NORFOLK, Va. –Gerard Johnson rushed for 137 yards and Taylor Heinicke tossed three touchdowns as Old Dominion University football opened the season with a 41-28 victory over Hampton at Foreman Field at S.B. Ballard Stadium.
After holding a 28-14 halftime lead, ODU took just 1:38 to score in the second half as Heinicke hit Zach Pascal for a 41-yard touchdown to give ODU a 35-14 lead.
Hampton countered with a two-yard TD run from Eric Carter but ODU bounced back with an eight-yard touchdown run by Cam Boyd, his second of the day to make the score 41-21.
The Pirates came back once again as Jaylian Williamson tossed a screen pass to Jorrian Washington that went for a 75-yard touchdown reception and closed the gap to 41-28.
Hampton followed by recovering a pooch kick down the left sideline that was recovered by Rayshad Riddick. HU drove to the Monarch five yardline before Richie Staton sacked Williamson, and forced and recovered a fumble to give ODU the ball back.
After an ODU punt, Hampton drove inside the ODU 10 again, but Isaiah Worthy recovered a Carter fumble to once again give ODU the ball back.
ODU got on the board first as Cam Boyd capped an 11 play, 66-yard drive with a 14-yard touchdown run.
The Pirates knotted the score at seven early in the second quarter as Jayilan Williamson connected with Marcus Hampton for a five-yard touchdown pass.
Old Dominion retook the lead as Heinicke hit Pascal for a five-yard touchdown pass to complete a 67-yard drive for a 14-7 Monarch lead.
Fellonte Misher gave the offense possession at the HU 31-yardline with an interception while Gerard Johnson ran for a 31-yard score on the next play for a 21-7 ODU lead.
Pascal caught his second touchdown of the game from Heinicke, this one from 19-yards out for a 28-7 ODU lead.
Hampton responded with an 11 play, 62-yard drive as Williamson hit Twarn Mixon from six yards out as time expired in the first half to cut the lead to 28-14.
Heinicke was 29-of-40 with three touchdowns and 281 yards. Pascal had eight grabs for 99 yards while Antonio Vaughan had five catches for 79 yards and a TD. Andre Simmons led ODU with nine tackles while Fellonte Misher had eight.
Washington completed 32-of-45 passes for 407 yards and three touchdowns while Riddick had 11 catches for a career-best 119 yards.