Tuesday, December 6, 2022

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Elon back on track, defeats Delaware

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Records set: kicker makes longest field goal, surpasses most points scored by an Elon player; team allows fewest opponent rushing yards in more than decade

By Bob Sutton

Special to The Alamance News

That’s more like it for Elon’s football team.

The Phoenix returned to the things that defined the team earlier in the season, with a stingy defense and an opportunistic offense resulting in a 27-7 victory against No. 12 Delaware on Saturday at Rhodes Stadium.

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“We’re back,” coach Tony Trisciani said. “It keeps us in the mix for some of our season’s goals.”

Elon (6-3 overall, 4-2 Colonial Athletic Association) snapped a two-game losing streak.

The defense, playing without its fourth-leading tackler Devonte Chandler because of an injury to the linebacker, was up to the task at every turn.

“They came out and we wanted to get it right,” Trisciani said of the defenders.

There were other notable performances, with quarterback Matthew McKay throwing for three touchdowns and kicker Skyler Davis booting a school-record 53-yard field goal.

“That one in particular meant a lot,” Davis said.

As a bonus, those three points pushed him to the program’s career scoring record with 317 points. Former receiver Terrell Hudgins had 316 points.

Elon running back Jalen Hampton rushed for 136 yards on 32 carries.

The Phoenix, which dropped out of the national Football Championship Subdivision rankings earlier in the week, defeated a ranked team for the third time this season.

Elon scored the game’s final 27 points after Delaware (6-2, 3-2) struck first on Braden Brose’s 12-yard pass from Nolan Henderson.

Davis drilled a 36-yard field goal to put Elon on the board in the first quarter.

McKay threw 19 yards to Chandler Brayboy to put the Phoenix ahead. McKay hooked up with Bryson Daughtry on an 11-yard scoring play in the third quarter and less than six minutes later running back Malik Griffin made a 6-yard touchdown catch.

Davis added his record field goal for the only points in the fourth quarter.

Henderson threw for more than 200 yards for the seventh consecutive game, but he barely reached that mark with 202 yards on 25-for-40 passing with an interception. The Phoenix held the Blue Hens to 19 rushing yards – the fewest for an Elon foe in more than 13 years.

Elon safety Omar Dixon intercepted a pass and shared the team lead with six tackles.

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