ROAD TEST: Monarch Football Travels To Jacksonville
By ODU Athletics
Sept. 14, 2009
Saturday, September 19th - 1:00 p.m. (EST)
D.B. Milne Field - Jacksonville, Fla.
Old Dominion Monarchs (2-0) vs.
Jacksonville Dolphins (1-1)
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(Ted Alexander - Play-by-Play; Andy Mashaw - Color Analyst)
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The Dolphins finished last season at 9-4 overall and placed first in the Pioneer League with a 7-1 overall mark. From that squad, 53 letterwinners return to the field, including 16 starters.
This season, Jacksonville is off to a 1-1 start coming off a 27-0 loss at Samford. The Dolphins opened the 2009 slate with a 40-24 victory at Weber International.
Saturday's game will be the first home game of the 2009 season for the Dolphins. Last year, Jacksonville went 5-0 in the friendly confines of D.B. Milne Field.
Jacksonville is second among all FCS schools in sacks, averaging six per game. Junior defensive lineman Bradley Burns leads the way with a pair totaling a loss of eight yards.
Senior linebacker Allen Fennell also leads the Dolphins with 20 tackles, including 3.5 takedowns for a loss of 14 yards. His younger brother, junior linebacker Joseph Fennell is second on the stat sheet with 17 total tackles, including 11 solo tackles.
Junior running back Rudell Small leads the ground attack with 73.5 yards per carry. In his 34 carries, he has recorded a pair of touchdowns.
Sophomore Josh McGregor is the Dolphins' signal caller. Having completed 19 of 43 passes, he has totaled 377 yards with four touchdowns averaging 188.5 yards per contest.
Look for McGregor to connect with Josh Philpart, Jacksonville's leading receiver. The sophomore wide receiver is averaging 113.5 yards per game having recorded two of the Dolphins' touchdowns from the air this season.
While September 5th saw a lot of firsts for the Old Dominion football Monarchs, there are a number of firsts coming this Saturday against Jacksonville. The game will not only be the first time the Monarchs hit the road, but the Dolphins will also be the Monarchs' first ever Division I (FCS) opponent. It will also be the Monarchs' first game in the afternoon sun having kicked off their first two contests at 6:00 p.m.
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 15 penalties at Foreman Field this season.
12th Monarch Stats:
Chowan: Seven Penalties
Virginia Union: Eight Penalties
TDs FOR TD:
Thomas DeMarco (Palm Desert, Calif.) solidified his position at starting quarterback last Saturday 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 FIRE DEPARTMENT:
The defense put out a potentially momentum changing situation against Virginia Union. After a Monarch interception, 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.
OH CAPTAIN, MY CAPTAIN:
Captain Craig Wilkins, who was a member of the "fire department" that prevented Virginia Union from penetrating the endzone, finished Saturday's 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.
A RECORD SETTING DAY:
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).
IT'S ALL IN THE LEGS:
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 sixth 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. is 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 third nationally in field goals.
TOP IN THE COUNTRY?:
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. - Montanna - 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.
69 YEARS IN THE MAKING:
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.
TOUGHEST TICKET IN TOWN:
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 return home for their third home game of the year hosting Monmouth on Saturday, September 26th at 6:00 p.m.