Football Falls 31-28 To Monmouth
By ODU Athletics
Sept. 26, 2009
NORFOLK, Va. - The Old Dominion football team dropped its first game of the 2009 with a 31-28 setback to Monmouth Saturday night in Foreman Field at S.B. Ballard Stadium's third sellout.
The loss was the Monarchs' first, as the squad fell to 3-1 on the year. Meanwhile, the Hawks, playing in their final non-conference contest, upped their mark to 2-2 overall.
Monmouth's David Sinisi, the nation's active leader in rushing touchdowns, had a pair of touchdown runs to go with his career-high 41 carries and season-high 216 yards. Sinisi and crew were also able to punch through on third down converting 11 of 16 attempts.
Old Dominion started the game off with bang. Within the first three minutes of the game, the Monarchs had a pair of touchdowns and the quick 14-0 lead.
Nick Mayers (Va. Beach, Va.) ran 55 yards on ODU's first drive of the game. Mayers started in place of the injured Marquell Thomas (Va. Beach, Va.), who missed his second straight contest with a knee injury. A minute later, Carlos Davis (Ft. Washington, Md.) then leaped over the end zone corner on Thomas DeMarco's (Palm Desert, Calif.) fifth touchdown pass of the year.
Sinisi drove in career touchdown number 56 for the Hawks' first score of the evening. Sinisi's eight-yard run brought the score to 14-7 with 9:34 remaining in the first quarter.
Monmouth scored again midway through the second quarter to send the game into the intermission tied at 14-14. With Old Dominion at the Hawks' 18-yard line on fourth and sixth, kicker Drew Hareza (McDonald, Pa.) came off the sideline to attempt a field goal. The snap was throw past Hareza's grip, but he was able to gain possesion of the ball. Under pressure from the Monmouth defense, he looked to get rid of the ball, but Hareza's pass found its way into the hands of Monmouth's Joe Valenti for an 11-yard interception return.
On the ensuing drive, Sinisi ran the ball on six of the Hawks' eight plays for 32 yards en-route to capturing his second touchdown run and career TD number 57 with 7:36 left in the opening half.
Monmouth took the lead at the 10:25 mark of the third quarter. Jake Delvento's 31-yard field goal gave the Hawks the 17-14 advantage.'
Two drives later, the Monarchs would only need three plays to regain the lead. DeMarco's nine-yard rush for his fifth touchdown run of the year capped the 49-yard drive. Starting at the the Hawks' 39, DeMarco started with a 27-yard pass to James Edwards (Va. Beach, Va.) followed by Mario Crawford (Detroit, Mich.) heading another 13 yards downfield to inside the Monmouth 10. DeMarco then crossed the end line on the third and final play of the drive that from start to finish too just 46 seconds.
Before the quarter would end though the Hawks would go ahead for good. With just a over a minute left in the third, the Monmouth offense tossed the ball over a pack of players for an Kyle Frazier in the endzone for 32-yard interception.
The Hawks opened the fourth quarter with the ball and Tyler George then upped the score to 31-21 for Monmouth with 10:10 remaining in the contest. Working their way in from thier own 12-yard line, the Hawks used nine plays over 88 yards with George catching an eight-yard pass from Sinisi for the 10-point edge.
The Monarchs simply did not sit back though and made it a three-point game with just under seven minutes left. Monmouth's Kenny Amsel fumbled a punt return as Marquis Johnson recovered at the Hawk's 15. On the next play, Desmond Williams took off for 15 yards and Hareza's PAT had the Monarchs trailing just 31-28.
Monmouth controled possession the rest of the way however as the Monarchs were unable to garner another scoring opportunity.
DeMarco finished the game with a season-high 215 yards completing 16 of his 25 passes. Frazier meanwhile connected on 14 of his 19 attempts for 138 yards for the Hawks.
Sinisi accounted for 216 of the Hawks 259 yards on the ground. Crawford led the Monarchs with nine carries and 64 yards.
Reid Evans (Hampton, Va.) led the Monarch receiving coprs with five receptions and 71 yards. Mayers, who had ODU's first touchdown of the night, had three catches for 81 yards. Giles led the Hawks with 47 yards on four catches.
The Monarchs hit the road next weekend. They travel to Fordham on Saturday, October 3rd for a 1:00 p.m. kick.
Kicker Drew Hareza continues to make his PATs having gone 18 for 18.
THE LONGEST YARD: Quarterback Thomas DeMarco captured over 200 passing yard in a game for the first time this season throwing for 215 yards. His 55-yard pass to Nick Mayers for the Monarchs first touchdown was his longest pass of the season. His 16 completions also tied his season high having also made 16 completions against Jacksonville last weekend.
BACK YOU GO:
Edmon McClam may not have blocked a kick this week, but the redshirt sophomore defensive lineman recorded a 15-yard sack for the Monarchs.
Punter Jonathan Plisco accumulated 305 yards on seven punts Saturday night. He averaged 43.6 yards per punt with four of his seven reaching the inside of the Hawks' 20. He recorded a 60-yard punt, one yard shy of tying his career mark.
WORKING ON PUSHING THROUGH ON THIRD:
The Monarchs will look to improve on their third down performace in the upcoming week. ODU moved ahead on just three of its 14 times on third down.