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ELON, N.C. – The No. 12 William & Mary football team extended its winning streak to five games with a 34-13 victory at Elon on Saturday afternoon.
In addition to earning its fifth consecutive win, W&M (7-2, 5-1) secured its third straight seven-win season and matched its best start in conference play since 2010.
Junior quarterback Steve Cluley completed his first nine passing attempts and finished the afternoon 22-of-32 for 222 yards with a touchdown. Senior running back Mikal Abdul-Saboor (71 yards on 12 carries) and junior running back Kendell Anderson (68 yards on 12 carries) led the ground attack and both scored rushing touchdowns. Additionally, the offensive line did not allow a sack for the third time in the last four games.
W&M’s defense forced four turnovers and held the Phoenix to just 73 rushing yards. Junior cornerback Trey Reed totaled a team-high eight tackles, while senior linebacker Luke Rhodes posted seven stops with a forced fumble and a fumble recovery. Senior free safety DeAndre Houston-Carson also came up big with six solo tackles, 2.0 TFL and a fumble recovery, while senior linebacker Zach Fetters recorded an interception and a fumble recovery.
The Tribe raced out to a 21-0 lead in the first quarter with touchdowns on each of its first three possessions.
Anderson capped off the game’s opening drive with a 19-yard touchdown run, while Abdul-Saboor found the end zone with a 1-yard run shortly thereafter. The second scoring drive covered just 26 yards, as Fetters recovered a fumble by Elon quarterback Daniel Thompson caused by a Peyton Gryder sack.
After forcing an Elon (3-6, 2-4) punt on the following possession, sophomore wideout Dedmon fielded the kick on a bounce and returned it 70 yards for a touchdown.
W&M extended the margin to 27-0 with a pair of field goals in the second quarter, as sophomore Nick Dorka connected on attempts from 34 yards and 35 yards.
Elon scored its first points of the afternoon with a 2-yard run by running back Malcolm Summers midway through the third quarter. However, W&M stopped the Phoenix’s two-point conversion attempt.
The Tribe answered later in the quarter when Cluley connected on a 33-yard touchdown pass to redshirt freshman wide receiver Matt Sniezek with 4:56 showing to push the margin to 34-6. The drive began after an outstanding interception by Fetters along Elon’s sideline at midfield.
A 2-yard touchdown run by Summers midway through the fourth quarter proved to be the final score.
The Tribe will return to action when it hosts Towson for Senior Day at 1:30 p.m. Saturday.