ELON, N.C. – The Elon defense pitched a shutout after the first quarter and the Phoenix offense rallied from a 13-point deficit to claim a 17-13 victory over the Towson Tigers on a rainy Saturday at Rhodes Stadium. The win was the first CAA Football for the maroon and gold.
Elon now sits at 2-2 overall and 1-0 in CAA Football play. Towson dropped to 2-2, 0-1.
Quotable: “Any time you get a win, and particularly a conference win, it’s somewhat of a big day. I can’t tell you how happy I am for everybody, the players first and foremost. I keep saying we’re going to get better and better and today was a reflection of that. For the game to start the way it did, with a turnover on the first play offensively, the defense responding, getting the big play with Connor (Christiansen) to Tereak (McCray) and building some momentum off of that. And then we just kept grinding. I think we played a real good third-down defense.” – Elon head coach Rich Skrosky
“I just tried to do my position and nothing more. It’s a game of nerves. You’ve got highs and lows in the game. I almost couldn’t move. I know you’re not supposed to look at the clock on the scoreboard, but it’s my natural human instinct to look. Then I saw the zeroes across and I just ran to the sideline.” – Elon linebacker Corey Mitchell on the final Towson drive.
How it happened: After allowing 13 first-quarter points, the Elon defense allowed the Phoenix offense to get the maroon and gold back in the game by not allowing another point. The Elon scoring began late in the first period when Connor Christiansen hit Tereak McCray for a 35-yard strike that just eluded a defender. After Towson fumbled on the first play from scrimmage in the third quarter and Elon’s Jonathan Jackson recovered at the 26-yard line. Two plays later, Brandon Gentry toted the ball across the goal line from five yards out to put the Phoenix in front, 14-13. Later in the third, John Gallagher’s 45-yard field goal hit the right upright, but bounced through to make it a 17-13 game.
Inside the box score: John Silas led all players with 16 total tackles, including a sack… Silas now has nine career double-digit tackle performances… Corey Mitchell added 12 stops, his third double-digit effort of the year… The wet conditions led to a combined 10 fumbles as Towson put the ball on the ground six times and Elon four times…The Phoenix held Towson to just 5-of-16 on third down and 3-for-9 on fourth down.
Notes: Elon now has 14 total sacks in three games, six shy of the total posted by the 2014 squad… Gallagher moved in to fifth place on Elon’s FCS all-time scoring chart with 147 points… The win was just the fourth for Elon in a conference opener at the NCAA Division I level.
Up next: The Phoenix will hit the road for its next two outings beginning with an Oct. 3 date at New Hampshire.