ELON, N.C. – Having soared up the national rankings thanks to a seven-game winning streak, the No. 7 Elon University football team returns home to Rhodes Stadium to host the Towson Tigers for Homecoming on Saturday, Nov. 4. Game time is scheduled for 2 p.m.
Fans can watch the game for free on Phoenix All-Access. Phoenix faithful can also listen to the game on WSJS 104.5 FM and 1200 AM as well as at elonphoenix.com as Taylor Durham and Matt Krause will call the action. The pregame radio coverage will begin at 1 p.m.
SCHEDULE OF EVENTS
9:00 a.m. – Parking lots open
11:30 a.m. – Phoenix Walk
11:40 a.m. – Shuttle bus service begins
12:30 p.m. – Ticket windows, bag check and gates open
12:30 p.m. – Phun Zone opens
1:45 p.m. – Fire of the Carolinas performs / National anthem
1:45 p.m. – Letterwinner’s Lounge opens in the Walker Room of Alumni Field House
1:59 p.m. – Elon takes the field
2:03 p.m. – Kickoff of Elon vs. Towson
Led by the cheerleaders and band, fans can welcome the Phoenix to Rhodes Stadium during the Phoenix Walk down Bank of America Drive. This week’s walk will occur at 11:30 a.m.
BAG POLICY AT RHODES STADIUM
Elon University has implemented a policy for bags entering Rhodes Stadium. All bags entering the stadium will be checked before fans reach the ticket booths at the facility. Multiple lines will be available and there will be specific lines for fans entering with no bags.
The following items will be prohibited from Rhodes Stadium:
* Alcoholic beverages
• Outside food and beverages
• Smoking and tobacco products
• Containers or coolers
• Flags on poles
• Bicycles, skateboards or rollerblades
• Pets (except service animals)
FOOTBALL GAME DAY
For more information on ticketing, parking and directions to Rhodes Stadium, please visit the Football Game Day web page.
GAME DAY PROGRAMS
For the second straight year, Elon will offer a digital game program that includes rosters, stats and video features. Make sure you are prepared for the game by utilizing the digital program.
PHAST PHIVE PHOENIX PHACTS
• Kortez Weeks posted the first 200-yard receiving game of his career as he caught 11 balls for 205 yards in the win at Villanova to earn CAA Football Rookie of the Week honors
• For the fourth time this season, Elon came from behind in the fourth quarter to earn a victory thanks to a rally at Villanova
• The Phoenix ran for 117 yards against a Villanova defense that had been allowing just 49.3 yards per game on the ground and had kept nine straight opponents under 100 rushing yards
• With a win over Towson, Elon would have its first eight-game winning streak since picking up 12 consecutive
victories in 1980
• For the first time since moving to Division I play, Elon has earned four victories over ranked opponents
Elon trails the all-time series with Towson by a 5-1 margin. The two first met in 2003, with Towson claiming a 24-7 victory in Maryland. Elon’s lone win in the series came on Sept. 26, 2015 which is the last time the two met at Rhodes Stadium. The Phoenix earned a 17-13 victory in that contest.
THE BIG 5-0-0
Now in its 96th season, the Elon football program is eraned its 500th all-time victory with a 35-34 decision over Rhode Island on Oct. 21, 2017. Elon has an all-time record of 501-444-18 (.530).
FIRST-YEAR HEAD COACH
Elon is under the leadership of Curt Cignetti who was named the program’s 22nd head football coach on Dec. 31, 2016. The assistant coach/recruiting coordinator on Nick Saban’s undefeated 2009 National Championship team at Alabama, Cignetti spent the previous six seasons as the head coach at Indiana University of Pennsylvania, amassing a record of 53-17.
Cignetti is the sixth man to guide the Phoenix since the program moved to Division I play for the 1999 season.
THE FAMILY BUSINESS
Elon’s first-year head coach Curt Cignetti grew up around football. His father Frank compiled a career 199-77-1 record as a collegiate head coach at West Virginia and IUP and was inducted into the College Football Hall of Fame in 2013. His brother Frank Jr. is currently the quarterbacks coach for the New York Giants.
