Jarrett Martin’s Pick Six Leads #25 URI to Meaningful Win over #14 Elon
A pick-6 by linebacker Jarrett Martin highlighted a tremendous defensive effort as No. 25/22 Rhode Island knocked off No. 14/18 Elon 17-10 in front of a sellout Alumni/Family Weekend crowd Saturday afternoon.
Martin picked off Elon’s Matthew McKay at the Phoenix 16-yard line and returned it for a touchdown with 8:37 remaining in the game. The play broke a 10-10 tie and led URI (4-2, 2-1 CAA Football) to its second straight win.
Elon (5-2, 3-1 CAA Football) struck first when Skyler Davis kicked a 33-yard field goal in the first quarter. Rhode Island answered in the second quarter with a 21-yard field goal by Harrison Leonard that was set up by a 40-yard reception from Kahtero Summers.
On Elon’s ensuing possession, the visitors put together a 75-yard drive, highlighted by a 20-yard reception by Bryson Daughtry. The drive was capped off by a 4-yard touchdown run for Jalen Hampton, putting Elon ahead 10-3 going into the half.
The third quarter saw solid an all-around defensive effort from Rhody’s Evan Stewart, who recorded 5 tackles, including a crucial fourth-down stop. Rhody eventually broke through offensively when a seven-play, 57-yard drive culminated in a 7-yard touchdown run by quarterback Kasim Hill.
The game remained tight until Martin’s big play. Later, Stewart broke up an Elon pass on fourth-and-3 from the URI 33-yard line. Hill and the offense took over with 4:53 remaining. The offense picked up three first downs – all on runs by Hill – and were able to run the clock out for the key conference win.
Inside the Box Score
Saturday’s matchup marked the first win for Rhode Island over Elon at Meade Stadium. Rhody was 0-2 at home prior to this season.
The win snapped a four-game losing streak in the series for the Rams. It also ended Elon’s five-game winning streak this season.
Rhody had 401 yards of total offense, compared to Elon’s 263, which helped vault the Rams to victory.
Marques DeShields dominated in the ground game, finishing with 127 rushing yards on 18 carries.
It was the third 100-yard outing this season for DeShields, who has 503 yards through six games.
As a team, Rhode Island had 200 yards on the ground. In addition to DeShields’ big day, quarterback Kasim Hill added 73 rushing yards and a touchdown.
Over his last two games, Hill has run for 151 yards. Rhode Island improved to 8-0 in his career with Hill rushes for 30 or more yards.
Hill also finished the day 17-for-29 passing for a total of 201 yards.
Wide receiver Kahtero Summers led all receivers, bringing in five catches for 74 yards, including a 40-yard grab early in the second quarter. Tight end Caleb Warren hauled in four catches for 55 yards for Rhode Island.
Linebacker Evan Stewart led the Rhode Island defense with seven total tackles, which included a crucial fourth down stop to give the ball back to Rhody in the third quarter. Stewart also broke up two passes and recovered a fumble, making his presence known.
Linebacker Jarrett Martin had six tackles, 1.5 tackles for loss and a 16-yard interception return for a touchdown. Martin’s pick-six was the first interception and first touchdown of his collegiate career.
Linebacker Gabe Salomons had four tackles and forced a fumble.
Defensive tackle Westley Neal, Jr. returned after missing two games and had four tackles.
After Elon was 5-of-8 on third down in the first half, the Rhode Island defense held the visitors to 0-for-6 in the second half.
Rhody also held Elon to 0-for-2 on fourth down.
Kicker Harrison Leonard went 2-for-2 on extra points and notched a 21-yard field goal.
The anchor bearer for URI was left tackle Lorenzo Thompson, and the game captain was safety Oneil “Buzz” Robinson.
The attendance was 5415.
Rhode Island travels to Monmouth on Saturday, Oct. 22. Game time is 1 p.m.