Rams Fall in Heartbreaker to No. 14/15 Elon, 35-34

Rams Fall in Heartbreaker to No. 14/15 Elon, 35-34

How It Happened
Rhode Island was in position to drive for the winning score, but a late turnover sealed the win for No. 14/15 Elon as the Phoenix escaped Kingston with a 35-34 victory over the Rams Saturday afternoon.

Sophomore Myles Ross intercepted the ball in Rhode Island's end zone to thwart a scoring chance for Elon with 3:59 remaining, giving the Rams (1-6, 0-4 CAA Football) the ball at their own 20-yard line. Redshirt junior JaJuan Lawson connected with Khayri Denny for 13 yards and Isaiah Coulter for 9 yards to move the ball to the Rhody 42. Back-to-back passes to Marven Beauvais picked up 25 more yards, and the Rams had first-and-10 at the Elon 33.

On second-and-10, Lawson and Denny connected again for 12 yards, and a Lawson 4-yard run got the Rams in the red zone.

However, on third-and-6 from the Elon 17, Warren Messer came up with an interception with 28 seconds left, clinching the sixth straight win for Elon (6-1, 4-0 CAA Football).

Inside the Box Score

  • Before the game, a moment of silence was held to honor former Rhode Island player Jordan Sebastian, who died of cancer Thursday. Sebastian played 40 games for the Rams from 2011-15.
  • Redshirt junior JaJuan Lawson played well in his first career start. He was 20-of-34 for 252 yards, two touchdowns and one interception. He also rushed for a team-best 80 yards.
  • The completions, attempts, passing yards and rushing yards were all career bests for Lawson.
  • Freshman wide receiver Matt Pires set a program record with his 90-yard punt return for a touchdown late in the third quarter. It broke the previous long return of 86 yards by Raji El-Amin against Merrimack on Sept. 9, 2006.
  • It was Rhode Island's first punt return for a score since the one by El-Amin, covering a span of 127 games.
  • Sophomore wide receiver sensation Aaron Parker extended his program-record streak of touchdown catches to nine games. He finished the game with five catches for 68 yards and the touchdown.
  • Redshirt junior Marven Beauvais led the team with five catches for 76 yards and a touchdown. He has scored three touchdowns over the last two games.
  • Senior T.J. Anderson had his first career two-touchdown game, scoring on runs of 23 yards and 1 yard in the first quarter.
  • Junior wide receiver Khayri Denny had five catches for 48 yards, while freshman Isaiah Coulter had three grabs for 25 yards.
  • Junior linebacker Justin Hogan and sophomore cornerback Rashod Dickerson led the team with nine tackles each.
  • Sophomore Myles Ross had his second interception of the season.
  • Redshirt senior Mike Ezirike had four tackles, including a 9-yard sack.
  • Sophomore Adriel A. Miller made his first career start, lining up at left guard.
  • The game captain was senior defensive back Hayden Pryor and the anchor bearer was redshirt junior wide receiver Marven Beauvais.
  • Rhode Island's RECON-RAM Players of the Week were redshirt freshman defensive back Malik Gavek and freshman offensive lineman Max Osgood.
  • The Homecoming crowd of 7,221 was Rhode Island's largest of the season.

What's Next
Rhode Island is back on the road to face Albany on Saturday, Oct. 28. Kickoff is set for 1 p.m.