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Western Carolina vs. Elon - Post-Game Notes

Oct. 26, 2013

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Post-Game Notes
Western Carolina 27, Elon 24 (OT)
E.J. Whitmire Stadium / Bob Waters Field
Cullowhee, N.C. - Saturday, Oct. 26, 2013

With the win...
- Western Carolina ended its 33-game losing skid against NCAA Division I competition dating back to the 2010 season ... WCU also snapped its 26-game SoCon losing streak dating back to the same season ... the win matches the most wins in a season, two, since 2010;

- WCU halted a seven-game slide against Elon; it was the Catamounts' first win over the Phoenix since 2005 ... WCU improves to 3-3 against Elon in games played in Cullowhee;

- Western Carolina head coach Mark Speir won his first game against a NCAA Division I opponent, while also earning his first victory against a Southern Conference opponent;

- WCU improves to 18-21-1 in Homecoming games since moving to Whitmire Stadium in 1974; the Catamounts ended a four-game Homecoming losing streak ... the win was WCU's first on Homecoming against a Southern Conference team since 2009.

Post-Game Notes:
- Western Carolina's field goal in the first quarter represented the Catamounts' 23rd points of the season in the opening frame; Following Elon's touchdown, WCU has been outscored 91-23 in the first quarter this season ... WCU trailed 7-3 after the first quarter Saturday;

- Redshirt junior quarterback Eddie Sullivan's 80-yard touchdown pass to redshirt sophomore Karnorris Benson to open the second quarter was Sullivan's first touchdown of the season and his first completion of the game ... it was Sullivan's longest career touchdown pass surpassing his previous long of 62 yards ... the play matched Benson's career-long touchdown reception - both 80-yarders coming in Cullowhee;

- Eddie Sullivan's 157 yards through the air in the first half eclipsed the 100-yard mark for the first time this season ... Sullivan finished with 157 yards on eight completions ... His previous season-high of 96 yards came in the opener at Middle Tennessee State.

- Benson finished the game with 129 yards on six catches for his fourth 100-yard game of the season and his career;

- WCU's defense gave up over 300 yards passing for only the second time this season ... Elon's Mike Quinn finished 20-of-36 for 326 yards with three TDs ... Quinn set a SoCon record for pass attempts, 207, in a season without an interception ... Samford's 408 yards was the last game WCU gave up over 300 yards through the air;

- Quarterbacks Eddie Sullivan and sophomore Mitchell finished with 157 yards and 192 yards, respectively ... it is the first time since the 2012 season opener against Mars Hill that two WCU players had over 100 yards passing when Eddie Sullivan threw for 191 yards and Mitchell threw for 149 yards;

- WCU played its first overtime game since October 25, 2008 - a 38-31 loss to Georgia Southern in Cullowhee ... it was WCU's first victory in overtime since September 26, 1998 when the Catamounts defeated East Tennessee State, 31-24, in double-overtime in Cullowhee ... WCU is now 2-6 in overtime games;

- With two TD receptions Saturday, Benson has nine touchdown grabs on the year ... he is currently tied for fourth in the single-season record book with former Catamount receiver Eddie Cohen, who had nine touchdown catches in 2007.

- WCU's 522 yards of total offense was the most by the Catamounts this season; it is most yards in a game 653 against Mars Hill in 2011 ... The most against a SoCon foe since 2004 when WCU had 504 yards against Chattanooga.

Career Notes:
- Freshman wide receiver Steffon Hill made his first career start against Elon ... Hill is native of Hendersonville, N.C.;

- Junior kicker Richard Sigmon's 41-yard field goal in the first quarter was his third kick of 40-or-more yards in his career ... Sigmon later connected on the game-winner, a 39-yarder, for his second career multi-field goal game ... Sigmon hit on a 25-yarder and a 31-yarder in the 2012 opener against Mars Hill on August 30;

- With a 13-yard catch from Troy Mitchell in the first quarter, sophomore transfer receiver WR John Sullivan tallied his first reception as a Catamount ... the play picked up a first down on 3rd and 10 for WCU ... the Catamounts converted a 41-field goal on the drive;

- Redshirt sophomore defensive lineman Helva Matungulu had his first career pass break up in the second quarter ... Matungulu swatted an Elon pass down from his defensive tackle spot on a 2nd and 9 on the Phoenix's second drive of the second quarter;

- Redshirt freshman long-snapper Chandler Addertion forced his first career fumble ... Adderton striped Elon's punter returner David Wood in the first quarter ... Addertion added one tackle on special teams in the win;

- Freshman running back Gary Lewis' 13-yard in the third quarter was a career-long ... Lewis had eight rushes for 37 yards on WCU's opening drive of the second half that resulted in a touchdown ... Lewis finished the game with a career-high 72 yards on 15 carries ... He also hauled in a career-high five receptions for a career-high 58 yards including a career-long 22 yard catch on 3rd and 10 to keep WCU's final drive alive ... Lewis finished with 131 yards of total offense for a career-high - all in the second half;

- Redshirt freshman tight end Michael Helms hauled in an eight-yard touchdown reception on WCU's opening drive of the second half ... it was his first career TD reception coming on his eighth career catch;

- Benson caught the game-tying touchdown with 9.6 seconds left ... it was his second multi-touchdown game of his career ... With his 129 yards today Benson, eclipsed the 1,000-yard career receiving mark ... He now has 1,069 career yards in his second season;

- Redshirt sophomore Tyler Philpott forced his first career fumble on a WCU punt in the third quarter; Elon recovered the fumble on the play ... Philpott made his first career start at center, substituting for the injured Jake Thornton who had started the first eight games in the middle of WCU's offensive line;

- Junior outside linebacker Christon Gill forced his first career fumble in the third quarter ... Elon recovered the fumble but the play ended the drive ... the stop was ultimately cashed in on by WCU with Helm's touchdown catch pulling WCU within four points, 21-17 ... Gill matched his career-high with 13 tackles, all of which came in the first half to lead the Catamounts.

Miscellaneous Notes:
- Western Carolina's team captains for Saturday afternoon's game were: redshirt junior defensive back #28 Ace Clark; senior punter #38 Clark Sechrest; senior offensive lineman #52 Quevalas Murray; and senior offensive lineman #72 Vince Williams... Western Carolina won the toss and elected to receive;

- In overtime, WCU won the coin toss and elected to go on defense first ... the teams attacked the South End Zone towards the Ramsey Center;

- During halftime, Western Carolina honored its 2013 Homecoming Award winners: Joan MacNeill (Distinguished Service Award); Johnny Carson (Academic Achievement Award); Wes Elingburg (Professional Achievement Award) and Manteo Mitchell (Young Alumnus Award);

- Also during Homecoming, WCU crowned its Homecoming Queen - junior Mary Hannah Hughes of Rocky Point, N.C., and sophomore Brandon Todd Truitt of Waynesville, N.C., as its Homecoming King.