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Old Dominion drops a heartbreaker to East Carolina 37-35

GREENVILLE, N.C. (ODUSports.com) - Jake Verity kicked a 38-yard field goal with 46 seconds left to give East Carolina a 37-35 win over Old Dominion Saturday evening in Greenville.

Justice Davila (Courtesy: Keith Lucas)

The Pirates had first down on the ODU 24 when Justice Davila looked like he sealed the game for the Monarchs with an interception, but the play was ruled incomplete. Three plays later Verity kicked the game-winner.

Blake LaRussa was sacked on the final two plays of the game by ECU to end the game.

The Monarchs took their first lead of the game with 9:18 left in the fourth quarter on a 49-yard touchdown pass from LaRussa to Isaiah Harper, and LaRussa hit Keion White on the two-point attempt for a 35-28 lead.

Tahj Deans scored on a four-yard touchdown for ECU but Oshane Ximines blocked the extra point to preserve an ODU 35-34 lead.

The Pirates got the ball back with 2:02 left and Reid Herring converted a fourth and 10 for 16-yards to Deans, and then ECU got another first down on a pass interference penalty before Davila's near game-ending interception.

East Carolina got on the board first as Anthony Scott ran in from four-yards out to cap a 13 play, 75-yard drive for the 7-0 Pirates lead.

The Monarchs responded quickly with a 20-yard touchdown pass from LaRussa to Fulgham. LaRussa hit Duhart on passes of 21 and 24-yards before the TD strike to Fulgham.

Reid Herring came back for ECU and hit Trevon Brown for a 46-yard touchdown pass to put the Pirates back on top 14-7.

With the Pirates driving, Sean Carter intercepted Reid Herring’s pass and returned it 75-yards to the ECU five. Three plays later Jeremy Cox pushed in from a yard out to tie the score at 14.

ECU retook the lead with a 12-yard touchdown pass from Herring to Deondre Farrier for a 21-14 advantage early in the second quarter.

Nick Rice cut the ECU lead to four with a 23-yard field goal with four minutes left in the first half.

Following an ECU three and out, ODU drove 47-yards in two minutes for a 28-yard field goal by Rice to cut the halftime lead to 21-20.

UPDATE (Monday October 1st): Conference USA Coordinator of Football Officials Gerald Austin released this statement as an interpretation of the crucial interception call at the end of Saturday's ODU/ECU game:

"I have confirmed that even though the official may have gotten the call correct, he was too technical in his decision to rule incomplete on that interception. He should have called it a catch and let replay decide. We cannot take a play away from a player that we cannot back up as officials."

"Obviously it was a very difficult locker room after the game, talking to the players about it," Old Dominion head coach Bobby Wilder said. "I made a point to them that we all felt the way we felt about that and we felt like we had won the football game, we felt like we had intercepted the ball. I reminded them of some other points in there, we had a fourth and 10, we didn’t get a stop, we had two opportunities offensively."