Second Half Rally Comes Up Short for Elon Phoenix Football

Posted by Press Release on November 1, 2014 at 10:09 pm under College | Comments are off for this article

TOWSON, Md. – After trailing 21-6 at halftime, the Elon Phoenix football team used a strong second half that included a shutout performance by its defense to rally, but fell just shy of picking up a CAA Football victory as the Towson Tigers edged the maroon and gold 21-19.

The Phoenix (1-8, 0-5 CAA) trailed by eight when it got the ball back at its own 13-yard line with 3:33 left to play in the fourth quarter. A nine-yard scamper by Mike Quinn on second-and-10 was followed by a 13-yard toss to Kierre Brown as Elon quickly moved to the 35-yard line. From there, the Phoenix faced a third-and-10 when Quinn picked up six with a pass to Demitri Allison. The fourth-and-four play was a big one, as Quinn connected with Justin Osborne for 24 yards along the Towson sideline as the Phoenix reached the Towson 35-yard line. After a defensive pass interference penalty set Elon up with a first-and-goal at the 10, Quinn went to Brown for a five-yard gain. On third-and-goal, Quinn looked to the back corner of the end zone where he floated a pass to Brown who made an impressive grab to cut the Elon deficit to two points. The Phoenix tried for the two-point conversion, but the throw was incomplete, forcing Elon to attempt an on-side kick with just 1:11 to play. The kick was a good one, but the Tigers corralled the bounce to secure the game.

“I think both sides made some plays, and at the end of the day, they probably made one more than we did,” said Elon head coach Rich Skrosky. “The effort of the kids, I can’t say enough how proud I am of them. I thought we had good passion. The second half, the defense stepped up. We were able to sustain a couple drives. We’ll watch the tape and we’ll learn from it.”

Towson (4-5, 2-3) took the second-half kickoff and was driving to extend its lead when Adrian McClendonpicked off his second pass in as many weeks to stop the drive and keep the Elon deficit at 15 points.

On its second drive of the second half, Elon covered 62 yards on 11 plays to pull within eight points when Andre Davis grabbed a five-yard pass from Mike Quinn in the front corner of the end zone. That drive began at the Elon 38 and moved to the Towson 23 where the Phoenix faced a fourth-and-five. Quinn’s pass was incomplete, but the drive was continued thanks to a pass interference call against the Tigers. Three plays later, Quinn hit Davis for the score.

In the first half, Towson found the end zone on each of its first two drives to build a 14-0 advantage before John Gallagher’s 25-yard field goal got the Phoenix on the board.

The Tigers forced Elon to punt from its own end zone late in the first half and were able to turn a short field into a third touchdown with 31 seconds remaining in the second quarter to stretch the lead to 21-3. The Phoenix came right back and moved 33 yards before Gallagher drilled a career-long 49-yard field goal that had the distance to be good from near 60 yards away that provided the halftime margin.

Elon’s defense had three double-digit tackle performances. Leading the way with 12 stops was John Silas. Jonathan Spain amassed 11 tackles to climb into sixth place on the program’s all-time chart with 328 total tackles. Finally, Julius Moore made 10 tackles.

The Phoenix special teams blocked both a punt (Jeremy Gloston) and field goal (Alexander Dawson). Elon has blocked a punt in two consecutive games, while the blocked field goal was the first for the team since Sept. 2012.

Offensively, Quinn completed 25 of 43 passes for 184 yards and two scores. He also ran the ball 10 times for 39 yards.

Elon will be back on the road next weekend as the Phoenix visits nationally-ranked William & Mary in a 3:30 p.m. game that will be televised on Comcast SportsNet.

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