Old Dominion beats Eastern Michigan in Bahamas Bowl

Posted at 6:09 PM, Dec 23, 2016
and last updated 2016-12-23 18:09:04-05
NASSAU, Bahamas (AP) -- David Washington threw three touchdowns passes, Ray Lawry ran for 133 yards and Old Dominion beat Eastern Michigan 24-20 on Friday in the Bahamas Bowl.
Old Dominion (10-3) won in its first bowl appearance in school history. The Monarchs didn't play football for 69 years before restarting the program in 2009. They made the transition to the Football Bowl Subdivision in 2013.
Eastern Michigan (7-6) lost in its first bowl appearance since 1987. The Eagles were led by Brogan Roback, who completed 26 of 46 passes for 300 yards, two touchdowns and one interception.
Roback threw for at least 300 yards in six of his final seven games.
Old Dominion had a 10-0 halftime lead, but Eastern Michigan rallied to tie the game at 17 late in the third quarter when Paul Fricano made a 24-yard field goal.
The Monarchs bounced back with Washington's third touchdown pass, which went for five yards to Jonathan Duhart and put Old Dominion up 24-17.
ODU controlled the game in the first half and an impressive 47-yard touchdown throw from Washington to Zach Pascal gave the Monarchs their 10-0 halftime advantage.
Washington -- who was a receiver earlier in his collegiate career -- evaded multiple Eastern Michigan defenders on the play, before stepping up and throwing to Pascal in the end zone.
The Bahamas Bowl has now featured three interesting games in its three-year history. Western Kentucky won the inaugural game in 2014 against Central Michigan 49-48, barely holding on after giving up 34 fourth-quarter points. Last year, Western Michigan and Middle Tennessee were tied at 24 going into the fourth quarter before Western Michigan pulled away for a 45-31 win.
Eastern Michigan: The Eagles took a huge step forward this season after winning just one game last year, but taking another step will be a challenge in 2017. EMU must replace a lot of talent on both the offensive and defensive lines, including star defensive end Pat O'Connor.
Old Dominion: The Monarchs must find someone to replace Washington, who was steady all season. Old Dominion will have a few more holes to fill -- particularly at linebacker -- but returns quite a bit of talent on both sides of the ball.