Monarchs top Bulldogs on gridiron

NORFOLK, Va. — A last second field goal propelled Old Dominion (2-6; 1-3 C-USA) to its first conference win in 1,085 days, beating the Louisiana Tech Bulldogs (2-6; 1-3 C-USA) on Saturday by a final score of 23-20 in S.S. Ballard Stadium.

“This is a locker room that has had its fourth last-play loss, and it’s hard to deal with,” Louisiana Tech head coach Skip Holtz said. “We have to pick ourselves up and play four more games. We have to put our game plan together and go execute.”

Tied at 20 late in the fourth quarter, the Bulldogs elected to go for it on a 4th and 3 scenario with back up quarterback J.D. Head, who was in for an injured senior quarterback Austin Kendall. Head attempted a long pass to Bub Means up the sideline, but missed his receiver out of bounds.

“My thought process was we had a young quarterback on the road, and rather than playing for overtime, we would try it,” Holtz said. “We wanted to give our outside receivers an opportunity. And that’s what we tried to execute and we couldn’t do it.”

The Monarchs took over on downs and drove the football to the 29-yard line. With time expiring, the 46-yard field goal by senior Nick Rice went through.

After a scoreless first quarter, both teams scored 10 points in the last four minutes of the second quarter. Tech’s first half touchdown was set up in part thanks to a fake punt direct snap to freshman Joseph Mason for a 27-yard gain. Kendall connected with senior Isaiah Graham for a 32-yard touchdown.

Senior running back Marcus Williams, Jr., scored Tech’s second half touchdown. Freshman kicker Jacob Barnes tacked on two fields goals on the night.

Even in the loss, Holtz commended his defense for a valiant effort on the night.

“We did play extremely well (on defense),” Holtz added. “We gave up a kickoff return for a touchdown in the first half, but I thought defensively, we did some really good things. We had some big stops and two turnovers. I thought they did some really good things tonight.”

Things get no easier for the Bulldogs as they travel to UAB next week for a morning kick off at 11 a.m. The game can be heard on KXKZ 107.5 FM or on the CBS Sports Network.

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