Wof­ford kicks past Elon in FCS play­off opener

The State (Sunday) - - Sports - BY TODD SHANESY

Luke Carter kicked four field goals and Wof­ford al­lowed only one score Satur­day as the Ter­ri­ers took a 19-7 vic­tory against Elon in a first-round FCS play­off game on Mike Ay­ers Field at Gibbs Sta­dium. They ad­vanced TO a sec­ond-round matchup next week at No. 4 over­all seed Ken­ne­saw State in what will be a 2 p.m. kick­ter­ri­ers off Dec. 1 in Ken­ne­saw, Ga., near At­lanta.

“Ob­vi­ously, we are all re­ally ex­cited about the win,” Wof­ford first-year head coach Josh Con­klin said. “… Any time you are play­ing foot­ball in late Novem­ber and the first of De­cem­ber, it’s a re­ally good thing.”

Wof­ford (9-3) ran for 344 yards but man­aged just one touch­down as the of­fense kept bog­ging down in the red zone against Elon (6-5). The had to turn their scor­ing chances over to Carter for field goals on sep­a­rate drives that in­cluded third-and-2 from the 19, third-and-7 from the 8 and then fourth down from the 4, thir­dand-6 from the 15 and first-and-goal from the 4.

“He did a tremen­dous job all day of putting them through the up­rights,” Con­klin said. “… There weren’t too many tough de­ci­sions. It was kick it and get the points. We felt like the de­fense was play­ing re­ally well, we had a pretty good han­dle on what they were go­ing and how they were go­ing to at­tack us as the game was go­ing on. So we could af­ford to keep kick­ing.”

Carter, a se­nior who was All-south­ern Con­fer­ence last sea­son, had field goals of 32, 21, 33 and 25 yards. It was a ca­reer-best for the Florence na­tive (Wil­son High School) and was only the sec­ond time A Wof­ford his­tory kicker has made four in a game. Brett Schul­man did that in 1985, also against Elon.

“It was awe­some. I was re­ally ex­cited,” Carter said. “I’m just happy I could do my job. Coach Con­klin talks about that all the time. Do your job. Do your part. The of­fense did a great job of get­ting into the red zone ev­ery time. I just wanted to fin­ish their hard work. I feel com­fort­able with Miller (Mosely, the holder) and Ross (Ham­mond, the snap­per, from Dor­man High) and the O-line. I think they did a great job.”

Wof­ford only had eight pos­ses­sions in the game and scored on five. Nathan Walker had the only touch­down on a 4-yard run to open the sec­ond half as he car­ried five times for 54 yards on that drive. There was an early missed field goal by Carter, from 36 yards out, that left Elon in front, 7-3, on the way to a half­time lead of 7-6. Carter would come back and make three straight to fin­ish 4-for-5.

“You have to han­dle ad­ver­sity as kick­ers,” he said. “Some­times things don’t go your way. You want to make ev­ery kick, but it doesn’t al­ways work out that way. You have to be able to come back the next time. A bunch of my team­mates came up to me (af­ter the miss) and said, ‘We’re go­ing to need you the rest of the game. We be­lieve in you. You’re a great kicker. We know you’re go­ing to do your job.’ I was just happy to prove them right.”

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