A trio of true freshmen came up huge in the fourth quarter with a couple of touchdowns to seal the Elon University football team’s 21-7 victory over Stony Brook University in Colonial Athletic Association (CAA) play Oct. 31.

Freshman wide receiver Jon Thomas caught his first career touchdown on a 24-yard pass from freshman quarterback Daniel Thompson to give Elon a 14-7 lead with 14 minutes, 20 seconds remaining in the fourth quarter after hooking up with Thomas for 10 yards on the previous play.

The drive was set up with an interception by senior safety Miles Williams. It was the fourth interception forced by the Elon defense — the only one of the second half — and it set the Phoenix up with good field position at Stony Brook’s 36-yard line. Four plays later the Phoenix took a lead it would not surrender.

The Elon defense forced a turnover on downs as Stony Brook failed to convert on fourth down near midfield. The Phoenix didn’t wait long to capitalize on the good field position, and Summers scored essentially untouched from the handoff less than a minute later.

Stony Brook was unable to mount much of a comeback as they once again turned the ball over on downs late in the fourth quarter. Redshirt freshman quarterback Joe Carbone threw incomplete to sophomore wide receiver Julius Wingate to wrap up a frustrating day for the Stony Brook offense. 

With the ball back in Elon’s possession, the Phoenix ran out the clock to secure its first road victory in the CAA.

The Phoenix edged Stony Brook in total offense 273 yards to 248, though Stony Brook managed 17 first downs to Elon’s 11 and dominated the time of possession 37:43 to 22:17.

The four interceptions on the day were Elon’s most since picking off five passes against the University of Tennessee at Chattanooga in 2010. The first three interceptions all came in the first half. Neither Elon quarterback was intercepted, but redshirt freshman Connor Christiansen did lose one fumble after a botched handoff. Touchdown scorer Summers also lost a fumble despite having both hands on the football when he was hit.

A quarterback switch sparked the Phoenix offense in late in the first quarter. After starting inside Stony Brook territory, Christiansen linked up with sophomore wider receiver Demetrius Oliver for a 50-yard touchdown reception. The Portsmouth, Virginia, native went up between two defenders to secure the grab and score to put the Phoenix on the board. 

Stony Brook looked to answer immediately and reached Elon territory. Junior defensive back Asunji Maddox hauled in his first interception of the year to stall Stony Brook’s drive and wide out their momentum. 

With the victory, Elon improves to 3-5 on the year and 2-3 in CAA play. It’s the first time since 2011 the Phoenix has won multiple conference games since it went 3-5 in the Southern Conference. Stony Brook falls to 2-5, with a 1-5 record in the CAA.

The Phoenix returns home to Rhodes Stadium at noon Nov. 7 for a matchup with No. 16 College of William & Mary.