NEW KIDS ON THE BLOCK: Football Hosts Campbell

October 13, 2009
By ODU Athletics
ODU Sports

Oct. 13, 2009

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Game Seven
Saturday, October 17th - 6:00 p.m. (EST)
Foreman Field at S.B. Ballard Stadium - Norfolk, Va.
Old Dominion Monarchs (4-2) vs.
Campbell Fighting Camels (1-4)

Game Day Central

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SATURDAY, OCT. 17th - What's Going On:
2 p.m. - Parking lots open for football game
3 p.m. - Kaufman Mall opens for activities including alumni tent, student tent, athletic promotions tent, live music, food and beverages for sale
3:40 p.m. - Monarch March - ODU football team walks through Kaufman Mall en route to stadium
4 p.m. - Monarch Maniacs admitted to stadium
4:30 p.m. - Stadium gates open
5:15 p.m. - Marching Monarchs, cheerleaders, dance team and Big Blue perform on Kaufman Mall and then march into stadium
5:40 p.m. - Marching Monarchs pre-game performance in stadium
6:00 p.m. - Kick-off - Old Dominion vs. Campbell
Post Game - "5th quarter" - Marching Monarchs performance in stadium Parking lots close 90 minutes after the game.


• Campbell enters Foreman Field with a 1-4 mark in 2009 and 2-14 mark since restarting up its football program last season. Campbell opened up the season with a victory against Methodist, but has since dropped its last four games, including three conference contests.

• The Fighting Camels are members of the Pioneer League, which includes Jacksonville, ODU's first FCS opponent. The two teams will not meet until the final game of the 2009 season.

• The Camels have a pair of quarterbacks in redshirt juniors Daniel Polk and Matt Vollono. Polk has started all five games completing 40 of his 88 passes averaging 101.4 yards per game in the air. He has with a pair of touchdowns and three interceptions. Vollono, meanwhile has connected on 13 of his 19 attempts, including four touchdowns. Vollono is averaging 62.2 yards passing per contest and has thrown for a pair of interceptions.

• The ground attack is led by redshirt sophomore CJ Oates, sophomore Rashuan Brown, quarterback Daniel Polk, and redshirt sophomore Carl Smith. Oates leads the crew with 50 carries for 58.8 yards rushing per game.

• On the receiving side of the ball, redshirt junior tight end Mike Stryffeller has made 10 receptions for an average of 21.6 yards per catch. Meanwhile, redshirt sophomores Harrison Jordan and sophomore Paul Constantine are averaging 30.0 and 32.4 yards respectively in receiving, each with a pair of touchdowns.

• In trying to stop the Monarchs from advancing the ball, look for Lee Stanley, the Camel's tackle leader with 46 total stops. Milton Brown has 37 tackles on the year and is among the leaders on the Campbell defense in tackles for loss with three. He is followed by Cody Lyon with 35 takedowns, including 21 solo stops

Old Dominion is currently ranked 2nd in the nation in turnover margin, just behind fourth-ranked New Hampshire. The Monarchs have created 23 turnovers through its first six games of the season, while committing just nine. "Turnovers tell you who is going to win the game," notes head coach Bobby Wilder. "They control momentum. They control field position. I think that's the number one reason why we are 4-2 right now. We are taking advantage of turnovers and we are creating turnovers. To me that has been the biggest difference."

Two of the newest members of Division I FCS football square off on Saturday. The Campbell Camels started up their program in 2008. Like Old Dominion, Campbell's program is a rebirth of football at the university as the school first fielded a varsity football team in 1925 and did so until 1950, except for 1940-45 during World War II. The 1929 squad won Campbell's first-ever state championship while posting a 5-2-1 record and won won a state junior college championship again in 1932. After World War II interrupted many sporting events nationwide from 1940-45, Campbell won three-consecutive North Carolina Junior College Championships from 1946-48 under the direction of Coach Earl Smith.The 1947 team defeated South Georgia 47-6 to win the Eastern United States Junior College Championship. One year later in 1948, Campbell again won the N.C. title, but fell to South Georgia 26-19 in the Eastern U.S. championship. With the on-set of the Korean Conflict and the movement of many North Carolina schools to senior college status in the 1950s, Campbell dropped its varsity football program after the 1950 season. The school announced its plans for its current football program on April 7, 2006 and played its first game last season joining the Pioneer League.

