#4 ODU holds off Richmond rally, wins 45-37

Old Dominion improved to 5-0 overall and 2-0 in Colonial Athletic Association (CAA) play on Saturday with a 45-37 victory over the Richmond Spiders at Robins Stadium.

Seven different Monarchs got the nation’s No. 1 scoring offense into the scoring mix as Old Dominion led by as many as 28 points entering the fourth quarter. Although the Spiders managed to score 20 points in the span of 3:21 in the fourth quarter to cut their deficit to eight, Old Dominion methodically wound down the clock over the game’s final six minutes and 40 seconds for the win.

The loss snapped a three-game winning streak for Richmond, who falls to 3-2 on the year and 1-1 in conference play.

Old Dominion struck first covering 52 yards in four plays in a matter of 48 seconds on their second drive of the game. Junior running back Colby Goodwyn, one of three running backs to score for the Monarchs, lit up the scoreboard with a 27-yard touchdown run.

The Spiders tied the game on their ensuing possession. Richmond quarterback John Laub connected with Ben Edwards for a 39-yard touchdown with 9:14 left in the opening quarter.

However, just as the Monarchs have done all season, they struck back fast and furious going ahead 24-7 by the opening minutes of the second quarter.

Following the Richmond score, ODU ran 10 plays in under three minutes capped by signal caller Taylor Heinicke needing just five yards to cross into the end zone to give ODU the 14-7 lead.

The Monarch defense kept Richmond from moving past its own seven on the next drive. The Spiders were forced to punt giving ODU field position in Richmond territory resulting in a 26-yard field goal for Jarod Brown.

Nick Mayers put the Monarchs up 24-7 in the third play of second quarter. Mayers, tying his season-high in TD receptions at seven in just ODU’s fifth game of the season, caught the seven-yard pass at the left corner of the goal line.

The Spiders put their second touchdown of the game up on the board at the 10 minute mark of the second half. Laub lobbed the ball over the Monarch defense to back of the end zone and into the hand of Kevin Finney.

However, the Monarchs weren’t finished scoring and added a pair of touchdowns before the intermission.

A 46-yard reception by Larry Pinkard managed to get the Monarchs back onto the Richmond side of the field at the Spiders’ own nine.

Running back Tyree Lee helped ODU inch closer and closer to a score until Heinicke connected with Marquel Thomas on a short 1-yard pass. Sophomore running back Angus Harper later punched the ball in on a 12-play 80-yard drive with less than a minute left in the second quarter for the 38-14 advantage.

Alex Arain closed out the first half of action forcing a fumble resulting in an 11-yard sack.

The Spiders had a chance to cut into the deficit early in the third quarter, but a pair of Laub passes to Edwards and Stephen Barnette were incomplete in the end zone. Richmond would settle for the field goal with sophomore Remington Hinshaw putting a career-high 38 thru the uprights, but it still had his squad trailing the Monarchs 38-17 with nine minutes remaining in the third quarter.

Old Dominion responded immediately with another scoring drive to surpass last year’s total of 42 against Richmond. Sophomore Tyree Lee got into the scoring mix with a trio of carries including a 14 yard rush to bring the Monarchs into the red zone and a seven-yard touchdown for a 45-17 edge with just over five minutes left in third quarter.

Richmond kept it interesting in outscoring the Monarchs 20-0 in the fourth quarter. The Spider’s Doug Howell intercepted a Heinicke pass and returned it 22 yards for a score in the early moments of the final quarter. On their next possession, Richmond managed to move down field 94-yards in seven plays ending with a seven-yard touchdown run for Jovan Smith. The Spiders’ extra point, however, was blocked by Chris Burnette, the Monarchs’ second blocked PAT of the season.

It was four and out for the Monarchs next followed by Richmond needing only four plays to pull within single digits, 45-37. Edwards got in a 25-yard return to get the Spiders to mid-field and later tore down field 33 yards, setting up Laub to cross into the end zone.

Old Dominion took its time moving down field running out the final 6:40 left in the game.

The Monarchs head into their bye week and will return to action on Homecoming October 13th against Villanova. Kick off is set for 3:30 p.m.

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