RICHMOND — The Elon University football team had many chances to score against No. 18 University of Richmond Saturday afternoon.
But Elon could not capitalize on the chances it had offensively early, and Richmond overpowered Elon’s defense en route to a 27-14 victory.
We built a hole against a very good opponent in Richmond,” head coach Rich Skrosky said. “On offense, it was our inability to sustain drives. We had some 50-50 balls early in the game and they won the 50-50."
The Phoenix finished eight of the ten drives of the game in Richmond territory, but were only able to get points on those drives on the last two, far too late to have an impact on the game.
“We have to finish drives,” freshman quarterback Daniel Thompson said. “I had a few bad reads, and a lot of bad throws. I just got to get back and get better every week, like coach says. But those can’t happen if we expect to win a football game.”
Thompson played every drive but one for the Phoenix, going 14-28 for 212 yards. He had two touchdown passes, a 23-yard pass to sophomore wide receiver Demetrius Oliver and a 54-yard bomb to sophomore wide receiver Tre Lennon.
Richmond was able to get on the board early, as sophomore quarterback Kyle Lauletta avoided a diving tackle by sophomore cornerback Chris Blair and scored from 16 yards out.
The Spiders added on with a 32-yard field goal from junior kicker Peter Yoder, and then senior running back Jacobi Green walked in a 10-yard touchdown run.
Elon’s best chance to score was on the next drive, as the Phoenix drove all the way to the red zone. On fourth and two from the 15-yard line, Elon elected to keep its offense on the field instead of the kicking unit. Thompson could not hit senior tight end Doug Warrick, and the half ended scoreless for Elon.
“I knew it was going to be tough to get down [to the red zone] multiple times,” Skrosky said. “So that was really the decision, but hindsight is 20-20.”
The Spiders scored on their first two drives out of halftime, as Yoder tacked on a 20-yard field goal and Green ran in another score from eight yards out.
Elon was able to add their two touchdowns in the last six minutes, both drives taking three plays. Thompson’s second touchdown pass is the longest play of the season for Elon.
The Phoenix finishes its three-game stretch against ranked opponents at 3 p.m. Oct. 17 when No. 5 James Madison University comes to Rhodes Stadium.