Monarch pass was intercepted, Virginia Union's return brought gave the Panthers first and goal at the ODU 5. The ODU defense held, however, forcing the Panthers to hit a field goal instead of a touchdown. Rookie defensive back T.J. Cowart (Va. Beach, Va.) broke up a pass in the endzone, classmate Craig Wilkins (Washington, D.C.) allowed Virginia Union to gain only a yard on the next play, and a miss fired pass kept the Panthers from the touchdown.

Captain Craig Wilkins, who was a member of the "fire department" that prevented Virginia Union from penetrating the endzone, finished the game with 10 tackles, including a nine-yard sack, along with a pair of pass break-ups and a 32-yard interception. Wilkins and the defense held the Panthers, who averaged 156 yards on the ground, to just 66 yards in the game. Additionally, the Monarch defenders had six tackles for loss pushing back Virginia Union for a total of 33 yards.

Not only was September 5th a record setting day with the Monarchs playing its first Division I-FCS football game, but it was also a record setting day for sophomore defender Edmon McClam (Coward, S.C.). The 6-6, 260 lbs. defensive lineman set an NCAA Division I record for most blocked PAT's by a single player in a game (FCS or FBS) with three against the Chowan Hawks. The previous FCS record was held by Everette Pedescleaux of Northern Iowa with a pair of blocked extra point attempts against the Delaware Blue Hens on December 1, 2007. Four FBS athletes have blocked two PAT's in a single game (Corey Nelson, Air Force vs. Colorado St., Nov. 11, 2000; Josh Buhl, Kansas St. vs. Syracuse, Dec, 29, 2001; Kareem Bland, Middle Tenn. vs. North Texas, Nov. 23, 2002; Linval Joseph, East Carolina vs. Kentucky, Jan. 2, 2009) but never three. McClam's blocking prowess also ties the FCS record for combined block kicks in a game (includes blocked punts, PATs, FGs). The last time an FCS student-athlete blocked three kicks of any type in one game was Brandon Tinson of Colgate vs. Towson on Sept. 30, 2000 (all three were punts).

Redshirt freshman punter Jonathan Plisco (Newport News, Va.) led the nation in punting averaging 51.25 yards per punt. Plisco totaled 205 yards against the Hawks back on September 5th, with three of his four punts inside the 20. His longest kick was 61 yards. Plisco averaged 41.3 last week with all three of his punts, including his long of 52, going inside the Virginia Union 20. As a team, the Monarchs rank ninth in the nation in the category.

Kicker Drew Hareza (McDonald, Pa.) totaled 18 of the Monarchs' 36 points against Chowan with five field goals and three extra points. His five field goals that went through the uprights in the first two quarters against the Hawks ties the FCS record for field goals in a half (Dean Biasucci, Western Caro. vs. Mars Hill, Sept. 18,1982 (1st); Tony Zendejas, Nevada vs. Northern Ariz., Oct. 16, 1982 (2nd); Ryan Weeks, Tennessee Tech vs. Chattanooga, Sept. 9, 1989 (2nd).) Hareza is currently tied for 10th nationally in field goals.

Should the Monarchs sellout every game this season, Old Dominion could be top five in FCS attendance in the country in its first year of play.

Rank: - School: - Games: - Average:
1.- Appalachian State - 8 - 25,161
2. - Montana - 9 - 23,923
3. - Delaware - 6 - 21,609
4. - Jackson St. - 4 - 21,263
5. - Ga. Southern - 6 - 18,168
6. - N. Dakota St. - 6 - 18,032
7. - Harvard - 5 - 17,360
8. - Southern U. - 4 - 16,323
9. - Tennessee St. - 5 - 15,444
10. - James Madison - 9 - 15,362

STARTING FOOTBALL: Here is a look at schools that have started football programs over the last few years:

School: - FCS/FBS: - Year Started: - Record First Season:
Bryant - FCS - 1998 - 2-5
Campbell - FCS - 2008 - 0-8
Coastal Carolina - FCS - 2003 - 6-5
Jacksonville - FCS - 1998 - 4-5
Robert Morris - FCS - 1994 - 7-1
FIU - FBS - 2002 - 5-6
Florida Atlantic - FBS - 2001 - 4-6
South Florida - FBS - 1997 - 5-6

The following schools are adding football in the next few years:

School: - FCS/FBS: - Conference: - Year Starting:>
Georgia State - FCS - CAA - 2010
Lamar - FCS - Southland - 2010
UT-San Antonio - FCS - Southland - 2011
Charlotte - FCS - TBA - 2013
South Alabama - FCS - Independent - 2012
FBS - Sun Belt - 2013

The Monarchs made history on September 5th when a three-year dream became a reality. On May 31, 2006, the ODU board of visitors voted to add football and 1,293 days later, the Monarchs kicked off its first season of Division I FCS play. ODU has an 11-game schedule, including seven home dates at the $24.8 million renovated Foreman Field at S.B. Ballard Stadium. The schedule is a mix of both D-II and D-I FCS opponents to help the Monarchs transition into not only its first year of football, but also to get ready for entering the Colonial Athletic Association (CAA) in 2011.

Old Dominion last fielded a football team in 1940, back when the school was known as the Norfolk Division of the College of William & Mary. Then known as the Braves, the Norfolk Division had its first football game on Sept. 26, 1930 and was then disbanded in 1940. On June 21, 2005 by a 14-0 vote, the ODU board of visitors approved a plan that would see NCAA Div. I-AA (now known as FCS) football played at a remodeled Foreman Field provided that:
• A consultant's report indicating community support for a program.
• The acquisition of land to meet practice and other athletic needs.
• Pledges of at least $8 million for a football endowment.
All three criteria were met and Old Dominion kicks off today.

Response for Monarch football has been overwhelming:
• 14,377 season tickets sold with season ticket applications made available in Feb. 2008.
• The school had to unfortunately turn away 296 season ticket orders for a total of 1,065 season tickets due to demand.
• The ODU student ticket allotment of just under 4,000 tickets were all distributed in three days. Over 1,200 ODU students were in line when distribution began on Monday, August 24th at 8 a.m. and over 2,500 student tickets were handed out on the first day. By Tuesday night, only approximately 100 student tickets were available.

The Monarchs come home for a pair of games beginning with October 10th match-up with Presbyterian. Game time is at 6:00 p.m.