Saturday, September 20, 2014

Elon Takes Down Charlotte 20-13

ELON – In a game that was decided by turnovers and the kicking game, the Elon Phoenix defeated the Charlotte 49ers 20-13 Saturday night in front of an announced crowd of 11,203 at Elon's Rhodes Stadium.

Elon won the toss and deferred, choosing to kick to a Charlotte offense that had been averaging forty-three points a game so far this season. The Forty-Niners never got a chance on their first drive, however, after a fumble gave Elon the ball at the Charlotte 35.

Elon was not able to take advantage of the turnover, though, after a big sack by Tyler DeStafani (Carolina Pride) on third down forced Elon to attempt a fifty yard field goal, which the Phoenix kicker pushed wide.  The Charlotte offense went to work on the next drive, looking to atone for the previous turnover. The Forty-Niners drove down the field through a mix of passes and runs and ended with quarterback Matt Johnson (Maiden) finding Austin Duke (Independence) on a nineteen yard pass across the middle. The Blake Brewer (Cannon School) PAT was true and Charlotte held an early 7-0 lead over the Phoenix. The rest of the first quarter played like two teams figuring each other out and punting when third down conversions failed.

Elon opened the second quarter inside of Charlotte territory. The Phoenix almost got on the board, but quarterback Mike Quinn overthrew Kierre Brown (Independence), who had managed to sneak past the 49er defense. He wouldn't do it a second time, though, as he found the junior wide receiver at the 12:26 mark of the second quarter to tie it at 7.

Charlotte had an opportunity to swing the momentum back in their favor with an interception by redshirt freshman Dustin Croucer, but quarterback Matt Johnson's misread on a pass hit Phoenix linebacker Jonathan Spain (Page) right in the numbers and the Phoenix had the ball in Charlotte territory. Elon was ultimately unable to take advantage of the turnover, punting it back to Charlotte.

The Forty-Niners offense came alive on their next drive, moving almost ninety yards in thirteen plays, aided by two big catches by Austin Duke. But, Kalif Phillips (A.L. Brown) was stopped just short of the goal line on fourth down, ending the drive and allowing the Phoenix to run out the clock to end the half.

The second half seemed to mirror the game play of the first half with the Phoenix marching down the field with the same short passing game that plagued Charlotte defenders in the first half. The Phoenix were forced to settle for a 24 yard John Gallagher field goal. Trailing for the first time this season, the Forty-Niners turned to Blake Brewer to tie up the game with a 27 yard field goal. Not wanting to be outdone by his counterpart, Gallagher added a 26 yarder to help the Phoenix regain the lead, 13-10 for the final points of the quarter.

Elon sought to extend its lead early in the fourth quarter, attempting a 49 yard field goal. The kick was no good, and Charlotte took over possession. A personal foul penalty on Elon gave the 49ers great field position and Blake Brewer tied the game with a 43 yard field goal.

In the fourth quarter, the Phoenix broke the streak of field goals with another scoring pass from Mike Quinn to Kierre Brown. The ensuing PAT made it 20-13 and it was up to the Elon defense to do the rest. And the Phoenix defense responded, coming up with an interception and sack to seal the deal.

This was Elon's first win of the season and the first for new head coach Rich Skrosky. The Phoenix play at Coastal Carolina next week while Charlotte, who fell to 3-1 on the season, will host Charleston Southern.


Scoring Summary

TeamQtrClockTypePlayDrive P-Y-TScore
CHA110:17TDDUKE, Austin 19 yd PASS from JOHNSON, Matt11 - 67 - 3:140-7
ELON212:26TDK. Brown 14 yd PASS from M. Quinn12 - 61 - 4:087-7
PAT KICK by J. Gallagher (GOOD)
ELON311:49FGJ. Gallagher 24 yd10 - 62 - 3:1110-7
CHA308:34FGBREWER, Blake 27 yd9 - 65 - 3:1510-10
ELON305:00FGJ. Gallagher 26 yd10 - 62 - 3:3413-10
CHA411:17FGBREWER, Blake 43 yd7 - 43 - 2:1813-13
ELON403:57TDK. Brown 5 yd PASS from M. Quinn12 - 63 - 4:3320-13
PAT KICK by J. Gallagher (GOOD)

Offense Comparison

Rushing Attempts3834
Average Per Rush3.23.6
Rushing TDs00
Yards Gained168144
Yards Lost4520
Avg Per Completion7.712.4
Passing TDs21
Rushing 1st Downs106
Passing 1st Downs1712
Penalty 1st Downs12
Avg Yds/Play4.74.7