:: Paladins smite Phoenix, Elon prepares for Bulldogs
The 52-49 affair between the Phoenix and the Furman University Paladins was the highest scoring game [101 points] in Elon’s history. Unfortunately for the Phoenix, the Paladins scored the 52 points.
After \ named the Southern Conference Player of the Month, Phoenix quarterback, Scott Riddle, threw for a school and conference record 534 yards against Furman on Saturday.
He also tied his own record, throwing and running for a total of six touchdowns.
In only the first quarter, Riddle set Elon’s single season record for passing attempts, plays of total offense and yards of total offense.
His performance earned him the Southern Conference Freshman of the Week award.
The Phoenix had only put seven points on the board in the first half and trailed Furman by 24-7 going into halftime; a deficit the Phoenix could not recover from.
“We got off to a really sluggish start offensively,” Elon head coach Pete Lembo said. “It seemed like everything that could go wrong, did go wrong.”
Lembo said he was pleased with the team’s demeanor during halftime, as it was focused and confident it could get back into the game.
Two early turnovers by the Furman offense led to two Phoenix touchdowns, as Elon pulled within three points halfway through the third quarter. The three point deficit, though, would be as close as the Phoenix would get, as the two teams continued to score back and forth on one another for the rest of the game.
Sophomore wide receiver Terrell Hudgins had a record-setting game as well. Hudgins tied his own single-game record for receptions that he set earlier this year against Liberty University with 16. He would also break the Elon records for receiving yards and touchdowns with 1,184 yards and 14 touchdowns, both of which rank second in the nation. His 99 receptions are first in the nation, a category he leads by 27. In second however, is Hudgins’ teammate, Phoenix senior wide receiver Michael Mayers.
With the loss, the Phoenix is in a three-way tie with Wofford College and Georgia Southern University for first place in the Southern Conference. Appalachian State University, is half of a game behind the three schools.
The situation sets the stage for Saturday, when Elon will travel to take on The Citadel Bulldogs, in a game that the head coach describes as a “must-win.”
“[The Citadel] is an outstanding football team,” Lembo said. “They’re balanced offensively, and have a strong defensive unit.”
The coach understands that the loss to Furman hurts but hopes it will refocus the team as it plays the Bulldogs.
With a win, the Phoenix would clinch a share of the Southern Conference title, something Elon has never done.
It will be up to the defense to stop an explosive Bulldog offense that averages almost as many points as the Phoenix do, with 36 points-per-game. Junior linebacker Jeremy Barrett said the unit is up for the task.
“They run a similar offense to ours, so we know how to defend it,” he said. “We match up well against them. It is just a matter of us executing.”
The quarterback for The Citadel, Duran Lawson, may be sidelined for the game as he tries to recover from surgery he had last week.
Backup, Bart Blanchard, has stepped up in Lawson’s abscence, and proven to be a threat both throwing and running the football.
The Phoenix will hope to stop Blanchard as they seek a 7-3 record and continue their pursuit of the playoffs.
Reporter: Adam Pettinger - 11/07/07