Football reaches best mark since 2003

Junior Fabian Truss rushed for a career-high 219 yards at Elon Saturday. Photo courtesy of Samford Sports


Allison Hubbard – Sports Writer |

The Samford football team defeated Elon 26-15 in Elon, N.C. on Saturday to finish 2012 conference play with a 5-3 record and a 7-3 overall record. With the loss, the Phoenix fall to 3-7 overall, and 1-6 in SoCon play.

Junior running back and sports administration major Fabian Truss rushed for a career high 219 yards to bring his season total to 1,026 yards. His 34 carries resulted in two Bulldog touchdowns.

“This was a great win,” head coach Pat Sullivan said. “Fabian did a wonderful job. We had chances to score more points, and we didn’t, but when we needed to make a drive offensively, we did. Also, I can’t say enough about the job our defense did.”

Senior quarterback and business major Andy Summerlin went 17-of-26 on the game for 111 yards and one touchdown. Junior wide receiver and pre-business major Kelsey Pope also scored a Bulldog touchdown, catching five passes for 33 yards.

On defense, redshirt freshman and pre-business major Trey Wesley led the Bulldogs with nine tackles, four of which were solo stops. Senior geography major Darion Sutton had six tackles along with a fumble recovery, and senior biology major Durell Hill had four tackles and one interception in the game.

The Bulldogs scored early off of a 38-yard field goal from senior place-kicker and geography major Cameron Yaw on their second drive of the game to go up 3-0. On the next possession, Hill intercepted a Phoenix pass, eventually leading to a Truss touchdown to put Samford up 10-0.

Yaw hit another field goal midway through the second quarter to extend the Bulldog lead to 13-0, the score going into the half. In the third, Samford widened the gap to 20-0 with a 75-yard touchdown run from Truss.

In the fourth, Elon fought hard and made a comeback, but not enough to pull ahead of the Bulldogs. Their first points of the game came from a four-yard touchdown with 11 minutes left to cut the Samford lead 20-7.

With just fewer than five minutes left in the game, Pope caught a Summerlin pass to extend the lead. Yaw’s extra point put the score at 26-7. Elon scored once more with a touchdown pass from backup quarterback and then got the two-point conversion to make the score 26-15, the final of the game.

After the game, named Truss its Southern Conference X-factor of the Week and ranked Samford 23rd in its NCAA Division 1-FCS poll.

The official Sports Network FCS poll awarded the Bulldogs 200 points, putting them two places out of the poll’s top 25.

Senior sports administration major Alvin Hines was one of the many Samford seniors playing his final SoCon game on Saturday.

“The overall season has been successful to this point,” Hines said. “We are standing strong at 7-3 right now, which is the best record that we’ve had around here in a while.”

Samford will end the 2012 regular season with a game against Kentucky (1-9) this Saturday, Nov. 17. The game is scheduled to kickoff at 6:30 p.m. and will be televised live on CSS and online on ESPN3.

“The game coming up this week is the game of the year,” Hines said. “A win against an SEC team can open up a lot of things for us post season. Our post season dreams are still a little cloudy but a win this week could change that.”

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