Shaw Downed by #8 Elon 55-26
(Elon, NC) – Shaw gave up 28 points in the second quarter and was held scoreless in both the first and the fourth quarter as Elon easily defeated the Bears 55-26. The Bears fall to 1-1 on the season while Elon, ranked eighth in Division I-FCS (formerly Division I-AA), evens their season at 1-1.
The Phoenix led in every statistical category rolling up 199 yards on the ground – to Shaw's 89 – and 327 through the air, while Shaw managed only 258.
Shaw's normally potent offense – the Bears had scored 50 points or more in the their last four games – was kept out of the end zone until 8:33 remained in the first half, when Kevin Atkins connected on a 62-yard bomb to Julius Gregory. A failed PAT made the score 28-6.
Shaw managed another score in the second quarter, this on an Atkins six-yard dash, but allowed Elon to rack up 28 points and stretch their lead to 42-13 at the half.
The Bears were hurt by mistakes at critical times and penalties that either allowed an Elon drive to continue, or put a halt to a Bear drive.
Shaw failed to gain a first down on their first three drives, then fumbled on the first play of their fourth drive. Elon, on the other hand, scored on their first three drives, consisting of seven, 11 and six plays each.
With 12:13 left in the second quarter, the Bears forced the Phoenix to punt after Elon went backwards for seven yards, mainly on a Stanley Porter sack of Scott Riddle.
The Bears then put together their first sustained offensive drive, advancing from their own one-yard line to the 34, when Elon recovered an Atkins fumble. The Phoenix scored after only four plays, giving them a 28-0 lead.
Shaw held Elon to a field goal to open the second half, then put together a five-play, 69-yard drive that ended with Johnny Wooten powering through a stacked defensive line for a one-yard touchdown run. The Bears attempted the two-point conversion and failed, leaving the score at 45-19.
On the very next drive, Shaw forced Elon to a potential three-and-out, but a Bear penalty on the punt gave the Phoenix a first down, and continued a drive that ended in 25-yard touchdown rush by A.J. Harris. The extra point gave Elon a 52-19 lead.
With 40 seconds left in the third, Atkins connected with Tyrone Craig for a touchdown (left) – the Bears' final score of the evening. They held Elon to only a field goal in the fourth, bringing the final score to 55-26.
Atkins was 13 for 26 on the night, with two touchdown passes and one interception. He also rushed for 24 yards and one touchdown. Craig pulled in three passes, for a total of 110 yards.
Next Saturday, the Bears continue their five-game road swing as they travel to Salisbury, NC for a 7:00 tilt against Catawba.