DURHAM, N.H. – The Elon University football team saw its eight-game winning streak come to an end as the seventh-ranked Phoenix dropped a 16-6 decision at No. 16 New Hampshire on Saturday, Nov. 11.
Elon, which could not overcome three turnovers, fell to 8-2 overall and is 6-1 in CAA Football play, while UNH improved to 7-3, 5-2. The Wildcats are now 56-8 at home since the start of the 2007 season.
How it happened: New Hampshire was the only one to get on the board in the first half as the Wildcats carried a 7-0 advantage into halftime following a nine-play, 67-yard drive. On third-and-nine from their own 34, Trevor Knight hit Neil O’Connor, the nation’s second-leading receiver, for a gain of nine to move the chains. After a pair of incomplete passes, Knight went deep to Kieran Presley for a gain of 49 yards to the Elon eight-yard line. Again on third down, Knight found Justin Malone-Woods for an 11-yard touchdown pass with just over 3:30 remaining in the first half.
Elon looked like it may have scored a touchdown late in the half when Davis Cheek connected with a streaking Corey Joyner who stiff-armed a defender and raced to the end zone, but the play was called back due to a holding penalty.
The Wildcats added to its lead on the first drive of the second half by driving 84 yards on 17 plays for a touchdown. UNH converted twice on third down and again once on fourth down during the drive that ended with an Evan Gray two-yard run. A missed two-point conversion kept it a 13-0 contest.
On Elon’s second play of the half, a fumble was recovered by UNH at the Elon 46. The Wildcats were able to turn that into three points with a Max Pedinoff 31-yard field goal.
The Phoenix got the ball back with 4:11 remaining in the game at its own 34. After a pair of penalties against the Wildcats helped to move the ball to the UNH 48, Cheek completed passes on three consecutive plays. The gains were 15 yards to Matt Foster, 10 to Joyner and a 23-yard touchdown toss to De’Sean McNair. Elon went for two to try and make it a one-score game, but the pass into the end zone was incomplete.
Elon – De’Sean McNair (11 carries, 38 yards)
UNH – Evan Gray (18 carries, 38 yards, 1 TD)
Elon – Davis Cheek (12-46, 284 yards, 1 TD)
UNH – Trevor Knight (32-42, 271 yards, 1 TD)
Elon – Cole Taylor (5 receptions, 83 yards)
UNH – Malik Love (11 receptions, 64 yards)
Elon – Warren Messer (12 tackles, 2.5 TFL, 1.5 sacks)
UNH – Prince Smith (7 tackles, 1 FF, 3 PBU)
Noteworthy: Elon’s defense matched a season high with seven sacks… Warren Messer led all players with 12 total tackles, including 2.5 for a loss and 1.5 sacks… Elon failed to reach 100 rushing yards for the first time all season.
Up Next: Elon will conclude the regular season with a noon game at Rhodes Stadium on Saturday, Nov. 18 against James Madison.