Football Monarchs Fall at #7 Delaware, 27-17
By ODU Athletics
Sept. 24, 2011
Post-Game Press Conference:
NEWARK, Del. -- The Old Dominion Football Monarchs had their eight-game win streak snapped with a 27-17 loss at Delaware in their Colonial Athletic Association debut on Saturday at Tubby Raymond Field at Delaware Stadium.
The Monarchs, who entered Saturday's contest with the nation's longest FCS win streak, fall to 3-1 on the season and 0-1 in the CAA. Old Dominion's last loss was against nationally-ranked Cal Poly back on October 9th, 2010.
The Blue Hens, one of five ranked CAA teams ODU will face during the 2011 campaign, improved to 3-1 overall and 1-0 in CAA play.
Thomas DeMarco finished the afternoon completing 23 of his 46 attempts for 207 yards, with 163 yards coming in the second half of action. DeMarco also made 13 carries for 43 yards, while running back Colby Goodwyn also had 13 carries, racking up 48 yards Reid Evans made eight catches for 80 yards.
Delaware's Tim Donnelly posted 304 yards in the air and two touchdowns for the Blue Hens. Nihja White made seven catches for 117 yards.
The first quarter of CAA Football for the Monarchs was nothing short of exciting.
On Delaware's opening drive and the Blue Hens in Monarch territory at the ODU27, Eriq Lewis forced David Hayes to fumble and return possession back to the Monarchs with Carvin Powell coming up with the ball.
While Old Dominion did not score on its possession, the Monarchs' "All-Star Team", special teams, would end up putting the Monarchs on the board first.
The Blue Hens, who had outscored its opponents at home 35-0 in the first quarter, saw the Monarchs jump out to a 7-0 lead as Chris Lovitt returned a fumble made by the Blue Hen's punt team 18 -yards for a touchdown with 6:39 remaining in the first quarter.
As Delaware made its way downfield on their next drive, the Blue Hens attempted a 48-yard field goal, but the Monarchs' "All-Star Team" added another notch to its blocked kicks tally stopping Sean Baner's kick from going through the uprights and persevering ODU's 7-0 lead.
The momentum was shorted lived however as on the first play of ODU's ensuing drive, Thomas DeMarco's pass was intercepted. Delaware would find the uprights this time and score on a 40-yard field goal as Old Dominion led 7-3 at the end of the first quarter.
Delaware closed their deficit to one with Baner's second field goal of the afternoon, a 39-yard attempt with 9:13 left in the second quarter. Then as the second quarter was coming to close Nihja White capped of a 11-play, 64-yard-drive to put Delaware ahead 13-7 into the half.
The Blue Hens had a chance to add to the lead in the early minutes of the third quarter, however Baner's 25-yard attempt went wide right.
The Monarchs' followed by connecting on a field goal as Jarod Brown's attempt from 20-yards out was good and improved his mark to 6-of-6 for the year in field goals.
Baner had another crack at the uprights, as Delaware capitalizing a an ODU fumble at their own 20 in the closing seconds of the third quarter. With the drive continuing into the fourth quarter, Baner this time connected on a 20-yard attempt extending Delaware's lead to 16-10 entering the final quarter of play.
On the next drive, Old Dominion wasn't able to find its way past its own 23 and brought the punt team to the field. Plisco, who averaged 48.6 yards per punt in the game, ran the ball instead and continued the ODU drive. Back-to-back passes to Reid Evans , one 12-yards and another 28-yards, helped flip the field setting up freshman Antonio Vaughan for nine-yard reception, his second of the season.
Delaware punched right back though with a 60-kickoff return and followed with a Rob Jones 32-yard reception in the end zone. The Blue Hens made the two-point conversion and went ahead 24-17 with less than 10 minutes left in the game.
Old Dominion was four and out on its next drive and despite being able to move the chains twice on their next drive, the Monarchs were unable to get into Blue Hen territory.
Baner added a 43-yard field goal for Delaware in the closing minute for the final 27-17 margin.
The Old Dominion Football Monarchs return to action in their first home CAA Football contest when they host UMass on Saturday, October 1st at 7:00 p.m. The game with the Minutemen will be aired on Cox Ch. 11 (Hampton Roads), Cox Northern Virginia, and Cox Roanoke. Check your local listings.
FUMBLE TO POINTS:
Chris Lovitt's fumble recovery was his first and only the Monarchs' second fumble recovery has led to a touchdown. Marquis Johnson had a fumble recovery that led to a score in ODU's loss at Fordham in 2009 recovering the ball in the end zone following a punt by the Rams.
BLOCK THAT KICK:
They just keep coming. Old Dominion has now registered 16 blocks over the last three years.
BACK IN BLACK:
Check out Big Blue's video about next week's game.