BOONE, N.C. (WAVY) – Missing its top two playmakers to injuries, Old Dominion figured to be challenged offensively against Appalachian State.
However, the defense suffered some of its own Saturday, including that of Jason Henderson, who leads FBS in tackles and was just 28 tackles short of the record going into the game, and the Monarchs dropped a 27-14 decision to the Mountaineers in a game that was not as close as the final score indicated. The loss was Old Dominion’s fifth straight after a 3-3 start to the season.
Appalachian State (6-5, 3-4 Sun Belt) scored the first 27 points of the game by the 10:04 mark of the third quarter, while Old Dominion (3-8, 2-5) struggled to finish drives. Defensively, besides the loss of Henderson during the game, it was also without linebacker Ryan Henry, forcing the Monarchs into playing with backups for most of the game.
The Monarchs did get some offense in the fourth quarter to make the score respectable, capping off their first scoring drive with a 37-yard touchdown pass from Hayden Wolff (22-of-38, 308 yards, 2 TDs) to Javon Harvey (Lake Taylor HS, Norfolk, Va.) with 7:05 to go in the fourth quarter, ending a streak of 13 quarters without a touchdown.
Wolff found Harvey again on a 25-yard pass to finish a 75-yard drive. Harvey finished with four catches for 133 yards, a career-high.
Running back Blake Watson had 10 carries for 69 yards and seven receptions for 73 yards for the Monarchs, and R’Tarriun Johnson had 10 tackles.
Appalachian State, after getting a field goal to open the scoring, took advantage of a mixup in the Old Dominion secondary, allowing Kaedin Robinson to take a pass from quarterback Chase Brice and score from 35 yards late in the first quarter.
On the first play of their next possession in the second quarter, the Mountaineers’ Christian Wells caught a Brice pass and went 75 yards for another touchdown. The Mountaineers scored again later in the quarter on a 17-yard run from Ahmani Marshall, getting a push from his linemen into the end zone to make their lead 24-0.
Old Dominion came close to scoring in the first half, but failed to score twice in the red zone. On on of those possessions, a Wolff 47-yard pass to Harvey was followed by a Brendon Clark fumble, andon another, had a touchdown overturned on review, and then a reverse pass by Harvey was stopped short of the end zone.
“The funny part about it is there were times all game where we were moving the ball,” said Monarchs coach Ricky Rahne. “There were times when we just got bogged down with a stupid penalty or had a missed assignment or we were just not believing.”
Old Dominion finishes its season at South Alabama at noon Nov. 26 in a game that will be shown on ESPN+.