James Onuska | Contributing Writer
Courtesy Stadium on Youtube.com
Old Dominion Monarch’s football team falls to 1-3 after their 24-21 loss to ECU Saturday night. A
late rally by quarterback Stone Smartt and team just came up short as the Pirates were able to escape S.B. Ballard Stadium with the victory. After the game Coach Wilder said that the game came down to three crucial plays and losing their starting right tackle Nick Saldiveri.
The three plays during the game that Coach Wilder eluded to were the four yard blocked punt return for a touchdown by ECU, the 72 yard touchdown reception for ECU, and the botch call by the referees on a fumble loss for quarterback Stone Smartt as he was crossing the plane of the endzone. Take away those three plays and the Monarchs controlled the time of possession for nearly 10 more minutes and had more first downs then the Pirates.
Coach Wilder thought of his quarterback play to be very courageous and said, “I thought Stone played a gutsy game.” Stone finished the game with 203 yards passing, 110 yards rushing on 22 carries, and a rushing touchdown.
The defense continues to play terrific as they forced three fumbles and recorded two
interceptions. Late in the second quarter, cornerback Geronda Hall intercepted ECU’s quarterback at ECU’s 40-yard line and returned it 30 yards to the 10. That drive then resulted in one of those key plays for ODU in which quarterback Stone Smartt lost the ball crossing the goal line. With the score 17-10 in favor of ECU, the Monarch’s defense made another play when linebacker Jordan Young intercepted the Pirates again. ODU was able to put together a short drive that resulted in a field goal for the Monarchs.
The defense played a great game and continues to hold the opposition to minimum yards on the ground and fly to the ball.
After the game, Coach Wilder said, “I told the players in the locker room that the non-league is
over, that right now we are 0-0. All that matters to this football team is beating Western Kentucky. If we beat them, that changes everything. Then we’re 1-0 in the league and winning the league is what this is all about.” The ODU Monarch’s football team finishes their non-conference schedule with a 1-3 record, now it’s all conference play from here on out. This weekend’s game is a 6pm home game and is said to be a sold-out crowd. All fans are encouraged to wear black to give the stadium an all-black look.
More importantly, the Monarch’s needs all fans and student body to get up and cheer on their football team. Both right tackle and wide receiver Eric Kumah are expected to play this weekend which will boost the offensive production for ODU.