By Anthony Caruso III | Publisher
NEWARK, DE — Elon Phoenix head coach Tony Trisciani has the Delaware Blue Hens number. He has never lost against the Delaware-based team.
He guided the Phoenix to a 33-27 win over the Blue Hens on Saturday at Delaware Stadium.
“That’s what coaching is,” Delaware coach Ryan Carty said. “It’s what did we do well? How do we continue to do that and vary it? And what did we do poorly? How do we get better at it?
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“I think they took advantage of some things that we did and had some good schemes. And then they made the plays when they called those plays.”
With the win, Trisciani is now 3-0 against the Blue Hens, including wins in back-to-back years. He has guided the Phoenix for the past five seasons.
Previously, before Saturday’s match-up, the Blue Hens led the all-time series 3-2.
The Blue Hens had their two-game win streak over the Phoenix at Delaware Stadium snapped. They previously won 28-16 in 2018 and 34-24 in 2014.
The loss also will drop the Blue Hens in the FCS Coaches Poll. They came into the contest as the No. 6-ranked team.
Delaware won the first three games in the series in 2014, 2015, and 2018. Elon has now won in 2019, 2022, and 2023.
The loss dropped the Blue Hens to 7-2 on the season. They will look to rebound with a win next Saturday against the Campbell Camels (4-5) at 1 p.m.
Elon improved to 5-4 on the season. The Phoenix have won two straight games, as they also defeated the Monmouth (NJ) Hawks during their homecoming game on October 21st at Rhodes Stadium in Elon, North Carolina.
Phoenix quarterback Matthew Downing went 17 of 35 for 352 yards. He had three touchdown passes.
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Downing, who previously played at Georgia, Texas Christian University (TCU), and Louisiana Tech, had his best performance of the season — and his collegiate career. He previously had a season-high 282 passing yards against the Hawks.
His best performance at the FBS level was 194 yards in a loss to the Missouri Tigers on September 1st, 2022.
Jalen Hampton had 26 carries for 46 yards. Chandler Brayboy had three receptions for 121 yards and a touchdown.
The Blue Hens are now tied with five teams, who have one conference loss in the Coastal Athletic Association (CAA) standings. The Blue Hens, the Phoenix, Villanova Wildcats, Albany Great Danes, and Richmond Spiders have 5-1 conference records.
Delaware hosts the Wildcats in their final home game on November 18th.
Blue Hens quarterback Ryan O’Connor went 23 of 48 for 315 yards. He had one touchdown pass and one interception.
O’Connor returned to the Blue Hens lineup after missing several weeks. He last played before Saturday in a win at Delaware Stadium against North Carolina A&T on October 14th.
Marcus Yarns had nine carries for 45 yards. Joshua Youngblood had seven receptions for 121 yards and a touchdown.
Carty said after the game that Yarns left in the second quarter with an injury and saw limited snaps in the second half. Jojo Bermudez suffered a separated shoulder on the opening kickoff before later returning to score a touchdown.
“We had some things that were for him (Yarns) only and they would just get crossed off if he was out and unfortunately he went out pretty early there in the second quarter,” Carty said.
The Blue Hens were driving late with the team down six points with less than two minutes left. Unfortunately for the Blue Hens fans, O’Connor fumbled the ball on a rush within the red zone as the Phoenix recovered the ball at the 12.
Delaware outscored the Phoenix 14-13 in the second half. Bermudez scored on a 22-yard rushing touchdown. O’Connor also scored on a four-yard rushing touchdown.
When O’Connor scored, it was his first rushing touchdown, according to Delaware SID Brendan Thomas.
Downing hit Jordan Bonner for a 29-yard touchdown reception. Jack Berkowitz made two field goals.
He first made a field goal from 37 yards. He then added a career-long 44-yard field goal in the fourth quarter.
Elon led 20-13 at halftime. Downing hit Brayboy for a 65-yard touchdown reception.
He also hit Johncarlos Miller II for a 70-yard touchdown reception. Berkowitz also made two field goals in the first half.
Berkowitz first made a 36-yard field goal. Then, he made a 42-yard field goal.
The freshman was one field goal away from tying their school record with five field goals in a game.
Blue Hens’ O’Connor hit Youngblood for a 39-yard touchdown reception. Yarns also scored on an eight-yard rushing touchdown.
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