NORFOLK, Va. (WAVY) – Whether or not Ricky Segers would have his chance was uncertain. Old Dominion University had just given up the tying score, and had 80 yards ahead of them with just over a minute to work with.
Plenty of time for quarterback Taylor Heinicke, who engineered a 5-play drive to move his monarchs down to the Owls 14 with :20 seconds left. Before he took the field, he made sure his sophomore kicker knew something.
“Taylor actually came over to me, and he said, ‘They’re about score here, and then wer’e going to go down the field, and you’re going to kick the ball that wins the game for us,” said Segers, recalling the game after practice on Monday morning.
Wouldn’t ya know it.
A 45 yard strike from Heinicke to Pascal put Segers in perfect position; on the left hash mark with just four ticks left on the clock. Segers stared down a 25-yarder for the win, for his University’s first ever Conference USA win, and a win that would dethrone the defending conference champions on a field they hadn’t lost on in nine tries.
None of that crossed his mind. “I was smiling,” said Segers, “I was excited.”
The snap, perfect. The hold, perfect. The kick sailed just inside the left goal post, and the celebration began. The Monarchs on the bench, all on one knee and joined at the elbows, jumped up and sprinted to the field, arms raised in the air. Segers, looking at first like he didn’t know where to run, joined in the fun; both arms raised to the sky and a smile that seemed to show he knew the gravity of what had just happened.
And in Rudy-fashion, the team lifted Ricky and rested him on their shoulders; everbody just soaking in the moment. “We did it,” said Segers, “I mean that’s just huge. It’s awesome just to be around my teammates. I love all those guys, and in a moment like that, everybody just has so much appreciation for everything everybody’s done that day.”
Not even 48 hours later, Segers and the team had to put all of it– the win, celebration, the history— behind them, and start getting ready for another opportunity to make history.
That will be Friday, when ODU hosts Middle Tennessee in its first ever CUSA home game. Oh yeah, sole possession of first place in the east division is at stake; just as everyone thought it would be.