GREENSVILLE, NC (WAVY) - The Old Dominion University might not have won their historic season-opener at East Carolina University, but they made the argument they belong in the Football Bowl Subdivision.
The Monarchs played toe-to-toe with the Pirates, but couldn't quite keep up in a 52-38 loss. ODU Junior quarterback Taylor Heinike, named the best player in the FCS a season ago, completed 31-of-58 passes for 338 yards and threw three touchdown passes. Heinike also lead the team in rushing with 11 carries for 52 yards and another score.
His first scoring toss of the night, a one-yarder to receiver Blair Roberts, gave ODU a 10-7 lead over the Pirates with 10:42 left in the second quarter. Heinike's next touchdown strike sailed 42 yards before landing perfectly in Jakwail Bailey's hands.
That gave the Monarchs a 17-14 lead.
The two turning points in the game for Head Coach Bobby Wilder's bunch came just before and just after halftime. East Carolina quarterback Shane Cardin, a whopping 46-of-54 for 447 yards and five touchdowns, escaped the pressure, and found Davon Grayson in the endzone as the clock struck all zeroes to end the half.
That gave the Pirates back a 21-17 advantage. With less than 60 seconds gone by in the third quarter, Heinike held on to the ball long enough for the defense to swat it to the turf. ECU's Ty Holmes scooped up Heinike's fumble and scooted 26 yards for a touchdown that made it 28-17 ECU.
Old Dominion got as close as 35-31 at the end of the third quarter, before East Carolina pulled away in the fourth to seal the win.
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