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Old Dominion downs A-State in 2022 conference opener


Red Wolves let another close game slip through their fingers

A-State Media Relations NORFOLK, Va. — Another close game slipped away from Arkansas State in Saturday’s Sun Belt Conference opener.

A fourth-quarter lead vanished for the second week in a row as the Red Wolves fell 29-26 to Sun Belt newcomer Old Dominion.

Trailing by five points, the Monarchs forced a turnover to set up a short touchdown drive that gave them the lead with 6:33 remaining in the game.

ASU (1-3, 0-1 Sun Belt) turned the ball over on downs at its 40-yard line with 2:15 remaining. The Red Wolves forced a punt to get the ball back at their 2 with 1:09 to play, but moved no farther than their 35 before time expired.

After leading 12-0 at halftime, ASU was outscored 29-14 in the second half by ODU (2-2, 1-0), which had 286 of its 330 total yards after halftime. Monarch quarterback Hayden Wolff, who was only 2-of-6 passing in the first half for 31 yards, finished the day 19of-32 for 279 yards and two touchdowns.

ODU wide receiver Ali Jennings racked up 140 yards on four catches and a score while tight end Zack Kuntz caught three passes for 46 yards and a touchdown. Both were shut out in the first half.

ASU lost despite a 397-330 advantage in total yards.

The Red Wolves lost two turnovers, both of which resulted in points for the Monarchs, and quarterback James Blackman was sacked seven times.

Blackman was 23-of-35 passing for 285 yards and a touchdown. Jeff Foreman caught four passes for 115 yards and a touchdown, while Seydou Traore had seven receptions for 81 yards as ASU played without wide receivers Champ Flemings and Te’Vailance Hunt because of injuries.

Backup quarterback AJ Mayer led ASU in rushing with 46 yards and a touchdown on seven carries.

Brian Snead added 41 yards and a touchdown, while Johnnie Lang finished with 35 on 10 carries. Defensively, Jordan

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Photo courtesy of A-State

An Old Dominion defender celebrates a stop of the Red Wolves drive Saturday afternoon as A-State fell 29-26 in its 2022 Sun Belt Conference opener. A-STATE (cont.)

Carmouche led ASU with 10 tackles — his second straight outing with 10-plus stops. The Red Wolves also played without defensive end Kivon Bennett.

ASU struck first with 10 minutes remaining in the half when a holding call against ODU in the end zone resulted in a safety.

The Red Wolves took the ball on offense after the free kick and drove 58 yards in three plays, with Snead’s 4-yard rushing score making it 9-0.

Dominic Zvada drilled a 44-yard field goal with 37 seconds left, improving to 6-for-6 on the year, to give the Red Wolves a 12-0 halftime lead.

The Monarchs took possession to start the second half and scored in six plays to make it 12-7. A 32-yard pass from Wolff to Jennings put ODU at the ASU 1 before Keshawn Wicks pushed across the line for the rushing touchdown.

ASU answered on the next drive when Blackman found Foreman for a 49yard strike to make it 19-7.

Two plays later, Wolff linked up with a wide-open Jennings for a 77-yard touchdown pass to cut the deficit to 19-14.

Later in the third, ODU took a two-point lead when Deeve Harris intercepted a Blackman pass and returned it 16 yards into the end zone, giving the hosts a 21-19 lead.

The Red Wolves reclaimed the lead when Mayer scampered 23 yards to make it 26-21 with 12:10 remaining.

Old Dominion recovered a fumble at the ASU 29 with 7:52 left in the game. The Red Wolves were whistled for pass interference on fourth-and-3 at the 22, setting up Wolff’s 7-yard touchdown pass to Kuntz. Obie Sanni’s 2-point conversion rush gave the Monarchs a 29-26 lead.

ASU returns home for the first of back-to-back home contests, hosting Louisiana-Monroe for homecoming Saturday.

Kickoff at Centennial Bank Stadium is set for 6 p.m.

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