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Mace & Crown | December 16, 2017

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Monarchs Crush Camels

Monarchs Crush Camels

Old Dominion caps a perfect home slate

Old Dominion had no mercy as they dominated in Monarch-like fashion, demolishing Campbell 42-14 on Senior Day.  The Monarchs are now a perfect 14-0 in the month of November.

The Old Dominion Monarchs (7-3) returned home to face off with the Campbell Camels (2-8) after receiving the first FBS win ever in school history against Idaho (59-38).  The Monarchs have been a perfect 5-0 at home in Foreman Field at S.B. Ballard Stadium this season and today was no different. This is Old Dominion’s first-ever unbeaten season at home since the return of the program in 2009.

“This is our first ever undefeated home season. In a season where I can’t say thank you enough to our fans. With all due respect to our home schedule, it’s obvious that our most intriguing games that we’ve played this year, including next week in Chapel Hill, have happened on the road,” head coach Bobby Wilder said.

The Camels got off to what seemed to be quick start when Keith Gross rushed two yards for a touchdown on the first drive of the game. Campbell’s 7-0 lead did not last long as Old Dominion quickly responded with a two-minute, 65-yard drive that resulted in a five-yard touchdown run by Gerard Johnson. The Monarchs managed to go the same distance in about a third of the time it took the Camels.

The Monarchs continued to gain momentum as the game went on.

Heinicke launched a 47-yard touchdown pass to Antonio Vaughn to put the Monarchs ahead 14-7 with 9:57 remaining in the first half.  The Monarchs went on to score 35 unanswered points.  It was not until Brian Hudson completed a 16-yard touchdown pass to Jordan Hildreth late in third quarter to bring the score to 35-14 that the Camels responded.

Campbell had two promising drives that put them in decent field goal range, one from 27-yards away and the other from 37-yards away, both of which were blocked.

This is the second game in which Old Dominion had two receivers with over 100 yards receiving. Antonio Vaughn had 171 yards receiving and scored three touchdowns.  Larry Pinkard added 156 yards and a touchdown. Pinkard also caught a 74-yard touchdown, the longest of his career.

Coach Wilder decided to rest Heinicke late in the game due to the large margin on the scoreboard.  The decision resulted in back up David Washington entering the game. Washington completed his longest Career pass for 64-yards to Vaughn to put ODU ahead 42-14 with a little over five minutes remaining in the game.

The play, and a full stadium, was the perfect way for the Monarchs to close out the last home game of the season.

“The fact that we’ve now had thirty five consecutive sell outs. That’s all we’ve ever had as a program is sold out games and I’m incredibly grateful, as is the team,” Wilder said.

The final home game saw all of the Monarchs’ 12 senior student-athletes honored. Among those honored were the final five remaining from the original team in 2009, including Marquel Thomas, John Darr, Jack Lowney, Nate Barnes, and Alex Johnson.  T.J. Cowart who was also a member of the 2009 team and denied a medical redshirt by the NCAA this spring was honored as well.

“It’s definitely emotional,” Darr said when speaking about his last time playing at home.

The seniors went out in style in what can be considered a fairly uncompetitive game.

The Monarchs must now prepare for the game that everyone has been anticipating since the posting of this season’s schedule.

The Monarchs will now travel to North Carolina to take on the Tar Heels on Sat., Nov. 23 in what promises to be an exciting matchup.

“It is the premiere game. This is North Carolina. This is the Tar Heels. This is Chapel Hill.  This is an historic university that we are talking about,” Wilder said of the team’s final game of the season.

By Jasmine Balckwell

Staff Writer