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Elon's Aerial Attack Downs Flames, 42-14, in Second-Straight Road Loss

September 22, 2007
|  Elon, N.C.
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Dominic Bolden caught a season-high five receptions on Saturday at Elon.

Dominic Bolden caught a season-high five receptions on Saturday at Elon.

Elon's Scott Riddle and Terrell Hudgins hooked up for four touchdowns to lead the Phoenix to a 42-14 victory over Liberty, Saturday afternoon, in front of 6,796 fans at Rhodes Stadium.

With the victory, Elon improves to 2-1 on the year, capturing its second-straight home game. The loss evens Liberty's record at 2-2 after back-to-back road losses.

The Phoenix took the early lead in the game, scoring on their opening drive. Freshman quarterback Scott Riddle called his own number for a one-yard plunge over the center of the line into the end zone, staking Elon to a 7-0 advantage with 9:09 left in the first quarter.

The scoring drive was keyed by a pair of completions from Riddle. The first was a 25-yard slant to Matt Leddy, moving Elon into Liberty's territory. The second was a 12-yard pass play to Terrell Hudgins, giving the Phoenix the ball at the five-yard line.

Elon tacked on its second touchdown of the first quarter when Hudgins caught a screen pass on third-and-12, and broke four tackles on his way to a 32-yard touchdown reception. The Phoenix's second 69-yard drive of the afternoon, used 2:29 on the game clock and gave Elon a 14-0 lead at 4:27.

The score remained the same until late in the second quarter, when Riddle and Hudgins hooked up for another scoring strike.

On third-and-six from the Liberty 24-yard line, Riddle avoided a pass rusher to find Hudgins in the end zone for his second touchdown reception, adding to the sophomore's national leading reception average. The score pushed the home team's lead to 21-0 with 4:50 left in the first half.

After Liberty's fourth third-and-out series of the half, Elon pieced together a nine-play, 73-yard drive just before the break to give them a 28-0 edge.

The ninth play was a draw by Riddle, who tucked the ball and ran five yards for the score, with 47 ticks left on the game clock.

The Flames were finally got on the scored on their first drive of the second half. After forcing Elon to punt after a three-and-out series, Zach Terrell found a hole on the left side of the line for a two-yard touchdown run at the 11:08 mark.

The two-yard burst gave Terrell his 10th-straight game with a rushing touchdown, dating back to last year's game against William & Mary on Oct. 14.

Liberty got the ball back later in the third quarter, only to give it back to Elon. Smith's pass to Wynton Jackson over the middle slipped through the wide receiver's fingers and was intercepted by Walker White.

Two plays later, Riddle found Hudgins open for his third touchdown reception of the afternoon. The sophomore caught the 15-yard pass over top of two defenders, giving Elon a 35-7 lead as time expired in the third quarter.

Hudgins capped off his showcase afternoon by giving Elon its final points of the contest with 9:16 left to play. The wide out caught a 29-yarder in the corner of the end zone for a touchdown, setting a new Elon single-game receptions record.

Liberty tacked on its second touchdown with 6:17 left in the fourth, when Spencer Landis completed a 13-yard pass play to Jackson, accounting for Landis' first career touchdown pass.

Elon controlled the pace of play with its potent aerial game, passing for 401 yards and four touchdowns. Last week, Liberty allowed William & Mary to pass for 353 yards and three touchdowns, marking the first time the Flames have allowed back-to-back opponents to pass for 300 or more yards since 2003 (against Toledo and Bowling Green).

Liberty failed to hit the 100-yard rushing mark for the first time in 10 games by running for 74 yards on 22 carries (3.4 average). Liberty's last non 100-yard rushing game was 85 yards against Wake Forest on Sept. 30, 2006.

Rashad Jennings led the squad by rushing for 48 yards on 12 carries. Terrell was held to a season-low four yards on three carries.

Smith completed 17-of-37 passes for 222 yards. Riddle, his counterpart, threw for 368 yards and four touchdowns, completing 33-of-39 pass attempts.

Jackson paced Liberty's receivers with six receptions for 94 yards and a touchdown. Hudgins caught 16 passes for 219 yards and four touchdowns. The 16 receptions sets a new Liberty opponent record recorded by three opponents, most recently by Charleston Southern's Maurice Price last year.

Stevie Ray Lloyd led three double-figure tacklers with a career-high 13 tackles. Nick Hursky followed with 12 tackles, marking his fourth-straight game in double figures, while Ryan Greiser rounded out the group with 11 stops.

Liberty returns home next weekend to host St. Francis, Pa., on Saturday at Williams Stadium. Kickoff is set for 7:05 p.m.