Third-Quarter Surge Pushes No. 12 Elon Football Past Buccaneers

Posted by Press Release on September 23, 2018 at 8:39 am under College | Comments are off for this article

NORTH CHARLESTON, S.C. – No. 12 Elon University football fell behind early, but a third-quarter surge in all phases of the game pushed the Phoenix to a 31-22 road victory over Charleston Southern on Saturday, Sept. 22, at Buccaneer Field.

FINAL STATS

“It’s a great team win to come in the second half like that,” said Elon head coach Curt Cignetti. “We played with really good poise and effort and I think they lost their poise a little bit. But I was really proud of the way we played to come back and win like that.”

THE RUNDOWN
With 14 points in a span of 3:35 of game action and 21 in 6:47, Elon erased a 22-10 deficit and turned it into a 31-22 lead with 3:01 to play in the third quarter. First, the Phoenix put together a four-play, 46-yard drive that was capped by a 16-yard touchdown pass from Davis Cheek to Malcolm Summers after Cheek shook a tackler and rolled out to find Summers wide open on the Phoenix sideline. The drive was setup by Shamari Wingard’s 39-yard kickoff return that was aided by a personal foul at the end of the return.

On the ensuing kickoff, De’Sean McNair stripped the ball and Zack Monson jumped on it to give Elon the ball on the CSU 40. Six plays later, McNair stiff-armed his defender and cruised into the end zone from three yards out to put the Phoenix up 24-22. After a three-and-out forced by the Elon defense, the Phoenix put together its longest drive of the year going 89 yards on eight plays in 3:20. In the end, Cheek hit Corey Joyner from 12 yards out for the score to put the Phoenix up by the final margin of 31-22.

In the first half, Elon opened the scoring after taking the opening drive 13 plays and 71 yards. Getting down to the Charleston Southern three, Skyler Davis connected on a 20-yard field goal to put Elon up 3-0 early. Following Elon’s opening drive, though, the Buccaneers put together back-to-back touchdown drives with London Johnson taking one-yard and 78-yard carries into the end zone to put CSU up 13-3 after one quarter.

On Charleston Southern’s first drive of the second quarter, Efrim Borders picked off Johnson’s pass to setup Elon on its 46. McNair then went to work with 60 yards on seven carries to put Elon in the end zone for the first time on the night. The final two plays of the drive saw McNair go 25 yards and seven yards, respectively, to cut the lead to just three at 13-10. He also converted a 4th-and-1 with a short carry to keep the drive going.

STATISTICS
Rushing
Elon: Malcolm Summers – 29 carries, 150 yards
CSU: London Johnson – 14 carries, 119 yards, 3 touchdowns

Passing
Elon: Davis Cheek – 19-26, 220 yards, 2 touchdowns
CSU: London Johnson – 3-12, 26 yards, 2 interceptions

Receiving
Elon: Kortez Weeks – 5 receptions, 68 yards
CSU: Kameron Brown – 1 reception 14 yards

Defense
Elon: Matt Baker – 6 tackles, 4 solo tackles, 2.0 sacks
CSU: Shadarius Hopkins – 16 tackles, 10 solo, 1.0 tackles for loss, 1 forced fumble

NOTEWORTHY
-Trailing by 12, the victory marks the largest margin Elon has come back from to win since overcoming a 13-point deficit against Towson on Sept. 26, 2015, to win 17-13.
-After allowing 221 yards of offense in the first half, Elon allowed just 43 in the second 30 minutes.
-On the flip side, Elon had 446 yards of offense – with 253 in the second half alone – after amassing 448 last time out against Furman.
-Elon’s 21-point third quarter is the most points in a quarter since scoring 21 at Furman on Sept. 9, 2017. Last time it scored more than 21 in a quarter came in 2010 when it scored 28 against Shaw.
-Malcolm Summers 150 yards on the ground makes him Elon’s first 100-yard carrier in a game this season.
-Trailing by 12, the victory marks the largest margin Elon has come back from to win since overcoming a 13-point deficit against Towson on Sept. 26, 2015, to win 17-13.
-Elon’s 21-point third quarter is the most points in a quarter since scoring 21 at Furman on Sept. 9, 2017. Last time it scored more than 21 in a quarter came in 2010 when it scored 28 against Shaw.
-Malcolm Summers 150 yards on the ground makes him Elon’s first 100-yard carrier in a game this season.
-Davis Cheek has now completed 75.6 percent of his attempted passes in the last two games, going 31-for-41 for 393 yards with two touchdowns and no interceptions.

UP NEXT
With Elon’s CAA Football opener at William & Mary cancelled, Elon’s new CAA Football opener comes next week on Saturday, Sept. 29, with a 1:30 p.m. kickoff against New Hampshire on Family Weekend at Rhodes Stadium.


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