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Providing Student News to Old Dominion University Since 1930

Mace & Crown

Providing Student News to Old Dominion University Since 1930

Mace & Crown

ODU Football Stuns App State with 28-21 Victory After Late-Game Rally

Keshawn Wicks ran for 82 yards and two TDs and was named the Oyster Bowl MVP
Nicholas Clark
Junior RB Keshawn Wicks leaps into the endzone for the game-winning touchdown to give the Monarchs the late-game advantage.

The ODU Monarchs turned up for the family weekend crowd as they gained the advantage on the gridiron against the App State Mountaineers 28-21. 

This Sun Belt matchup brought repercussions as the win kept the Monarchs in third place amongst the Sun Belt East rankings. Both teams had a similar 3-3 standing while ODU was 2-1 in conference play and the Mountaineers were 1-1. 

The first quarter opened quickly with action as the ODU defense forced a fumble by the App State QB. Unfortunately, the Mountaineer QB was able to recover and App State punted on fourth down. This momentum was not transferable into complementary football as the Monarch offense was off to a slow start with a three-and-out on their first possession. With this, App State got possession of the ball around midfield. 

On App State’s second possession, they were able to score on fourth and goal off a quarterback sneak. This score was after multiple quality defensive plays by ODU, forcing yet another fumble by the App State QB and standing up the Mountaineer run game on the one-yard line. This gave them the lead 7-0 with 3:59 remaining in the first quarter. 

The Monarchs on their second possession out on the field caught fire as junior QB Grant Wilson was able to find junior WR Javon Harvey for two receptions for a combined 40 yards. These completions were in the closing minutes of the first quarter and put the Monarchs around midfield. 

Sophomore DE Kris Trinidad gets his hands on the Mountaineers QB and goes for the sack. (Nicholas Clark )

Opening this same possession in the second quarter, QB Wilson was able to find one of his favorite targets in sophomore Reymello Murphy. This pass came as Wilson scrambled out of the pocket and found Murphy for a sliding catch on a comeback route, putting the Monarchs first and goal. Following this, Wilson was able to find RB junior Kadarius Calloway on a shovel pass to tie the contest at seven early in the second quarter. 

Following this, the Mountaineers were able to shoot back as the App State QB Joey Aguilar found his tight end in the back right corner of the endzone to put them ahead 14-7 midway through the second quarter. 

Being behind again, Wilson leaned on his rushing attack as Calloway ran for 34 yards, putting the Monarchs in the red zone and poised to strike back. Junior RB Keshawn Wicks sealed the drive with a 10-yard run into the promised land, tying the score at 14 with 1:27 remaining in the first half. 

The Monarch defense was able to get a huge stop off the Mountaineer offense, leaving enough time on the clock for the Monarch offense to march out for a final possession before the half. This drive was capped off by a 47-yard field goal nailed by kicker Ethan Sanchez, giving a 17-14 advantage at the half. 

After winning the coin toss at the start of the game, the Monarch was handed the ball moving into the second half. This drive was fruitful again thanks to kicker Sanchez, who nailed a 46-yard FG to put the Monarchs ahead 20-14 with 10:54 remaining in the third. 

The Mountaineers would respond to take the lead 21-20 with a TD drive where they converted on two fourth downs. This score would leave the Monarchs down one with 4:03 remaining in the third quarter. 

Junior WR Javon Harvey looks on after converting the 4th and 10 play to extend the final Monarchs’ offensive drive. (Nicholas Clark )

Much of the following minutes were a power struggle to see who would come out on top. The ODU defense and special teams helped keep them in the game. Sophomore CB Khian’Dre Harris would make a huge play on a punt, batting the ball onto the one-yard line and avoiding the endzone, leaving the Mountaineers deep in their own territory.

After getting the ball back to the offense, a potential catch by Harvey was overturned causing a fourth down, much to the dismay of the home fans. The Monarch fans were yearning for pass interference. 

In terms of penalties on the evening, the odds were not in ODU’s favor as they had eight penalties for 78 yards, in comparison to App State’s five for 37 yards.

In the last five minutes of play, the ODU secondary came up huge with a pass deflection, giving Wilson and crew the ball with 3:54 left in the game. Harvey was able to exact his revenge from the overturned call earlier, as he brought the Monarchs in striking range with a 19-yard reception on 4th and 10. This put ODU 21 with 1:08 remaining in the contest. Wicks was able to gain the rest of the needed yards with a five-yard run to add to a 16-yard touchdown run with 0:48 remaining in the contest. This put the Monarchs ahead 26-21 and Rahne’s clan made the call to go for two. Wilson delivered, finding sophomore TE Jalen Butler on a fade route in the home side of the endzone. 

With this score, the Monarchs led by a touchdown 28-21 with 0:43 remaining in the contest; more than enough time for the Mountaineers to potentially score. However, Harris had something else to say about that as he gained two game-sealing pass breakups against Mountaineer WR Dalton Stroman. Stroman had a 6” and 35-pound advantage on Harris and yet was not able to capitalize to seal the game. 

With these defensive plays, ODU’s largest crowd of the season of 20,017 people went home happy. The win brought the team above .500 at 4-3 and to 3-1 in the Sun Belt.

The Monarchs’ running game helped the offense seal the deal. Overall, ODU had 221 yards on the ground, while App State had 127 yards. Calloway and Wicks both had an evening with a combined 25 carries. Calloway ran for 104 yards, averaging 8.0 yards per carry, and tallied a receiving TD off a shovel pass. Wicks, on the other hand, had 12 carries for 84 yards, averaging 6.8 yards per carry, and tallying two rushing TDs. 

Sophomore CB Khian’Dre Harris celebrates as he’s mobbed by teammates after securing the Monarchs victory over the Mountaineers. (Nicholas Clark )

The passing game was there on the evening as Javon Harvey led with three receptions for 59 yards. Junior Isiah Paige added seven receptions for 58 yards, catching a handful of passes in the flat and fighting for yards after the reception. Sophomore Reymello Murphy, another Wilson target, also tallied three receptions for 33 yards. 

Head Coach Ricky Rahne had many positive comments about his team in the postgame presser. 

“That’s a great football team and a great program led by a great coach and an even better guy. I have a ton of respect for (App State coach) Shawn Clark. This was a great win. I think it says we have a bunch of really gritty guys who know what it takes to win, and they believe in each other and keep fighting.”

In addition, Rahne had praise for Harris and his CB room as a whole when he said, “There was a lot that he[Harris] did tonight that was unbelievable,” Rahne stated. “A lot of credit goes to him, but a lot also goes to coach (Tarron) Williams, our cornerbacks coach. We played five corners tonight. I’d like to see how many other teams that gave up 21 points and played five corners.”

The Monarchs have won three of their last four games and will take on the undefeated James Madison Dukes next Saturday on ESPNU in the Royal Rivalry at 8 p.m. Following this, the Monarchs come back home to take on Coastal Carolina on Nov. 4 for Military Appreciation Day.

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About the Contributors
Art Neal
Art Neal, Assistant Sports Editor
Art Neal serves as an Assistant Sports Editor for the Mace & Crown. He is in his second year at Old Dominion and is currently majoring in Biology with a concentration in Biomedical Sciences. Art is excited for the opportunity to write sports journalism and further expand his sports fanaticism that he has had since a young age. After Old Dominion, Art hopes to head off to medical school where he is hopeful for the opportunity to incorporates his journalism experiences into his future career. You can reach him at [email protected].
Nicholas Clark
Nicholas Clark, Photography Editor
Nicholas Clark is the photography editor. He majors in photography and print media. For fun, he likes to play golf and take pictures. Email him at [email protected]

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