NORFOLK, Va. -- Freshman Steven Williams threw two touchdown passes in his collegiate debut and Isaiah Harper had a 100-yard kickoff return, but Old Dominion fell to North Carolina, 53-23, on Saturday afternoon at Foreman Field at S.B. Ballard Stadium.
Old Dominion (2-1) outscored North Carolina (1-2), 16-14, in the second half, after trailing the Tar Heels, 39-7, at the half.
Williams, a true freshman from Washington, D.C., completed 9-of-20 passes for 139 yards and two touchdowns after entering late in the second quarter to lead the Monarchs in passing. Williams connected with Travis Fulgham on his first touchdown pass for 71 yards. Fulgham ended the game with 106 yards on six receptions. Hasaan Patterson hauled in Williams' second touchdown pass, the first of touchdown of Patterson's short career.
UNC took a 3-0 lead on the opening drive of the game with a 35-yard field goal from Freeman Jones. The Tar Heels drove 57-yards in 11 plays, converting a third and 18 on a 19-yard run by Jordon Brown.
The Tar Heels took advantage of a short field to add to its lead with a three-yard touchdown run from Chazz Surratt to complete a five play, 45-yard drive. Manny Miles ran in the two-point conversion to put UNC up 11-0.
Chazz Surratt scored on a run from 10-yards out to put UNC up 18-0 early in the second quarter.
Jordon Brown put UNC up 25-0 with a 15-yard touchdown run, but Isaiah Harper returned the ensuing kickoff 100-yards to put the Monarchs on the board, 25-7.
Michael Carter scored from three yards out a minute later to put North Carolina on top 32-7 with seven minutes left in the first half and Jordon Brown scored from five yards out to give North Carolina a 39-7 halftime advantage.
The Monarchs put Williams in at QB late in the first half and drove ODU to the one before a turnover. Old Dominion drove 43 yards to begin the second half and Nick Rice booted a career long 48-yard field goal to make the score 39-10.
Following a defensive stop, Williams hit Travis Fulgham for a 71-yard touchdown to make the score 39-17.
Chazz Surratt drove North Carolina 76 yards and hit Austin Proehl for a 26-yard touchdown to make the score 46-17.
Williams again drove ODU down 60 yards and this time found Hasaan Patterson for an 18-yard touchdown. Michael Carter scored from a yard out after a muffed ODU punt to make the final score 53-23.
Also for ODU, Harper's 100-yard kickoff return touchdown in the first half set an ODU record for the longest kickoff return. Harper also added 50 yards receiving.
Jeremy Cox rushed 14 times for 39 yards and caught one pass for 25 yards, while Fulgham had six catches for a career-best 102-yards and his first touchdown of the season.
Defensively, Denzell Williams posted a career-high nine tackles to lead the team, while Oshane Ximines recorded a sack.
NOTES: ODU sold out for the 56-straight game … Isaiah Harper’s 50-yard catch in the first half was a career long … Isaiah Harper’s 100-yard kickoff return was the longest in ODU history, and the first return for a touchdown since Aaron Evans did it against Savannah State in 2010 … It was the seventh time and first since 2012, that UNC gave up a 100-yard kickoff return … Jordan Hoy made his first career start at quarterback … True freshman Steven Williams Jr. saw his first action of the season late in the first half … Redshirt freshman Brandon Sinclair received his first career rushing attempt … Williams is the first left-handed QB to play for the Monarchs … Steven Williams 71-yard touchdown pass to Travis Fulgham was Williams’ first career touchdown pass … The 71-yarder is the longest play in Fulgham’s career … Travis Fulgham had the first 100-yard receiving game of his career … Denzel Williams made a career-high nine tackles … Nick Rice made a career-long 48-yard field goal, tied for fifth longest in ODU history … Noah Ellison caught his first two career passes on back-to-back plays in the fourth quarter.