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Mace & Crown

Providing Student News to Old Dominion University Since 1930

Mace & Crown

Providing Student News to Old Dominion University Since 1930

Mace & Crown

Monarchs Stunned in Final Seconds in Defeat vs. Coastal Carolina 28-24

Isiah Paige led ODU with four pass receptions for 59 yards and a touchdown
Nicholas Clark
ODU Cheerleaders lead the charge as the Monarchs make their entrance.

The Monarchs faced off against the Coastal Carolina Chanticleers with a midafternoon Saturday matchup in the 757. This game was 50/50, with few experts on ESPN having any idea as to who would come out victorious.  

Unfortunately for the Monarchs, late-game heroics from Coastal Carolina gave them the win 28-24. With this, the Chants avenged their decisive 49-21 loss last year in Conway. 

The contest had strong Sun Belt implications as both teams were 3-2 in conference. ODU’s overall record stood at 4-4, while CCU stood at 5-3 and was on a three-game win streak. 

The Monarchs got the rock to start the contest and, after three unsuccessful interior runs, the offense was off the field. This forced ODU’s freshman punter Ian Brandt to come onto the field. Brandt was able to boot the ball near the home sideline around the 20-yard line, but unfortunately, as the ball was coming down, the Chants’ return man was hit before catching the ball, causing a kick catch interference penalty on ODU special teams. This gave Coastal Carolina the ball in quality field position on their own 40-yard line. 


The Monarchs offense celebrates in the endzone after the touchdown from Dominic Dutton (Nicholas Clark )

With this, the visiting team looked to threaten and gain momentum, but the ODU defense had other ideas. On a middle rush by the Chanticleers, Monarch safety Terry Jones was able to punch at the ball, forcing a fumble which was picked up by corner Lamareon James, who was tackled where he lay at the ODU 44-yard line. 

This change in momentum allowed Grant Wilson and company to capitalize and take the lead. A 22-yard run by running back Keyshawn Wicks put the ODU crew in the red zone at the CCU 12-yard line. Following this, Wilson was able to find speedy wide receiver Isiah Paige in the back right corner of the endzone for six points. This was Paige’s first career touchdown and put the home side ahead 7-0 with 11:13 left in the first. 

The ODU defense would come up big again on the next Coastal possession as the linebacker duo of Jason Henderson and freshman Mario Thompson grabbed a runner in the backfield for a two-yard loss. This forced the Chanticleers to attempt a 35-yard field goal that they missed, keeping the Monarch lead at 7-0 with 4:23 left in the first. 

Moving into the second quarter, Henderson showed up in a big way again as he made an open-field tackle, forcing a 3rd and 11 situation for the visiting side. The Chants could not convert and were forced to kick a 30-yard field goal that put them on the board early in the second quarter at7-3. 

The next offensive possession for ODU was hopeful as Wilson hit Paige in the air at full tilt on a slant route. This 21-yard completion, along with a 20-yard catch and run by Wicks, put the Monarchs within striking distance to score again. Unfortunately, Wilson’s attempt to find two of his larger targets in Reymello Murphy and Javon Harvey was to no avail, as the Coastal Carolina secondary made physical plays on each pass attempt. 

The Monarch’s defense was tested again and seemed to rise to the challenge. With under two minutes remaining in the half and the Chants just past midfield, Coastal quarterback Ethan Vasko completed a pass to wideout Sam Pinckney across the middle. As Pinckney fell to the ground, the ball slipped out with Khian’dre Harris on the primary coverage. Jason Hednerson then snagged the ball for what seemed to be a fumble recovery. Unfortunately for the home team,  it was deemed that Picnkney was down before he lost possession of the ball. This gave the Chants a prime chance to put six on the board going into halftime. 

The Monarch defense held strong though,  forcing Coastal off the two-yard line and into kicking a field goal, giving the Monarchs a slight lead at 7-6 with 17 remaining in the half. Due to the clock being low, the Monarch offense could do little going into the half and the score remained 7-6. 

