Richmond football coach Danny Rocco said he told his team during halftime of Saturday's game to "break their will to win," referring to the Elon Phoenix who trailed the Spiders by six points.
Rocco's message seemed to work, because his team's small lead grew tremendously once the second half began.
The Spiders scored a touchdown on their first four drives of the second half to build a 28–0 lead. By the game's end, Richmond had accrued 417 yards of offense in a 35–7 win.
"We probably could've gone to [the run] a little earlier in the game," Rocco said. "But as the game wore on we kind of wore them down a little bit."
Richmond's offense had its way, which allowed for a balance of run and pass. The Spiders ran 65 plays on offense: 32 runs, 33 passes.
Receiver Brian Brown celebrated his birthday on Saturday with 100 receiving yards (the 17th such game of his career), plus the 27-yard touchdown catch that widened the lead to 28 points. Freshman back Deontez Thompson, who ran for 116 yards and a touchdown on just 14 carries and caught a touchdown pass, was the primary complement to Brown.
“We knew that we had to run the ball well today and our line did another great job of opening up holes for us,” Thompson said.
For the second straight week, Richmond's defense controlled the opposing offense. After a shutout against Villanova, the Spiders held Elon to just seven points and 92 passing yards. Two interceptions, one by cornerback Micah Keels and the other by lineman Winston Craig, resulted in 10 points for the offense on the ensuing drives.
"That's a couple weeks in a row here," Rocco said, referring to Richmond's defensive performance. "They tackled well and we were well-designed schematically."
The Spiders have now won five straight games and hold a 7–1 record. Now 4–1 in conference play, Richmond still trails James Madison and Stony Brook, the Spiders' lone loss this season.
Richmond is off next weekend, so the team will have two weeks to plan and rest for its next game against James Madison at Robins Stadium on Nov. 5.
Contact editor-in-chief Charlie Broaddus at firstname.lastname@example.org
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