Monarchs reign supreme, defeat App State for the first time

Published 5:44 pm Tuesday, October 24, 2023

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The Old Dominion Monarchs did something they haven’t done in the history of the football program, defeat the Appalachian State Mountaineers. When Old Dominion needed its defense most, they played like royalty to defeat App State 28-21 in a raucous S.B. Ballard Stadium Saturday night. 

Down 21-20 with 1:08 left in the game, the Monarchs faced a critical 4th and 10 from the Mountaineers 40, forcing head coach Ricky Rahne to call a timeout. A field-goal attempt from that distance would have been from 57 yards out. The only logical choice was to go for it, and they did and converted on a 19-yard reception from Grant Wilson to Javon Harvey. That marked the first 4th down conversion for the Monarchs all season.

Two plays later, Keshawn Wicks burst up the middle for 16 yards and the game-winning touchdown with 48 seconds left to play. Grant connected with Jalen Butler on the two-point conversion.

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After the game, Wicks described what he saw on the run that ended up with what proved to be the game-winning score.

“It was more like a read sequence,” Wicks said. “[I] read it outside. They overplayed outside. [I] looked back inside at the next gap. They overplayed that one. Next gap was there.” 

Starting the ensuing drive on its own 21 with 43 seconds left and only one timeout, the Mountaineers executed three plays of 10+ yards to set up two shots at the end zone from the Monarch’s 23-yard line. The Monarch’s Khian’Dre Harris came up clutch – twice – in the end zone. On the game’s final play, Mountaineer quarterback Joey Aguilar looked to the left side of the field for Dalton Storman, but Harris was there to make the stop and secure the win as the clock hit zero.

On the ground, the Monarchs had 10 plays for 10+ yards, including a 36-yard Kadarius Calloway run that set up a 20-yard Wicks touchdown run in the second quarter. The Monarchs finished the game with 221 yards rushing, led by Calloway’s 104 yards on 13 carries. He also added 20 yards and a score in the passing game. Wicks added 82 yards on 12 carriers, two touchdowns, and 13 yards through the air.

Wilson threw for 188 yards, going 18 for 25 and no turnovers and one touchdown. Javon Harvey led all Monarch receivers with 59 yards, including three catches for 15+ yards. Close behind, with 58 yards on seven receptions, was Isiah Paige.

The Monarchs travel to Harrisonburg to take on a JMU team, who finds themselves ranked 25th in the latest AP Poll on Saturday at 8 p.m. App State returns home to host Southern Miss at 3:30 p.m.