Lawry Leads Monarch Football to Victory Over Norfolk State
By Alex Brooks
Norfolk, VA—The Old Dominion Monarchs (2-0) faced off against their across town foes, the Norfolk State Spartans (0-2) in a battle of the 757’s. With the Monarchs coming off of a last minute win this past week, fans were hoping that they would carry their momentum into their first home game of the season.
It was a different story for NSU coming into the game as they played Rutgers close in the first half before they allowed them to score 42 unanswered points in the second half.
This game started off right where the Monarchs ended last week, with a superb running game. The only difference was who was behind QB Bentley. Wide receiver Pascal took the first couple of handoffs in the game before star running back Ray Lawry exploded for the first score of the game.
The Monarchs had another nice drive that would have resulted in 3 points but coach Wilder switched up the kickers from Ziffer to Segers. It was Segers’ first kick in quite a while and as expected, he shanked it to the right.
The tides looked as though they were about to shift in the Spartans’ direction as they blocked a punt and returned it for a touchdown, giving them a 10-7 lead over the Monarchs. This lead would be short lived, however, as Lawry added another touchdown to his already impressive resume this season, to get ODU a lead they would never lose.
Rookie quarterback Bentley had a light workload this week only tossing the ball 22 times and completing on 12 of those with 122 yards. Lawry on the other hand took another shot at ODU’s record book mounting an enormous amount of rushing yards, falling just 9 yards short of the record at 215. He amassed that on 31 carries but credited his success to his offensive line.
“My line is making it easy for me… They’re pushing and opening holes,” Lawry said. The line wasn’t opening holes for just him as the team accumulated 338 team rushing yards.
QB Hankerson for Norfolk State carried the team through the majority of the game with both his arm and legs. He finished the game with 163 passing yards and 74 yards rushing, but did not turn the ball over, which is key in trying to beat an FBS team on their own turf.
The other story of the game, besides the monstrous performance by Lawry, was the weather. Rain can play a huge factor, and tonight was no different. Just minutes before game time, the rain rolled in making it apparent that this battle would be won on the ground. Then there was a lighting delay that lasted over an hour and made it look as though the game may have to end at halftime which would have hurt Lawry’s Heisman hopes.
Luckily the lighting subsided, unlike the rain, and the fans that stuck around got to see one hell of a football game. Eventually, the Monarchs came out on top with a 24-10 victory.
With the Monarchs facing a tough opponent in NC State next week, fans would have liked to see a more emphatic win over a FCS school. But fans hope they can take this win and build on it as Old Dominion tries to remain perfect on the season.
Norfolk State has a tough task next week as well, as they travel to West Virginia to face last year’s C-USA conference winner Marshall (1-1).