Coming out of the locker, ODU gained momentum as the defense was able to gain a stop, giving way to an offensive drive that got started with a 26-yard reception to Paige and culminated with a 30-yard touchdown reception to Kelby Williams. This put the Monarchs at 14-6 with 10:45 left in the third quarter.

Wide receiver Isaiah Paige signals first down after making the reception. (Nicholas Clark )

The Monarchs were again able to build momentum and lead as they turned defense into offense. A monster hit on third down forced a pass by Coastal’s Vasko to take a deflection off corner Nolan Johnson, which found itself in the hands of safety Markus Knight. This interception marked his second in two games. 

This turnover gave the offense a favorable field position at the Coastal 41-yard line.  Wilson worked the offense, getting a nine-yard gain by Wicks, putting the Monarchs within striking range of the endzone.  Wilson connected with track star -turned-wideout Dominic Dutton for a 30-yard touchdown pass. This put the Monarchs ahead  21-6 late in the third quarter. 

With this momentum, many thought the contest to be a repeat of last year. However,  the Chanticleers returned with a scoring surge in the final 20 minutes. 

The Monarch defense, after being able to keep mobile Vasko from breaking free for most of the contest, gave way to a 75-yard TD run in the final two minutes of the third quarter, bringing the game within one score at 21-13. 

The Chants would go on to score again on their second full drive of the third quarter off a 17-yard run from running back CJ Beasley. Coastal was also able to tack on the two-point conversion, tying the game at 21 halfway through the fourth quarter.  The Monarchs were not able to respond with seven points of their own and were relegated to a field goal, gaining a 24-21 advantage with 1:24 remaining in the contest. 

This left too much time left on the clock for the visiting side. The Monarch defense struggled and ultimately gave way to a 16-yard touchdown pass to Pinckney, sealing the contest 28-24. The Monarchs did get the ball back with 00:23 remaining, and Wilson was able to complete two passes before time expired and the ball was fumbled. With this, the Monarch faithful were sent home disappointed.

The Monarch defense picked up tackles like it was their job as Henderson led all with 22 tackles, three tackles for loss, and 1.5 sacks. This was Henderson’s third 20+ tackle game of his career and his first this season. This also brought his career tackle sum up to 407 —third in Sun Belt history. To add, Mathews and Jones tallied 14 and 13 tackles respectively. This was a career-high for Mathews, while  Jones added a forced fumble to the cause. 

Linebacker Jason Hederson gets to the quarterback and manages to secure a tackle for loss. (Nicholas Clark )

On the offensive side, Paige led all receivers with four receptions for 59 yards and a touchdown. The six-yard touchdown reception in the first quarter tallies Paige’s first career touchdown reception at ODU. Obie Sanni also ran for a career-high 83 yards on 14 carries. Dutton and Williams also contributed touchdowns, while Wicks provided a good counter to Sanni with 11 carries and 57 yards respectively. 

When asked about the contest, head coach Ricky Rahne cited it as a “team loss.”

“We weren’t consistent enough on offense and gave up some big plays on defense,” he said. “This is on me. When things started to go the wrong way, we did not respond the way we needed to.”

When asked how his team will bounce back from two consecutive tough losses, Rahne responded: “We have no choice.”

“It’s funny, everyone always says, ‘You know, this was a tough loss.’ I’ve never been part of an easy loss. One of our core values is compete and another is care. So, every game that you lose you should feel like you’ve been absolutely gutted. I mean, if you’re going to be successful, you should feel gutted. I know I do.”

The Monarchs look to spoil another record next week as they venture to Lynchburg, Virginia to take on the undefeated Liberty Flames. The Monarchs will return for their final homestand over Thanksgiving break on Nov. 25. This contest brings the currently 6-3 Georgia State Panthers to town to square off on Saturday afternoon. 

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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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