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Mace & Crown | March 25, 2017

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ODU Downs Southern Miss for Fifth Straight Win at Home

ODU Downs Southern Miss for Fifth Straight Win at Home
Roberto Castro
Contributing Writer

The Monarchs (7-3, 5-1 C-USA) took on the Southern Mississippi Golden Eagles (5-5, 3-3 C-USA) in a crucial conference game. With a 51-35 win, the Monarchs extended their home winning streak and kept their conference championship hopes alive. On the opening kickoff, ODU wide receiver Zach Pascal returned it 53-yards. Although the Monarchs failed to create points from the big play, they never lost momentum.

On the Golden Eagles’ first drive of the game they fumbled, and linebacker TJ Ricks picked it up and returned to the Southern Miss five-yard line. Ricks was not done on the Golden Eagles ensuing possession he recovered another fumble. Ray Lawry would score two-yard rushing touchdowns after both fumbles to give ODU a 14-0 lead.

Matters would only get worse for Golden Eagles as they looked everything but golden by turning the ball over on three of their first four possessions.The last came on an interception by cornerback Brandon Addison off of a dropped pass by the Southern Miss. receiver, something that happened too often for the Golden Eagles Saturday night. Running back Jeremy Cox would later be the one to find the end zone on the Monarch’s drive off of the turnover. With a 21-0 lead at the end of the first quarter, ODU never seemed to look back.

Southern Miss Quarterback Keon Howard, who got the starting nod before game time, scored a rushing touchdown of his own to go along with his 98 yards rushing on the day to answer the Monarch’s 21 point run to cut the lead to 21-7. The Monarchs would respond with two touchdown drives both ending with beautiful passes from quarterback David Washington from five yards out to receiver Jonathon Duhart on a one-handed catch in the back corner of the end zone, and from 39 yards out to Travis Fulgham, which is Fulgham’s sixth straight game with a touchdown reception. The Monarchs went into halftime with a comfortable 35-7 lead at home.

Jeremy Cox would jumpstart the Monarchs in the second half as he broke away for a 67-yard touchdown run stretching the lead to 42-7. Despite the deficit, the Golden Eagles were far from done as they sparked a comeback by rattling off 21 unanswered points. All scored by their star running back Ito Smith. Smith would finish with 98 yards and his three straight rushing touchdowns cut the lead to 42-28.

The comeback fell short as their fate was sealed after a sack for a safety and on the ensuing possession another sack this time leading to a touchdown by defensive lineman Rashaad Coward off of a fumble recovery. Old Dominion’s defense had another impressive performance recording six sacks, and five turnovers created on the night, as well as a monster night from linebacker Anthony Wilson who finished with a career-high 17 total tackles, eleven solo tackles, one sack and one in a half tackles for a loss.

The Monarchs will travel to Boca Raton on Nov.19 as they take on the Florida Atlantic Owls in must win game for the Monarchs to have a shot at a spot in the conference championship. Kickoff is set for 6 p.m.