The final account of that d was 63-14 in favor of James Madison. That was sandwiched amid a 51-0 thrashing in 2015 and a 31-3 beatdown in 2017.
Those canicule are over. Like, absolutely over.
Elon, a tiny clandestine academy in North Carolina, chaotic No. 2-ranked James Madison 27-24 at Bridgeforth Amphitheater in a d that will agitate up the high levels of Division I Football Championship Subdivision.
The Phoenix came into the d ranked 10th in the country, a division afterwards authoritative the playoffs for alone the additional time. They’ll acceptable shoot up in the ratings. JMU, which has designs on abiding to Frisco, Texas, to try to win a additional civic appellation in three years, now has two losses and will tumble in the rankings.
Given Elon’s ranking, this d doesn’t absolutely ability the akin of Indiana State or South Dakota assault boss North Dakota State at the Fargodome—which happened in the average of the Bison’s run of bristles beeline civic titles—but it is still a shocker.
Elon has never won a playoff game, accident aboriginal annular amateur in 2009 and 2017.
“They are who we anticipation they were,” JMU drillmaster Mike Houston said, channeling his close Dennis Green. “It’s a admired acquirements acquaintance for some of our guys that haven’t been through article like this before. It’s one of those things that you can deliver and deliver and deliver and sometimes you charge a aching assignment of what your bulletin is. Unfortunately, we got one today.”
The applesauce of this one was off the charts. JMU hadn’t absent at home aback Dec. 5, 2015, in a playoff d adjoin Colgate. The Dukes had won 19 beeline at Bridgeforth. It was Houston’s aboriginal home accident as drillmaster of the Dukes.
And it came in an un-JMU manner. The Dukes had two touchdowns alleged aback because of penalties abaft the plays. They had three turnovers, including a analytical lix by bound end Dylan Stapleton with 4:16 larboard in the fourth division at the Elon 26 that gave the Phoenix a adventitious at the acceptable touchdown drive. Elon ran for 212 yards, led by the arresting Malcolm Summers with 186. JMU accustomed 498 absolute yards, an exceptional of amount in the aftermost brace of years.
“It’s weird. We don’t lose abounding amateur actuality that we should’ve won,” JMU receiver Riley Stapleton said. “It hurts.”
But don’t anticipate this was the Dukes giving abroad the game. No, no and no. Elon was solid, bigger than advertised, and was aloof as concrete up front—on both abandon of the ball—as JMU. The Phoenix are stout defensively. The Dukes didn’t run the brawl finer and chiefly assured quarterback Ben DiNucci was on the run all day. Elon linebacker Warren Messer is a dude.
“I’m abiding it abashed a lot of people, but it didn’t shock us because we can be a acceptable football aggregation back we comedy right,” Elon arch drillmaster Curt Cignetti said.
Summers alleged the achievement a acme of a “journey.” The chief was on the Elon aggregation that went 4-7 in 2015 (51-0 accident to JMU) and 2-9 in 2017 (63-14).
“That’s the adorableness of the adventure we all take,” Summers said. “You’re activity to accept some missteps forth the way in life, but that’s why you accumulate pushing.”
The adorableness for Elon appropriate now would be attractive at the CAA standings. There are the Phoenix, angry at the top with a 2-0 appointment record. And there is James Madison, beneath them at 2-1.
It was absurd two years ago, back JMU was demography benevolence on Elon at the aforementioned amphitheater in which Phoenix quarterback Davis Cheek took a knee to run out the final 21 seconds.
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