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Old Dominion Suffers Season Opener Loss To Jacksonville, 35-25

Courtesy: ODU Athletics
         
Release: September 04, 2010
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Sept. 4, 2010

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NORFOLK, Va. (AP) -Old Dominion quarterback Thomas DeMarco (Palm Desert, Calif.) was 22 of 40 for a career-high 334 yards and two touchdowns. DeMarco added another score on the ground after a 1-yard run, but three interceptions - two in the endzone - prevented the Monarchs from cutting into Jacksonville's lead.

Just like how the Monarchs started last in year in a number of games, ODU struck on the first drive. Drew Hareza (McDonald, Pa.) sailed the ball through the uprights on a 24-yard kick capping an opening 13-play, 66-yard drive to give the Monarchs the early 3-0 lead.

Back-to-back touchdowns by Jacksonville however saw the Dolphins take control of the lead for good and the Monarchs trying to be the "Comeback Kids" for the second straight time against their opponent from Florida.

Chris Kuck had a four-yard catch with 10:44 on the clock and on their next possession the Dolphins had the 14-3 edge. The second scoring drive for Jacksonville had the Dolphins backed up to their own 12, but that's when last year's leading rusher, Rudell Small, tore down the field for 45 yards and two plays later he was in the end zone.

Small would end the night will 118 yards.

Old Dominion, however, ended the half on a high note with the "one-minute drill". DeMarco connected with Prentice Gill (Los Angles, Calif.) for a 19-yard reception as ODU covered 50 yards on seven plays in 45 seconds. Gill's touchdown, the Monarchs' first of the 2010 season and Gill's first as a Monarch, cut the ODU deficit to 14-10 at the intermission.

Both teams traded scores in the third quarter. After ODU missed a 32-yard field goal attempt, Jacksonville followed with Josh Philpart on the receiving end of a 32-yard touchdown throw from Josh McGregor. Old Dominion quickly struck back though on the next drive needing just three plays to pull within four, 21-17.

Monty Smalley (Richmond, Va.) provided ODU with a 24-yard kick return to start the drive, Mario Crawford (Detroit, Mich.) followed with a 21-yard run, Reid Evans (Hampton, Va.) had a 31-yard catch, and then Dorian Jackson (Colonial Heights, Va.), who scored last year's game-winning touchdown, had a 44-yard reception to keep the Monarchs in the hunt.

The fourth quarter opened with Jacksonville going ahead, 28-17, with Dolphins covering 80 yards to end with Small scoring his second touchdown of the evening.

The Monarchs were immediately poised to cut into the deficit again, but an interception in the end zone put a stop to the ODU comeback. DeMarco threw a 34-yard pass downfield intending to hit Chris Lovitt (Stafford, Va.) in the end zone, but the ball got into the hands of Jacksonville's Andre Addison for the touchback.

ODU's next possession would indeed cut into the deficit and have the Monarchs trailing by just three points with 8:23 left in the game. The Dolphin's Logan Chipperfield managed just nine-yards on his punt and ODU started from their opponent's 34-yard line. Getting to the one-yard line, DeMarco ran the ball and Jackson was on the receiving end of the two-point conversion. The Monarchs trailed just 28-25 midway through the final quarter.

The next Jacksonville drive lasted just four downs before the Monarchs had the ball back. ODU made its way down the field, but another interception in the end zone, this time by the Dolphin's Jordan Dewhirst, thwarted ODU's chances again.

Jacksonville made the most of getting the ball back into its possession, scoring on a 19-yard pass to Philpart, his second touchdown catch of the game.

DeMarco ended the night with a career-high 334 yards passing completing 22 of his 40 attempts. He also ran the ball for 40 yards.

Nick Mayers (Va. Beach, Va.) led the receiving corps with 89 yards on seven catches, while Gill managed 79 yards on six receptions, and Evans ended the night with 80 yards to his name on four passes.

The ground attack was led by Crawford with 57 yards on 11 carries.

Defensively, Craig Wilkins (Washington, D.C.) had nine total tackles, while Ronnie Cameron (Westbury, N.Y.) made eight in his Monarch debut, including one for a loss of nine yards.

Dolphin QB Josh McGregor totaled 311 yards in the air completing 24 of his 34 passes.

Philpart ended the night with 115 yards on six receptions.

The ODU Football team hits the road next, traveling to Campbell on September 11th.

MONARCH MOMENTS:

OPENING WITH A BANG:
And no, we aren't talking about the howitzer you hear being shot off before the Monarchs run onto Foreman Field. Old Dominion scored on its first drive to kick off the 2010 season with Drew Hareza kicking the ball through the uprights for a field goal. The Monarchs have scored in their first drive in eight of its 12 total games played.

NOTABLE FIRSTS:
Linebacker Deron Jasper (Dunwoody, Ga.) had the first interception of the 2010 season while Prentice Gill (Los Angeles, Calif.) had the first touchdown. Both notables were also the first for each in a Monarch uniform.

WHO'S WHO IN THE BOOKS:
Colby Goodwyn's (Hampton, Va.) kick return was the second highest return in the brief ODU history. He dashed 68 yards in the second quarter. Mario Crawford (Detroit, Mich.) is ahead of Goodwyn on the list having returned a 76-yard kick in the historic Chowan game last year.

AIR RAID:
Redshirt quarterback Thomas DeMarco (Palm Desert, Calif.) passed for a career-high 334 yards, the first time he has passed for over 300 yards in a game. It was the fourth time he had a 200+ yard passing game of his ODU career.

TDs FOR TD:
Thomas DeMarco on his 1-yard jaunt over the endline to pull the Monarchs within three points, 28-25, with 8:28 remaining in the game was his 18th rushing touchdown of his career.

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