ELON, N.C. – A promising start by the Elon University football team was derailed by the visiting Rhode Island Rams as the Phoenix dropped a 44-14 decision on Senior Day at Rhodes Stadium on Saturday afternoon.
Elon fell to 2-8 overall and 1-6 in CAA Football play. The win moved Rhode Island to 2-8, 1-6.
How it happened: Elon took a 7-0 lead after the first offensive snap of the game as Dondre Howell picked off a Jordan Vazzano pass and returned it 26 yards for a touchdown.
Rhode Island trailed 7-3 when the Rams took possession at their own 39 with 7:02 to go in the second quarter. Rhody converted a third-and-four at its 45 with an eight-yard run by Harold Cooper and later moved to the Elon 22 after Cooper gained two on second and two. On second-and-11 from the Elon 13, Vazzano dropped back and found Marven Beauvais for a 13-yard touchdown strike to cap a 10-play, 61-yard drive and take a 10-7 lead.
Elon’s ensuing drive was stopped on an interception that gave the Rams possession at the Elon 45. Rhode Island drove down and picked up a first down at the Elon five. Originally, it looked as if that play would end the half, but an official review put one second back on the clock and the Rams were able to add a 23-yard field goal from Justin Rohrwasser to take a 13-7 lead at the break.
Rohrwasser would push the lead to 16-7 with a 42-yard field goal on Rhode Island’s first drive of the second half. The Rams would add a touchdown on a seven-yard pass late in the quarter to lead 23-7 entering the final 15 minutes of play.
Elon trailed 37-7 when the Phoenix put together a five-play, 65-yard drive that ended with Daniel Thompsontossing a 24-yard touchdown strike to Jeremiah Bridges. That play came right after Malcolm Summers hauled in a 23-yard pass.
Rhode Island added its final score when Cooper brought the kickoff back 98 yards.
Elon – De’Sean McNair (14 carries, 74 yards)
URI – Harold Cooper (16 carries, 155 yards, 1 TD)
Elon – Daniel Thompson (15-31, 193 yards, 1 TD)
URI – Jordan Vazzano (15-24, 226 yards, 2 TD)
Elon – Corey Joyner (5 receptions, 75 yards)
URI – Aaron Parker (4 receptions, 86 yards, 1 TD)
Elon – John Silas (8 tackles, 1 TFL)
URI – Lorenzo Bryant (8 tackles, 0.5 TFL, 1 PBU)
Noteworthy: John Silas moved in to a tie for fifth place with Brandon Wiggins (2007-10) on Elon’s career tackles chart with 350… Dondre Howell’s interception was the first of his career and the score marked Elon’s second defensive touchdown of the year… Corey Joyner established a new personal best with 75 receiving yards… Saturday’s game was the first-ever between Elon and Rhode Island.
Up Next: Elon will close out the 2016 campaign with a 1:30 p.m. game at James Madison.