DURHAM, N.C. – Kierre Brown set an Elon record for kickoff return yards, but the Phoenix dropped its opener at Duke by a 52-13 margin on Saturday night.
Brown set the record on his second return of the night as he gained 18 yards on the return to give him 1,849 career kick return yards as he surpassed the mark of 1,872 set by Rod Clark from 1991-94. He ended the night with 174 return yards to bring his career total to 2,017.
“I think we played hard until the end, but the result is the result,” said Elon head coach Rich Skrosky. “The game should have been closer than it was. Too many of our errors were self-inflicted on both sides of the ball. Overall, I’m proud of my guys. They’re a great group. We’re going to get this thing going. We ran the ball pretty well.”
After the Phoenix (0-1) went three-and-out on the opening series, Duke (1-0) drove 61 yards in 11 plays to claim a 7-0 lead when Anthony Boone lofted a four-yard pass to the back left corner of the end zone to Issac Blakeney.
Elon came right back and put together a 13-play, 61-yard drive that ended when John Gallagher booted a 36-yard field goal. The drive began at the Elon 20 before the Phoenix converted a third-and-six with a 10-yard completion from Mike Quinn to Tre Lennon. That was followed by a 14-yard dash by Tracey Coppedgeas Elon moved to its own 48-yard line. The maroon and gold would get the ball to the Duke 19 for a fourth-and-one before kicking the field goal with 3:06 showing on the first-quarter clock.
Trailing 21-3 after two second-quarter Duke touchdowns, Elon put together an 11-play drive that went 51 yards and ended with Gallagher’s second field goal of the night, this one from 35 yards out, with 4:24 left in the first half. Quinn completed five of his eight passes on the drive for 49 yards during the drive that used 3:36 off the clock.
Duke added one final touchdown in the first half to hold a 28-6 advantage after 60 minutes.
The Phoenix found the end zone with 10:23 remaining in the game as #B.J. Bennett# ran the ball in from two yards away to cap an eight-play, 75-yard drive. Bennett started the possession with a 21-yard run out to the Elon 46-yard line before Quinn hit Andre Davis for 12 yards. Facing a fourth-and-seven from the Duke 39, Quinn sent a pass deep down the right hash marks and Brown made a leaping catch to move the chains with a gain of 34 yards to the Duke five.
Quinn ended the night with 19 completions on 38 passes for 190 yards. Brown caught five balls for 70 yards and Demitri Allison snared five passes for 36 yards. Bennett rushed the ball for a career-high 87 yards whileTracey Coppedge picked up 65 yards on the ground.
Elon’s defense saw both Jonathan Spain and Julius Moore post 10 tackles.
After taking next weekend off, Elon will open up its home slate on Sept. 13 against North Carolina A&T at 6 p.m. as the maroon and gold will honor its Elon Sports Hall of Fame class.
Elon (0-1) vs. Duke (1-0)
Date: Aug 30, 2014 • Site: Durham, N.C. • Stadium: Wallace Wade Stadium
1 2 3 4 Total Elon 3 3 0 7 13 Duke 7 21 10 14 52
Kickoff time: 6:04 pm • End of Game: 9:15 pm • Total elapsed time: 3:11
Officials: Referee: Walter Davenpor; Umpire: Donald Yates; Linesman: Mike Pavese;
Line judge: Robert Zivkovic; Back judge: Scot Maslin; Field judge: Tom Potts;
Side judge: Jim Pavese;
Temperature: 86 F • Wind: NWN 7mph • Weather: Mostly sunny, humid