BOILING SPRINGS, N.C. — Carlton Aiken overcame three interceptions with two touchdowns running and Gardner-Webb took control in the third quarter to mount a 42-20 comeback win against Elon on Saturday.
No. 24-ranked ranked Elon led 17-0 at the end of the first quarter and 20-7 at intermission. But midway through the third, Aiken led an 11-play, 75-yard drive that ended with Dexter Brown running it in from 2-yards out to reduce the deficit to six.
On Elon’s following drive, Jaylan Thomas coughed it up in the backfield and the Bulldogs’ Ga’Marcus Freeman recovered it. Three plays later, Aiken ran it in from 23 yards and Gardner-Webb (1-0) rolled from there. Devron Harper closed the quarter with a 41-yard punt return for a touchdown that made it 28-20.
Narii Gaither gained 111 yards rushing on 19 carries and scored a pair of fourth quarter touchdowns for the Bulldogs. Izaiah Gathings had 126 yards receiving on 10 catches.
Joey Baughman threw for 130 yards and had a touchdown rushing for the Phoenix (1-1). Bryson Daughtry added a 12-yard run for a touchdown.
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