HISTORY IN THE MAKING: Old Dominion Downs Chowan, 36-21

September 05, 2009
By ODU Athletics
ODU Sports

Sept. 5, 2009

Box Score |  Photo Gallery 

NORFOLK, Va. (AP) - Drew Hareza kicked five field goals and Jamar Parham ran for two touchdowns Saturday as Old Dominion defeated Division II Chowan 36-21 in the Monarchs' first football game in 69 years.

Parham carried 13 times for 105 yards and scored on runs of 1 and 43 yards for the Football Championship Subdivision Monarchs, who will join the Colonial Athletic Association in 2011. ODU last fielded a football team in 1940.

C.J. Westler was 27-of-48 for 293 yards and one touchdown for Chowan (0-2). He also had a 1-yard touchdown run.

Hareza was 5-of-7 on field goal attempts, including a 48-yarder on the final play before halftime that was set up by a Devon Simmons interception on the previous play. Simmons also recovered a fumble.

Old Dominion's 6-foot-6 Edmon McClam blocked all three Chowan point-after attempts.

Blue-and-white clad OLD DOMINION fans chanted "ODU! ODU!" as their first football team in 69 years made its inaugural march through the alumni tailgating area.

Saturday's game was ODU's first since 1940.

Residents turned out in force for Old Dominion's first football game since it the school was known as the Norfolk Division Braves of the College of William & Mary. They left happy after the Monarchs beat Chowan 36-31.

Peering over the third-floor railing of the parking garage next to renovated 74-year-OLD Foreman Field before the game, Charlie Hackworth marveled at the scene - parking lots crammed with tailgaters, students tossing footballs and the Monarchs' lion-costumed mascot, Big Blue, distributing hugs and posing for pictures with youngsters.

"Two hours from kickoff and the place is packed," said Hackworth, 68. "You can't ask for anything better than this."

Excitement about the first Old Dominion football game since 1940 has been building since the school announced its plans in May 2006, and has reached a frenzied pitch in recent weeks.

Football-starved Monarchs fans immediately snapped up all the available 14,377 season tickets, and single-came tickets also sold out in short order. Hundreds of students camped out overnight - a scene not unlike Duke's famed "Krzyzewskiville" at the start of basketball season - to make sure they got their tickets.

Johnny Brown was so ready for the return of Monarchs football that coach Bobby Wilder said earlier in the week the 90-year-OLD former tailback and safety probably would like to suit up and play. Brown said his teammates from the 1939 squad "traded leather helmets for steel helmets" to fight in World War II, and a lack of players doomed the football program.

But as they pursued their later careers - Brown was a high school football coach and principal - they longed for a football revival at their OLD school.

"We were concerned for years, 'Why don't they have football?' Football goes with college, and college goes with football," said Brown. "I'm very happy they started it back up."


• Want to Witness History Again?: Cox 11 will rebroadcast Saturday night's game on Monday at 8:00 p.m.

• Media Hype: Follow all of Saturday's press coverage on twitter.