By: Lamonte Thomas
Headline Photo Credit: r/Sports Photography
The Elon Phoenix (7-3, 5-2) came to Armstrong Stadium to take on the Hampton Pirates (4-5, 1-5) on Saturday, November 12th. Turnovers were a priority of discipline for Elon, as the Phoenix never had to rise from the ashes all game; committing no turnovers all day. CAA’s fourth-place Elon was led by senior quarterback Matthew McKay (Raleigh, NC). Hampton’s defense has seen one offensive juggernaut after the next in the last few weeks, as they gave up over 10 yards per pass. Hampton’s freshman quarterback Christopher Zellous (Greensboro, NC) ran for 94 yards on 14 carries in his second start; which was more than his net gain in the air last week against William & Mary (92).
Hampton’s fourth straight loss started downhill as Elon scored on their first three possessions; two came from Freshman running back Jalen Hampton (one yard and six yards). The freshman phenom from Frederick, Maryland totaled 177 yards and three touchdowns on the ground– completing an impressive 1,000+ yard rushing season for the Phoenix. Christopher Zellous found the senior tight end Jarrett Powell (Woodbridge, VA) on a 27-yard touchdown pass between Jalen Hampton’s two punch-ins; his third career touchdown catch saw Hampton trailing Elon at the end of the first quarter 14-7.
Axel Perez brought Hampton closer with a 36-yard field goal at the top of the second; followed by Elon’s third straight touchdown drive: a seven-play, 70-yard drive capped off by a three-yard touchdown pass from McKay to the 6’5 freshman tight end Johncarlos Miller II (Greensboro, NC). Two minutes later, Jadakis Bonds scored his ninth touchdown of the season from 35 yards out on a pass from Zellous; bringing the halftime score to a competitive 21-17 in favor of Elon.
The third quarter was all Elon, starting with back-to-back interceptions from Sophomore DB Omar Rogers (Burlington, NJ) on Hampton’s first drives. Then came a nine-yard touchdown reception from Mckay to Jackson Parham (Hillsborough, NJ), who led the Phoenix in receiving with six catches for 65 yards and the score. A 27-yard field goal from Skyler Davis gave Elon a 31-17 lead to start the fourth quarter.
Sophomore quarterback Sofian Massoud (Harlem, NY) hit freshman tight end Evan King (Tinley Park, IL) on a 14-yard strike to bring Hampton within one score with 3:50 left in the game. Jalen Hampton finished the game on Elon’s 5-play, 75-yard drive with his eight-yard scamper and a third touchdown on the day. The final score read 38-24 Elon over Hampton.
Elon finished the regular season (8-3, 6-2) and will await an FCS playoff bid announcement on the Sunday, November 20th Selection Show, which airs on ESPNU (12:30 ET). They are hoping to host a playoff game on November 26th.
Hampton (4-6, 1-6) will finish the season at Towson (5-5, 3-4) on November 19th.