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Mace & Crown | September 24, 2017

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Monarch Victory at Season Opener Against Albany

Brittany Reigelsperger

Old Dominion University hosted their season opener against the University of Albany at S.B. Ballard Stadium. The Monarchs celebrated their 55th straight home sellouts as they sealed their victory over Albany 31-17.

Senior running back Ray Lawry delivered a 41-yard touchdown to the end zone early in the first quarter, setting the tone for the Monarchs offensive aggression. However, the Great Danes defense were ready to take on the Monarchs and forced Monarch Jeremy Cox to fumble the ball at the 50 yard line. University of Albany’s Ethan Stark, took a 37 yard field goal kick for the Danes with 1:53 remaining in the first quarter, giving Albany three points on the scoreboard narrowing the Monarch leaded 7-3.

Three minutes into the second quarter, senior running back Brandon Simms had his career first touchdown. Freshman kicker Nick Rice followed with a good kick attempt giving the Monarchs a 14-3 lead over the Danes. Despite the poor playing conditions, ODU’s determination to make a statement with their season opener game persisted. Redshirt sophomore Gemonta Jackson stepped up for the Monarchs scoring a touchdown 42 second before the close of the second quarter Rice followed again with a good kick pushing the score to 21-3 into the half.

Following the half, Albany returned to the field energized and ready to increase their points on the scoreboard. Albany’s defense managed to keep the Monarch offense at bay only allowing a 26-yard field goal by Rice taking the score to 24-3.

It wasn’t until the fourth quarter when Albany’s Offense would finally be able to outrun ODU and score at the 13:53 mark finally pulling their score into double digits at 10-24. They would be outrun, again, as Karl Mofor rushed for a 31-yard touchdown pelting the score to 17-24. Pressure on the Monarch increased as the core gap closed. However, redshirt sophomore quarterback, Blake LaRussa, and wide receiver senior, Jonathan Durhart, were there to answer the call with a 55-yard touchdown. The touchdown pass being a career first for LaRussa and sealed the Monarch win of 31-17 over the Danes.

Next up the Monarchs will travel to UMass on September 9th with a 3pm kickoff. Follow us on twitter at MaceCrownSports for up to date ODU sporting news.