Ray Lawry
Ray Lawry
Rick Voight

Old Dominion Football Defeats Norfolk State, 24-10

September 12, 2015
By ODU Athletics

NORFOLK, Va. – Despite suffering a lightning delay totaling one hour and 22 minutes, the Old Dominion Monarchs defeated Norfolk State, 24-10, on Saturday night at Foreman Field at S.B. Ballard Stadium.

Ray Lawry rushed for 215 yards on a school record 31 carries as the Monarch defense pitched a second half shutout of Norfolk State, scoring the final 17 points of the game.

Leading 14-10 late in the third quarter, ODU drove 64 yards in seven plays, the big play a 25-yard pass from Shuler Bentley to Vincent Lowe, as Kesean Strong dove in from two yards out to score the first touchdown of his career and give Old Dominion a 21-10 advantage.

ODU made the lead 24-10 midway through the fourth quarter with a 25-yard field goal by Ricky Segers. The big play of the drive was a 47-yard run from Lawry.

The following drive Norfolk State drove to the ODU two, but Oshane Ximines stood up Gerard Johnson, allowing Kohl Adams-Hurd to force a fumble that Marvin Branch recovered. The Monarchs ran out the clock to finish the game.

ODU got on the board first in the opening quarter with a nine play, 72-yard drive capped off by a four-yard run by Ray Lawry. All nine plays were run plays, including three for 35 yards for Zach Pascal. Norfolk State countered with 10 unanswered points in the first 1:36 of the second quarter to take the lead from the Monarchs (10-7). Cameron Marouf put NSU on the board after converting on a 27-yard field goal attempt, while Hadji Gaylord scored the only NSU touchdown of the game after blocking a punt that he then recovered and ran 32 yards for the score.

The Monarchs regained the lead that they would never relinquish at the end of the quarter after Lawry powered through a defender at the one yard line to score for the second time. ODU would enter halftime with a 14-10 lead over Norfolk State.

Shuler Bentley went 12-for-22 for 122 yards and threw one interception. Lawry had another stand out game on the ground, rushing for 215 yards and two touchdowns. Vincent Lowe led ODU’s receivers with four catches for 41 yards. Aaron Young recorded seven tackles, including five unassisted, while Justice Davila and TJ Ricks each had five tackles.

Greg Hankerson went 16-for-36 for 163 yards, with his longest pass being 51 yards. Quinta Funderburk led all receivers with six receptions for 92 yards, while Hankerson tallied 78 yards to lead NSU in rushing. Deon King paced the defense with 21 tackles.

Game Notes – The game start was delayed until 7:23 p.m. due to lightning … Halftime was one hour and 12 minutes due to a lghtning delay ... Game captains were TJ Ricks, Fellonte Misher, Bunmi Rotimi and Tyler Compton … Zach Pascal’s 16 yard run to open the game was the first carry of his career … Ray Lawry rushed for 106 yards in the first half for the Monarchs … Kesean Strong’s third quarter touchdown was the first of his career … The 215 yards for Lawry is the third most in school history ... His back-to-back 200-yard rushing games puts him at 438 for the season, the highest two-game total in school history ... Denzel Williams, Pat Toal and Devon Brown saw their first action for the Monarchs ... The 12 completions for ODU is the third fewest in school history and fewest since seven completions against Georgetown in 2009 ... ODU's 59 rushing attempts is a school record ... The 338 rushing yards is just two shy of the scool record set against Georgetown in 2009 ... The nine pass breakups is tied for the second most in school history.

Old Dominion Head Coach Bobby Wilder Postgame Quotes

On his team’s performance
“I’m really proud of our guys. We had to deal with some adversity tonight with the weather. They handled it well. I really like our team from that standpoint. Things don’t seem to bother them. They just want to play. We’re young and we showed our youth with a lot of things that happened tonight. Overall, I’m really excited to get this win and I think the story of the night was the defense.”

On the defense
“I thought the defense was just phenomenal, particularly with their backs consistently against the wall. No bigger play than after [Quinta] Funderburk got the ball down to the two yard line. There were two play of the games that happened back-to-back. The first was Justice Davila tracking him down and knocking him out at the two. That’s a play everyone forgets. If he doesn’t haul his tail from the other side of the field and make that play, it’s a one-score game. Then, obviously, the play to rip the ball out from Gerard Johnson. Then, the third play you can add on to it is the next play, Zach Pascal goes 16 or 17 yards. All of those things happened one-two-three and that was the ballgame. Those three plays were the football game.”

On the running backs
“We have to keep developing the guys behind him [Ray Lawry]. We have two true freshmen behind him. Ray Lawry is a true sophomore and he’s the veteran of our running backs. We saw some really good things from Kesean Strong. He showed some explosiveness tonight, which we had seen in camp. We have a battle right now for the backup running back spot. Three running backs are going to play. We have to play three.”

On Zach Pascal in the run game
“That’s something we put in this week. We’ll continue to add to that package. We’ll get better offensively if we can find ways to run plays that either Ray [Lawry] has the ball or it looks like Ray has the ball.”

On the fans
“I pointed it out to our players. When they first came out, they were looking around like where is everybody. I had to explain to them that, for safety reasons, people had to exit the stadium. Once they showed up, it was really inspiring. It speaks to why I think we have the best fans in the country.”

On Norfolk State
“I think they’re going to be a good football team. I said it last week about Eastern Michigan, I thought they were much improved. They’re going to be okay, if they can weather this early storm. Deon King, I said going into this, I thought is one of the best linebackers in the country.”

On N.C. State next week
“They’re excited. They understand the magnitude of this game and what it means. I think the atmosphere will be absolutely electric here and I think the crowd will rise to the occasion.”

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