No. 12 Elon Phoenix Football Battles USF to the Finish

Posted by Press Release on September 2, 2018 at 8:47 am under College | Comments are off for this article

TAMPA, Fla. – Though winning the second half, 12th-ranked Elon University football dropped a 34-14 decision Saturday, Sept. 1, in the season opener against USF inside Raymond James Stadium.

“South Florida is an excellent football team. You can see it up in the stands that they’re fast and their offense plays with a really fast tempo,” said Elon head coach Curt Cignetti. “Our kids fought the entire game and we actually won the second half. This was a good game for us to play against a quality team that will really help our football team in a lot of ways and I’m proud of the way we fought and finished the game.”

HOW IT HAPPENED
Trailing 24-0 at halftime, the Bulls pushed the lead to 31-0 before Elon engineered back-to-back touchdown drives. First, Jaylan Thomas saw his first-career offensive snaps and took the first carry 19 yards before adding 15 more four plays later to set Elon up at the 12-yard line. On the next play, Jalen Greene took it the rest of the way to get Elon on the board.

With USF going three-and-out on the ensuing drive, Elon took over and Thomas took the first two plays 36 yards to put Elon on the USF 16. After a first-down run by Brelynd Cyphers, the sophomore punched it in from two yards out to cut the deficit to 31-14.

Though USF added a field goal in the closing six minutes, Elon outscored the Bulls 14-10 in the second half.

Getting the ball to open the night, Elon started the game running the ball nine times for 43 yards before a Davis Cheek pass over the middle was batted up in the air and picked off by USF on the 30. On the ensuing drive, the Bulls got on the board first with a 40-yard pass from Blake Barnett to Randall St. Felix.

OFFENSE
Passing
Elon: Davis Cheek (5-11, 45 yards)
USF: Blake Barnett (24-34, 305 yards, 3 touchdowns)

Rushing
Elon: Jaylan Thomas (9 carries, 87 yards)
USF: Johnny Ford (8 carries, 43 yards)

Receiving
Elon: Kortez Weeks (2 receptions, 24 yards)
USF: Randall St. Felix (7 receptions, 143 yards, 1 touchdown)

Defense
Elon: Warren Messer (9 tackles)
USF: Jaymon Thomas (11 tackles, 1.5 TFL)

FINAL STATS

UP NEXT
The Phoenix will welcome No. 21 Furman for a rematch of the first round of the 2017 FCS Playoffs on Saturday, Sept. 8. Kickoff is set for 6 p.m. at Rhodes Stadium. The date marks Hall of Fame Weekend for the Phoenix with football’s Terrell Hudgins ’10, Damon Gooch ’09 of men’s tennis and Jimmy Lytle ’08 of men’s golf set to be inducted into the Elon Athletics Hall of Fame.


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