Gerard Johnson rushed for 137 yards and Taylor Heinicke tossed three touchdowns as Old Dominion University football opened the season with a 41-28 victory over Hampton at Foreman Field at S.B. Ballard Stadium.
After holding a 28-14 halftime lead, ODU took just 1:38 to score in the second half as Heinicke hit Zach Pascal for a 41-yard touchdown to give ODU a 35-14 lead.
Hampton countered with a two-yard TD run from Eric Carter but ODU bounced back with an eight-yard touchdown run by Cam Boyd, his second of the day to make the score 41-21.
The Pirates came back once again as Jaylian Williamson tossed a screen pass to Jorrian Washington that went for a 75-yard touchdown reception and closed the gap to 41-28.
Hampton followed by recovering a pooch kick down the left sideline that was recovered by Rayshad Riddick. HU drove to the Monarch five yardline before Richie Staton sacked Williamson, and forced and recovered a fumble to give ODU the ball back.
After an ODU punt, Hampton drove inside the ODU 10 again, but Isaiah Worthy recovered a Carter fumble to once again give ODU the ball back.
ODU got on the board first as Cam Boyd capped an 11 play, 66-yard drive with a 14-yard touchdown run.
The Pirates knotted the score at seven early in the second quarter as Jayilan Williamson connected with Marcus Hampton for a five-yard touchdown pass.
Old Dominion retook the lead as Heinicke hit Pascal for a five-yard touchdown pass to complete a 67-yard drive for a 14-7 Monarch lead.
Fellonte Misher gave the offense possession at the HU 31-yardline with an interception while Gerard Johnson ran for a 31-yard score on the next play for a 21-7 ODU lead.
Pascal caught his second touchdown of the game from Heinicke, this one from 19-yards out for a 28-7 ODU lead.
Hampton responded with an 11 play, 62-yard drive as Williamson hit Twarn Mixon from six yards out as time expired in the first half to cut the lead to 28-14.
Heinicke was 29-of-40 with three touchdowns and 281 yards. Pascal had eight grabs for 99 yards while Antonio Vaughan had five catches for 79 yards and a TD. Andre Simmons led ODU with nine tackles while Fellonte Misher had eight.
Washington completed 32-of-45 passes for 407 yards and three touchdowns while Riddick had 11 catches for a career-best 119 yards.
Notes: Gerard Johnson surpassed the 100-yard rushing mark for the third time in his career, rushing for 137 yards, the second highest of his career… Taylor Heinicke had three touchdown passes and now has 105 in his career … Cam Boyd carried the ball just four times for 37 yards, but scored two touchdowns and had four receptions … With his 281 passing yards, Heinicke passed Brady Quinn for 26th all-time with 11,764 career passing yards … Andre Simmons had a team-high nine tackles and two tackles for loss … Fellonte Misher had eight tackles and the third interception of his career … Nine true freshman played for ODU including, Vincent Lowe, Jonathan Duhart, Christian Byrum, Brandon Simmons, Ray Lawry, Jarrett Cervi, Isaiah Worthy, Darius Garcia and Marques Little … Lowe was the only true freshman to start, starting the game lined up at running back … Six players played their first game for ODU; Nick England, Bumni Rotimi, Reece Schmidt, Eli Kessner, Tyler Burns and Poncho Barnwell … Nick England caught four passes in the first quarter, his first four catches as an ODU player … Marques Little caught his first career pass for 18 yards in the third quarter … With 79 receiving yards, Antonio Vaughan is 12 yards away from second playing on the career receiving yards list.