Special Teams Shines in 28-14 Victory Over Hampton
By ODU Athletics
Oct. 30, 2010
NORFOLK, Va. - The Monarch special teams unit blocked two punts and rushed Pirate punter Jordan Stoval to start a drive on Hampton's own one-yard line all by halftime in ODU's 28-14 win in its 15-mile road trip to Hampton Saturday afternoon.
The win ups ODU's overall mark to 5-3 overall and 6-1 all-time on the road. The Pirates meanwhile drop to 5-3 on the season.
Quarterback Thomas DeMarco (Palm Desert, Calif.) passed for 182 yards and ran for a pair of touchdowns, while Prentice Gill (Los Angles, Calif.) led the receiving corps with 67 yards, seven receptions, and a score.
The Monarchs went up 14-0 within six minutes of the opening whistling, scoring a pair of touchdowns less than a minute apart, in what was a quick scoring opening stanza.
On Hampton's opening drive, the Pirates were forced to punt after being pinned back at their own 15. After the snap, ODU's Deron Mayo (Hampton, Va.) saw the opening and rushed Stoval, forcing the Pirate punter to nick his own teammate on the kick. Mayo recovered the ball and the Monarchs started their drive four yards from the end line.
Two plays later, DeMarco found the end zone and the Monarchs were ahead for good.
On the Pirates' next drive, Old Dominion got a hand on the punt. Stovall's punt from his team's own two-yard line was blocked by Mayo and teammate Colby Goodwyn (Hampton, Va.) recovered for the Monarch touchdown and the 14-0 advantage with just 10:20 on the clock in the game's opening quarter.
Nearly two minutes later Hampton got onto the scoreboard. On ODU's next possession, the Pirates' Darius Johnson forced Goodwyn to fumble and set Hampton up to start its run from the Monarchs' own 12. Antwon Chisholm capped the three play, 55 second drive to pull his squad to within in a touchdown.
Scoring wasn't over for the Monarchs in the first quarter though. DeMarco notched his second touchdown run with 4:07 on the clock as the Monarchs covered 76 yards in the drive for the 21-7 edge.
The Monarchs had the lone score of the second quarter, which was set up by another blocked punt. This time Desmond Williams (Windsor, N.C.) found the hole to stop Stovall's punt and ODU began its third touchdown drive from the Pirates' own nine. This time DeMarco connected on a nine-yard pass to Gill with 6:47 remaining in the first half.
The third quarter was scoreless, however it ended with the Pirates deep into ODU territory as the final play, an 18-yard catch by Javaris Brown, put Hampton at the Monarchs' one-yard line to kick off the final quarter of action.
The Pirate's Steve Robinson recorded the game's final score just seconds into the fourth stanza.
Defensively, the Monarchs were led by Paul Morant (Hampton, Va.) and Ronnie Cameron (Westbury, N.Y.) with eight tackles each. Morant also had a pass break-up, while Cameron registered a pair of QB hurries. ODU also had a pair of interceptions, their first since its William & Mary contest. Devon Simmons (Newport News, Va.) made a 37-yard interception return during Hampton's final drive of the afternoon and Donald Smith (Chesapeake, Va.) had a five-yard return earlier in the day.
The Monarchs return to action next Saturday when they host Savannah State at 2 p.m. at Foreman Field at S.B. Ballard Stadium.
ON THE ROAD:
ODU is now 6-1 on the road in their young history and 3-0 in 2010. In their inaugural sea- son, the Monarchs went 3-1 on the road with wins at Jacksonville (28-27), Savannah State (38- 17), and VMI (42-35). The lone setback away from the friendly confines of Foreman Field at S.B. Ballard Stadium was a 34-29 loss at Fordham. Only one other road game awaits the Monarchs in a return date with North Carolina Central for the 2010 season finale on November 20th.
BLOCK THAT KICK:
Special teams now has 11 blocks to its credit in the last two seasons. Deron Mayo and Desmond Williams both had blocked punts in the 28-14 win over Hampton Saturday. Mayo also had a blocked field goal during the first quarter vs Gardner-Webb to pre- serve ODU's 7-0 lead against the Runnin' Bulldogs. Alex Arain blocked a punt, ODU's first blocked punt, at Monmouth the previous weekend. Chris Burnette has two blocked PATs and Edmon McClam holds an FCS record with five blocked PATs from last season.
The FCS Record for blocked punts in a game 4 -- Montana vs. Montana St., Oct. 31, 1987
Hampton had not had a punt blocked since 2004.
CHANGE OF POSSESSION:
The Monarchs' Donald Smith interception in the second quarter was only the third for the Monarchs this season and the first since Michael Williams' in the September 17th contest with William & Mary. Devon Simmons added the fourth Monarch INT late in the game. His 37-yard return was the second longest in the Monarch record books.
Deron Jasper has other ODU interception on the year from the Monarchs' season opener with now nationally-ranked Jacksonville.
AND WE'RE NUMBER ONE HERE TOO:
The Monarchs entered Saturday's game as the number one team in the nation in kickoff return averaging 26.77 yards per return in the category. ODU had 59 yards against the Pirates led by Colby Goodwyn with a long of 31.
Monarch punter Jonathan Plisco, the nation's leader, totaled 263 yards on six punts. He averaged 43.8 yards per punt with a long of 64.