Chris Burnette (Randallstown, Md.) suffered a broken hand in the second play of the game in last Saturday's game against Presbyterian, but that certainly didn't stop him. Burnette reached up with his broken hand that had been casted and blocked a Blue Hose extra point - the Monarch's seventh blocked kick of the year and Burrnette's second of the season.

Quarterback Thomas DeMarco (Palm Desert, Calif.) led the Monarchs in rushing yardage for the second time this season and also gained over 100 yards on the ground for the second time this season in the victory over Presbyterian. DeMarco recorded 108 yards against the Blue Hoes and had run for 136 yards against Jacksonville back on September 19th in ODU's first road game and first FCS contest. DeMarco capped off the ODU second-half scoring barrage against the Blue Hose taking the Monarchs all the way down field on all five plays of the drive. The redshirt sophomore carried the ball all 49 yards of the drive capped by a 27-yard dash into the end zone. DeMarco currently leads the team in carries with 383 total yards averaging 63.7 yards per game on the ground. Additionally, seven of his 18 touchdowns has come from his ground attack.

The Monarchs had four interceptions in their last game - Devon Simmons (Va. Beach, Va.), Mychael McJunkins (Kansas City, Kan.), Markell Wilkins (Hampton, Va.), and Craig Wilkins (Va. Beach, Va.) - the most interceptions ODU has recorded to date. On the year, Wilkins and Simmons lead the Monarchs with three interceptions apiece.

Junior linebacker Mychael McJunkins (Kansas City, Kan.) has led the Monarchs in tackles in four of ODU's six game so far. For the second straight game, McJunkins has made nine stops. Against Presbyterian, all nine of his stops were solo tackles, the most solo tackles by a Monarch to date.

Kicker Drew Hareza's (McDonald, Pa.) PAT streak stopped last Saturday. After making his first 24 extra points, the Blue Hose blocked Hareza's PAT attempt following Desmond Williams' nine yard TD run. Hareza has converted 25 of his 26 attempts on the year.

And no, we're not talking about the howitzer you hear being shot off before the Monarchs run onto Foreman Field. Old Dominion has scored on the first drive of nearly in four of its games thus far - and nearly made it five last weekend. After receiving the opening kickoff, the Monarchs took the ball down to the Presbyterian four-yard line and nearly punched through for the touchdown. Unfortunately, the Monarchs fumbled the ball and the Blue Hose recovered making it the first home game ODU did not score on its opening drive.

Edmon McClam (Cowart, S.C.) blocked his fifth PAT of the season in the October 3rd contest at Fordham. The block became a new FCS record for blocked PATs in a season replacing the previous mark of four set by both Tim Hauck of Montana in 1988 and Ed Groszewski of Cornell in 1991. The record for blocked PATs in a career is seven held by the Grizzlies' Hauck. McClam also holds the FCS record for blocked PATs in a game having thwarted three Chowan extra point attempts in the season opener back on September 5th.

The Monarchs made the most of Ram fumbles back on October 3rd. Mychael McJunkins (Kansas City, Kan.) recovered a fumble that led to a Monarch touchdown by Nick Mayers (Va. Beach, Va.) in the third quarter. A.T. Aoeula (Pago, Pago, American Samoa) forced a fumble that was recovered by T.J. Cowart (Va. Beach, Va.) later in the quarter that almost lead to another score when the Monarchs returned to the field on offense. Unfortunately, the ball slipped out of the hands of intended receiver Reid Evans, who looked like he was off and running to cross the endline. Marquis Johnson (San Diego, Calif.) posted the third fumble recovery of the day and the second leading to a touchdown as he recovered in the endzone for the score. Ten different members of the ODU defense have posted fumble recoveries this season.

