ELON, N.C. – The Elon University football team dropped a 38-14 decision versus Richmond on Saturday, March 13, in the second CAA Football contest of the 2021 spring season at Rhodes Stadium. The Spiders improved to 2-0 (2-0 CAA) on the truncated season while the Phoenix fell to 1-3 (0-2 CAA).
Elon sacked Richmond quarterbacks a season-high three times in the game. Jarquez Bizzell recorded 1.5 sacks in the contest while Torrence Williams had a sack for the third time in as many weeks. Marcus Hillman also recorded a half-sack.
True freshman JR Martin threw for a touchdown in his second start in as many weeks while redshirt freshman Justin Allen also had his first career touchdown pass for the Phoenix. Both quarterbacks combined for 148 total passing yards with Allen adding another 18 on the ground.
Richmond took a quick 14-0 lead over the Phoenix in the opening period. The Spiders took their opening drive of 11 plays, 67 yards into the end zone on a Justin Jasper 10-yard touchdown at the 9:22 mark. Richmond then capitalized on a Phoenix turnover as Joe Mancuso scored on a one-yard run on fourth down.
Elon however regained momentum to join the Spiders on the scoreboard late in the first. Martin found Chandler Brayboy on a 26-yard pass down the sidelines on third down to get the Phoenix into Richmond territory at the 28-yard line. Elon later scored on a 25-yard touchdown pass from Martin to Jackson Parham with 1:26 left in the quarter to cut into the Spiders’ lead, 14-7.
The Spiders pushed their lead back to 14 on Mancuso’s second touchdown pass of the game as he found Leroy Henley on a 21 yarder at the 10:11 mark in the second. A 44-yard field goal by Richmond with 1:37 left in the quarter increased its lead to 24-7 before the end of the half.
In the second half, Elon had a chance to narrow its gap after recovering a fumble at midfield on a Richmond muffed punt at the 13:33 mark in the third. The Phoenix’s Jaylan Thomas broke loose for a 40-yard run to drive the ball to the Richmond nine-yard line. Elon got the ball down to the two-yard line, but could not find the end zone and turned the ball over on downs.
Richmond came back with another touchdown early in the fourth on a 15-yard run by Aaron Dykes to move ahead 31-7. Elon answered with a touchdown of its own less than 30 seconds later as Allen found Jordan Bonner on a 47-yard touchdown pass to trim its deficit to 31-14.
The Phoenix forced a Richmond three-and-out on the next drive, but the Spiders answered with its third interception of the day to give the ball back to their offense on their own 35 with 9:49 left in the game. Richmond proceeded to put the game out of reach on a 15-play, 65-yard drive that ended with a Beau English touchdown run with 14 seconds left on the clock.
• The Spiders dominated in time of possession, holding the ball for nearly 42 minutes while also forcing three Elon turnovers. Richmond also sacked Phoenix quarterbacks three times while going 8-for-16 on third down conversions.
• Bryce Graves led the Phoenix in tackles for the second straight week, totaling 15 with 1.5 TFLs.
• Thomas led the Phoenix with 54 yards on the ground on eight carries.
Elon travels to Williamsburg, Va., for its first CAA Football road contest of the spring season as the Phoenix faces William & Mary next Saturday, March 20. Kickoff is scheduled for 4 p.m.