Elon returns five players who started all 11 games of the 2016 season – offensive linemen Ikenna Nwokeji, CJ Toogood and Oli Udoh as well as defensive lineman Dondre Howell and defensive back Chris Blair.
Nwokeji has now made 42 consecutive starts, while Udoh’s streak is at 30 games and Toogood’s is at 19 contests. Toogood has made total of 27 career starts. Blair has started 39 straight games and Howell is at 19.
Other players who have started double digit games are offensive linemen Alex Higgins (24 total) and Matt Kowalewski (11 total, eight consecutive), tight end Matt Foster (11 total, three consecutive), wide receiver Corey Joyner (22 total, eight consecutive), wide receiver Tre Lennon (22 total, two consecutive), running back Malcolm Summers (10 total), quarterback Daniel Thompson (16 total), defensive linemen Nick Groll (14 total) and Daniel Everett (10 total), linebackers Johnathan Jackson (16 total), Warren Messer (16 total, eight consecutive) and Matt Baker (13 total) and defensive back Greg Liggs Jr. (10 total, eight consecutive).
RANKED FOES FALLING TO THE PHOENIX
For the first time since becoming an FCS member, the Phoenix defeated three straight top-25 opponents. Elon last won two straight over ranked foes in the 2008 campaign. The Phoenix dropped #16 Charleston Southern 19-17 a week before going on the road and handing #6 Richmond a 36-33 defeat. In that 2008 season, Elon earned wins over #14 Georgia Southern, #15 Furman and #21 Charleston Southern with the later two coming in consecutive weeks.
ELON RISES IN NATIONAL POLLS
Riding a seven-game winning streak that includes four victories over ranked opponents, the Elon football team continued its rise in the national polls on Monday, Oct. 30. The Phoenix climbed from #10 to #7 in the STATS FCS Poll, and moved from #11 to #10 in the FCS Coaches Poll this week. For the first time since the final week of 2009, Elon is ranked among the nation’s top 10 teams. At 7-1, Elon is off to its best start since 2009.
Junior linebacker Warren Messer was added to the watch list for the Buck Buchanan Award on Oct. 18. Messer currently leads Elon with 76 total tackles. He has 7.5 tackles for a loss, including 4.0 sacks, and has intercepted two passes. He ranks 34th nationally, and second in the conference, with 9.5 tackles per game.
Freshman quarterback Davis Cheek was named to the initial watch list for the Jerry Rice Award on Oct. 25. Cheek has completed 117 of his 183 passes for 1,550 yards and 12 touchdowns. He is 20th nationally and third in the league with a passing efficiency mark of 149.1. Among freshmen, he is fifth nationally in passing yards, seventh in passing yards per game and second in passing efficiency.
DOWN TO THE WIRE
The Phoenix is riding a seven-game winning streak, but its largest margin ov victory in those seven games is just eight points. Elon’s seven victories have come by a combined 28 points. Four of the five games came down to a final play as Elon hit a field goal with just five seconds remaining to win at Furman, partially blocked a 51-yard field goal attempt on the final play to hold off Charleston Southern, batted down a pass on the final play to shutout Albany and record a sack on the last play to defeat William & Mary. Elon also had to hold off a final Rhode Island drive, intercepting a pass at its own 19 with 28 seconds left.
PAIR OF PHOENIX PLAYERS COLLECT WEEKLY CAA FOOTBALL AWARDS
Following a 19-14 win at #13 Villanova, a pair of Elon players took home CAA Football weekly honors. Quarterback Davis Cheek was named the league’s offensive player of the week, while receiver Kortez Weeks earned the conference’s rookie of the week honor.
Cheek completed 24 of his 35 passes for a career-best 357 yards and two touchdowns as he led the Phoenix to its fourth fourth-quarter comeback win. Cheek has twice earned the league rookie of the week honor, but this was the first time he collected offensive player of the week distinction.
Weeks became just the third player in Elon history to have a 200-yard receiving game as his 11 catches for 205 yards against the Wildcats helped the Phoenix to its seventh consecutive victory.
After dropping its season opener on Aug. 31 at Toldeo, Elon went undefeated during the months of September and October. That is the first time that the Elon program has accomplished that feat at the Division I level. The last time an Elon football team went unblemished through September and October was 1986. That year, the maroon and gold went 3-0 in both months.