Ibitokun-Hanks Rushes For Career-High As Football Tops Elon 27-3
ALBANY, N.Y. – Rushing for a career-high 210 yards, sophomore running back Elijah Ibitokun-Hanks led the University at Albany football team to a 27-3 victory over Elon Saturday afternoon at Tom & Mary Casey Stadium. With the win, the Great Danes improved to 5-3 on the season and 2-3 in the CAA, while Elon fell to 2-6 overall and 1-4 in conference play.
• Elijah Ibitokun-Hanks carried the ball a career-high 35 times for a career-high 210 rushing yards and a touchdown. Redshirt sophomore Kendall Rodgers Jr. added 62 rushing yards on 12 carries.
• Sophomore quarterback Neven Sussman completed 5-of-9 passes for 34 yards, hitting Dione Alston a team-high two times for 12 yards.
• Redshirt senior punter Jon Martin served as a playmaker for the Great Danes, totaling five punts for 205 yards (41.0/punt). Martin pinned Elon at the 2-yard line and also matched his season-long with a 57-yard punt out of the end zone that got the Danes out of trouble.
• Defensively, UAlbany scored a pair of touchdowns on Julian Cox’s 12-yard fumble return and Rayshan Clark’s 36-yard interception. UAlbany has now scored 47 points off turnovers this season, while giving up only seven.
• Sophomore Josh Wynn led the team with nine tackles (one solo), while Michael Nicastro and Jamal Robinson each had eight.
• Redshirt sophomore kicker Ethan Stark made both of his field goal attempts from 23 and 20 yards out, and was 3-for-3 on point-afters.
• UAlbany took the lead for good on Ethan Stark’s 23-yard field goal with 9:53 remaining in the first quarter.
• Ibitokun-Hanks capped a nine-play 72-yard drive with a three-yard touchdown run with 7:50 on the clock in the second quarter, giving UAlbany a 10-0 advantage.
• Elon scored its lone points of the day on John Gallagher’s 24-yard field goal with 33 seconds remaining in the first half.
• After Martin’s perfectly placed punt pinned Elon on the two-yard line, DaeSean Timmons popped the ball loose on the Phoenix’s third rushing attempt. Julian Cox scooped it up and ran 12 yards into the end zone untouched with 49 seconds remaining in the third quarter.
• Stark gave UAlbany a 20-3 lead with 9:49 remaining in the fourth quarter, chipping in a 20-yard field goal that capped an 11-play, 71-yard drive.
• UAlbany’s defense closed out the game’s scoring with Rayshan Clark’s 36-yard pick with 9:09 remaining in the contest.
Coach Gattuso on the win: “Anytime you can win a conference game and win at home, it’s a good thing. In most aspects we played pretty well. We ran the ball exceptionally well and I thought our defense played really well. There were a couple plays here and there, but for the most part we were really competitive. We put a lot of pressure on their offense. It’s a good win, big conference win for us. Gets us back on track hopefully. It was good to get home and play a solid football game and get the win.”
Rayshan Clark on his interception: “I really give credit to the coaches. It was a great play call by them. The preparation all week, knowing what we’re going to be looking at and what they’ll run -- I sat there and jumped the route and it landed right in my lap, so I took it 36 yards for the touchdown.”
Coach Gattuso on Jon Martin’s punting performance: “I thought Jon Martin was, at one point, our best football player on the field today. He did a great job. The long kick to get us out of trouble was huge. I think we were struggling a little bit there. He has been exceptional all year and he sometimes doesn’t get the credit, so we try to give it to him.”
- Improved UAlbany’s record to 5-3 overall.
- Improved UAlbany’s CAA record to 2-3.
- Improved UAlbany’s series record to 1-0 against Elon.
- Improved UAlbany’s all-time varsity record to 271-186.
- Improved Coach Gattuso’s career record to 112-48.
- Improved Coach Gattuso’s record at UAlbany to 15-16.
UAlbany hosts Delaware Nov. 5 for Military Appreciation Day. Kickoff at Tom & Mary Casey Stadium is at 1 p.m.