ELON, N.C. – Taking the safety jerseys off for the second scrimmage of the spring slate, Elon University football completed its second of three scrimmages this month on Thursday, April 18, under the lights at Rhodes Stadium.
After working through rain in the first scrimmage, the Phoenix saw beautiful conditions Thursday and took the most of the opportunity in moving the scrimmage from Friday night to Thursday due to poor weather projections. On the day, Elon ran 45 plays under normal game circumstances before closing with situational work, including the two-minute drill.
On the third drive of the day, Joey Baughman drove the Phoenix 50 yards on 15 plays for the game’s first score. The drive was capped by Kortez Weeks catching a seven-yard touchdown pass that deflected off Isaiah Hill’s hand and bounced right behind him to a waiting Weeks. During the lengthy drive, Baughman carried for 22 yards on three carries, including a roll out that he took for 12 yards on third-and-11 to keep the drive moving. He also completed 4-of-5 passes for 21 yards.
Two drives later, the offense put six on the board again with a quick-strike, three-play drive led by Jalen Greene and Bryson Daughtry. After Marcus Willoughby sacked Greene on the first play of the drive for a loss of six, Greene hit Daughtry over the middle on a post route and Daughtry slipped his defender to break the play open for a 67-yard completion down to the four-yard line. One play later, De’Sean McNair found paydirt when he sidestepped a tackler in the backfield and hit a hole through the left side of the line for the four-yard touchdown run.
After the two touchdowns, the defensive unit stepped up with a pair of interceptions late in the session. On the final play before situational work, Zavier Williams stepped in front of a pass intended for Hill and returned the interception about 15 yards to the opponent’s 45 yard line. During the two-minute drill, Daniel Reid-Bennett got in front of a pass attempt near midfield and returned his interception about 30 yards just outside the red zone.
Offensively, Elon’s four quarterbacks of Greene, Baughman, Mark McGuire and Will Alexander finished the day 16-for-31 for 186 yards with Baughman’s touchdown pass to Weeks. Baughman also led Elon on the ground with five carries going for 39 yards. Daughtry caught five passes for a game-high 102 yards and Hill caught five passes for 28 yards.
Defensively, the Phoenix dropped numerous plays in the backfield with six sacks from six different players to go with three more tackles for loss. Marcus Hillman led Elon with four tackles and Stephen Copeland had three stops. In all, 22 different defensive players made stops on the night.
After the session, head coach Tony Trisciani offered his thoughts on the team’s second scrimmage:
On his overall takeaways from the second scrimmage:
“Today was a really good bang for us – a really good scrimmage. It was very physical, but we saw growth on both sides of the football. The long drive really told me we’re a team that can sustain drives on offense and secure the football and it told me on defense that we’re a team that’s going to make you earn it. We’re not going to give up the big play and we tightened up in the red area. It was a tipped-ball touchdown and a great catch by Kortez, but I was pleased with that drive really on both sides of the football.
“It was good to see the quarterbacks be able to extend plays and see them in the open field and their ability to break some tackles and make some things happen. On the flip side, I was pleased with the takeaways on defense. We had some guys step up and make a couple picks and the defensive line was in the backfield and they were disruptive like they’ve been all spring. I’m pleased with the performance and the effort. We’re looking forward to making the corrections tomorrow and then letting them enjoy Easter Weekend.”
On the big-play ability on both sides of the ball:
“There were some explosive plays and in the meeting before the scrimmage I told the guys that’s what I expect to see. When you have good players on both sides of the ball, you expect to see some big plays on offense and you expect to see some big plays on defense when you’re going good.”
Looking ahead, the Phoenix will have its final three practices next week starting on Monday, April 22, at 4 p.m. The spring season will conclude on Saturday, April 27, with the team’s final scrimmage at 1 p.m. at Rhodes Stadium.
Season tickets for the 2019 season are on sale now though the Elon Ticket Office. To purchase tickets, order online by clicking here or contact the Ticket Office at 336-278-6750. Fans can also purchase season tickets in person by stopping by the Elon Ticket Office, which is located at Gate A of Schar Center. Season parking passes for the 2019 campaign will be on sale to Phoenix Club members at the Maroon & Gold ($250) giving level and above at a later date.
Media members wishing to attend a practice must contact Andrew Wilson, interim director of athletic communications, at 336-278-6761.