Ben Dupree accounted for six touchdowns, five on the ground, while Darien Robinson earned 227 rushing yards and added two scores for the Bulldogs, but a clutch two-point conversion stop by Old Dominion with 1:39 left in the game capped a 59-58 Monarch victory on Saturday night at S.B. Ballard Stadium.
The Citadel (1-3) rewrote the record book on Saturday night in a game which saw a combined 117 points and 1,108 yards. The Bulldogs rushed for 453 yards, the fifth most in school history, and highest since gaining 479 against Charleston Southern last season.
Robinson eclipsed the 200-yard plateau for the first time in his career and became the first Bulldog to achieve the feat since Tory Cooper in 2006. The 227 yards is the fourth most by an individual in a game in program history and moved the senior B-back into seventh place in school history with 2,333 career rushing yards.
Dupree, who accounted for 36 of the team's 59 points, added his second straight 100-yard game collecting 155 on the ground and another 113 through the air on 5-of-8 passing. The five rushing touchdowns are the most in school history and the senior quarterback jumped four spots on the all-time rushing touchdowns list with 26 in his career.
He now sits in 11th place in school history with 2,056 yards and became the 12thplayer in Citadel history to reach the 2,000-yard plateau.
The Bulldogs trailed 59-52 when Dupree connected with Jake Stenson, who completed an acrobatic catch and run into the end zone from 23 yards out to pull the Bulldogs within 59-58 with 1:39 left in the game.
After the decision was made to go for the two-point conversion and win, the Bulldogs went to their captain on a double option on the outside. Dupree ran outside and found running room towards the corner of the end zone, but Monarch defender Reggie Owens connected with the Bulldog quarterback and stopped him shy of the goal line.
A failed onside kick attempt gave the ball back to the Monarchs, who ran out the clock. The 117 combined points are the most in Citadel history and the 58 points are the most ever in a Bulldogs' loss.
Robinson opened what would be a scoring frenzy with a 62-yard touchdown scamper 1:15 into the game, and the teams went on to score a combined 59 points in the first half which ended with The Citadel in front 31-28.
Old Dominion (2-2) answered right back with a quick six-play, 65-yard drive that culminated in a 30-yard touchdown pass from Taylor Heinicke to Antonio Vaughn to knot the game at 7-7.
The Bulldogs followed up the Monarch score with a nine-play drive, but an errant pitch by Dupree at the Old Dominion 36 created a turnover which was turned into the Monarchs' second score on a three-yard pass from Heinicke to Zach Pascal, ending the first quarter with a score of 14-7 in ODU's favor.
The teams combined for five more touchdowns in the second quarter, and when Thomas Warren kicked a 27-yard field goal late in the period, the Bulldogs went to the locker room with a three-point lead.
A wild third quarter, which saw three lead changes, started with long touchdown runs by each of the quarterbacks. Heinicke took the Monarchs down the field on a 13-play drive which he capped with a 25-yard run to give ODU a 35-31 lead.
Dupree followed up the Monarch quarterback's drive with an impressive eight-play, 88-yard drive of his own completed with a 33-yard scamper to the end zone to give the Bulldogs a 38-35 lead with 6:46 remaining in the third quarter.
Another quick drive put together by the reigning Walter Payton Award winner resulted in a three-yard scoring run by Cam Boyd that gave the Monarchs a 41-38 lead after the failed extra point attempt.
The Monarchs changed the momentum of the game with a successful ensuing onside kick, and two minutes later Monarch running back Colby Goodwyn broke loose for a 20-yard score, his second of the game, giving ODU a 48-38 lead with 2:37 left in the third quarter.
In stunning fashion the Monarchs dribbled another onside kick at an unsuspecting Citadel front and gathered the loose ball on the ODU 43.
The Bulldog defense buckled down and stymied the ODU offense, allowing just 22 yards to bring up a 4th and 22 on The Citadel 35. Monarch kicker Jarod Brown lined up for a career-long 52-yard field goal and drilled it through the uprights to give ODU a 51-38 lead heading into the final quarter.
Dupree, who took every snap under center for the second straight week, bounced back to lead his team down the field with a 16-play drive that spanned almost nine minutes, resulting in his fourth rushing touchdown of the game from two yards out to put his team back in the game 51-45 with 6:16 remaining.
An ensuing Citadel sky kick resulted in an ODU fumble which was recovered by Cody Richardson at the Monarch 30. Five plays later, Dupree found the end zone for a record fifth time on an impressive 19-yard run. The extra point by Warren gave the Bulldogs a 52-51 advantage with 4:21 left to play.
The Citadel lead lasted just two plays as Heinicke connected with Larry Pinkard for a 70-yard catch and run to give the Monarchs back the 59-52 lead with 3:36 remaining.
Heinicke completed 35 of 42 passes for 363 yards and three touchdowns. The Citadel finished with a 566-542 edge in total offense.
The Citadel heads back to Charleston next week for a 6 p.m. kickoff against Furman at Johnson Hagood Stadium on Sept. 28.