Nick Mayers (Va. Beach, Va.) became the first Monarch to have more than one touchdown reception in a game this season in ODU's game at Fordham on October 3rd. The redshirt freshman made a 25-yard catch in the first minute and a half against the Rams, the second straight game he made a touchdown catch in the opening minutes of a contest. Mayers also recorded a 29-yard reception midway through the third quarter helping ODU spark its third straight come-from-behind contest. The wide receiver then caught the two-point conversion from quarterback Thomas DeMarco to kick-off the fourth quarter scoring for the Monarchs. Three weeks ago, Mayers earned a spot in the starting line-up against Monmouth, starting in place of the injured Marquell Thomas (Va. Beach, Va.). Mayers had a 55-yard catch on ODU's first drive of the game against the Hawks to give Old Dominion a 7-0 lead in the first two minutes of the game.

Mario Crawford's (Detroit, Mich.) 52-yard run against Fordham on October 3rd, one of his six carries on the afternoon, is ODU's longest rush of the season. Crawford was leading the ground crew before suffering a shoulder injury. He is currently second on the stat sheet in rushing running the ball an average of 53.0 yardss per game

Freshman wide receiver Nick Mayers (Va. Beach, Va.) started September 26th'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 are 1-2 in making the fourth quarter comeback this season.

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.

The Monarchs, who trailed at one point 31-21 on September 26th 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 (San Diego, Calif.) recovered at the Hawk's 15. On the next play, Desmond Williams (Windsor, N.C.) 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.

The Monarchs for the third straight game made a fourth quarter comeback, but fell just short. Old Dominion trailed 25-7 at the tail end of the third quarter Nick Mayers (Va. Beach, Va.) caught a 29-yard pass with 5:47 left in the quarter, the Monarchs' first points since Mayers first touchdown catch in the early moments of the game, to head into the fourth quarter trailing 25-14. The Monarchs dodged a bullet a Fordham field goal attempt went right on the second drive of the final quarter, but the Monarchs were unable to move further than their own 40 when they returned to the field on offense. Kicker Jonathan Plisco (Newport News, Va.) punted the ball to the Fordham backfield where the Rams' Asa Lucas fumbled the ball. As the ball skipped further and further back, ODU's Marquis Johnson (San Diego, Calif.) recovered the ball in the end zone for a touchdown. The Monarchs then completed the two-point conversion to cut the Monarch deficit to a field goal, 25-22, with 10:45 remaining in the game. Although Fordham was able to hit a field goal on the next drive, it was Old Dominion going the distance when they got the ball back to regain the lead. Carlos Davis (Ft. Washington, Md.) caught a 17-yard pass from DeMarco and Drew Hareza (McDonald, Md.) upped his mark to 21-of-21 on PATs to give Old Dominion the 29-28 lead with 3:06 remaining. The lead, unfortunately, only lasted for a minute. The Rams quickly went down field on the ensuing drive. Although Fordham, who went for the two-point conversion and failed, reclaimed the lead with 1:50 left at 34-29. Old Dominion got to the Fordham 45 on its final drive, but a fumble gave possession back to the Rams with 51 seconds remaining to hold for the win.

The Monarchs have blocked at least one kick in five of the six games played so far this season - five blocked PAT attempts and a pair of 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. McClam blocked his fifth PAT of the season at Fordham to set an FCS season record. (See OOPS...I DID IT AGAIN & RECORD SETTING DAY for more on McClam's blocked kicks). Chris Burnette (Randallstown, Md.) captured ODU's two other blocked kicks thwarting field goal attempt against Virginia Union and Presbyterian.

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.

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 22 penalties at Foreman Field this season.
12th Monarch Stats:
Chowan: Seven Penalties
Virginia Union: Eight Penalties
Monmouth: Three Penalties
Presbyterian: Four 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 Saturday's game, the ODU University Village Bookstore, or at the online store.

Thomas DeMarco (Palm Desert, Calif.) solidified his position at starting quarterback in the second game of the season 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. To date, DeMarco has 18 touchdowns to his name, 11 from the air and another seven running the ball himself into the end zone.

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 after game number one. Plisco totaled 205 yards against the Hawks back on September 5th, with three of his four punts inside the 20. To date, Plisco ranks fourth in the nation in the category at 45.0 yards per punt.

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. So far, the Monarchs have sold out their first four games at Foreman Field at S.B. Ballard Stadium.

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

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 - 1-10
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 hit the road for the third time in 2009. Old Dominion meets up with Savannah State, a fellow FCS Independent.