No. 10 Elon Football Stays Hot, Knocks Off No. 13 Villanova

VILLANOVA, Pa. – In a clash of top-15 opponents the 10th-ranked Elon University football team pulled out a 19-14 victory over the 13th-rated Villanova Wildcats on Saturday, Oct. 28. The win was the fourth of the year for the Phoenix against a ranked opponent.


Elon’s record moved to 7-1 and 5-0 in CAA Football play, while Villanova dropped to 4-4, 2-3. The victory was the seventh in a row for the Phoenix.

Kortez Weeks became just the third receiver in the history of the Elon program to have a 200-yard receiving game. He finished the game with 205 yards on 11 catches. The 205 yards were the seventh-most in program history.

How it happened: Down 14-10 in with 12:05 remaining in the game, Elon got the ball back at its 37-yard line after a punt. On second-and-10, Davis Cheek connected with Tre Lennon for 30 yards before going back to the senior for a gain of 12 to the Villanova 21-yard line. On the next play, Cheek threw a ball to the outside shoulder of Tre Marsh who grabbed the throw and crossed the goal line. The Phoenix led 16-14 after the PAT was no good.

The Phoenix defense forced another Villanova punt and took over at the Villanova 44-yard line with 8:42 to play. Cheek ran it twice for nine yards before De’Sean McNair moved the chains with a four-yard run on third-and-one. A 14-yard toss to McNair moved the chains again before the Phoenix drive was stopped at the Villanova 15-yard line. Owen Johnson came on and hit his second field goal of the game, this one a 28-yarder to make it a five-point game with 4:34 showing on the clock.

The Wildcats got a 65-yard return of the ensuing kickoff, setting them up at the Elon 35. A holding penalty backed Villanova up and the Wildcats would turn the ball over on downs when a fourth-and-eight pass fell incomplete.

Villanova was the first to get on the board, capitalizing on an interception off a tipped pass that gave the Wildcats the ball at the Elon 44. On the second offensive play, Kyle McCloskey hit Aaron Forbes for a 44-yard score late in the first quarter.

The Phoenix evened the score at seven following an 11-play, 78-yard drive. Cheek was 6-for-7 on the drive for 36 yards, including a nine-yard touchdown pass to McNair on third-and-seven.

With the game still even at seven late in the third quarter, Owen Johnson capped an eight-play, 56-yard drive with a 25-yard field goal to put the maroon and gold up 10-7. Cheek completed three of his four passes on the drive, with Weeks catching two for 43 yards.

On the ensuing Villanova drive, the Wildcats faced a third-and-10 from the Elon 39 before McCluskey was able to escape pressure and run for 13 yards to keep the drive alive. Two plays later, McCluskey connected with Taurus Phillips for a 24-yard touchdown as the Wildcats grabbed a 14-10 edge with under a minute to play in the third quarter.

Stat Leaders:
Elon – De’Sean McNair (20 carries, 90 yards)
Villanova – Kyle McCloskey (19 carries, 65 yards)

Elon – Davis Cheek (24-35, 357 yards, 2 TDs)
Villanova – Kyle McCloskey (9-20, 137 yards, 2 TDs)

Elon – Kortez Weeks (11 receptions, 205 yards)
Villanova – Aaron Forbes (5 receptions, 74 yards, 1 TD)

Elon – T.J. Speight (6 tackles, 1.0 sack, 1.0 TFL)
Villanova – Jeff Steeb (11 tackles)

Noteworthy: Elon’s 117 rushing yards were the most allowed by Villanova this season (allowed just 49.3 rushing yards per game coming in)… The Wildcats had kept nine consecutive opponents under 100 rushing yards… Cheek set a new career high in passing yards for the second straight week… The fourth-quarter comeback was the fourth of the year for the Phoenix.

Up Next: The Phoenix returns to Rhodes Stadium on Saturday, Nov. 4, as Elon welcomes Towson to town for Homecoming. Game time is set for 2 p.m.