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(Photo courtesy of Grant Shorin)
DURHAM, N.C (GoDuke.com) -- Duke redshirt senior quarterback Anthony Boone completed 22-of-33 passes for 247 yards and four touchdowns to lead the Blue Devils to a season-opening 52-13 victory over Elon in front of 31,213 fans at Wallace Wade Stadium.
The 52 points are the fourth most scored by the Blue Devils under head coach David Cutcliffe and the most scored by Duke in a season opener since 1954. Duke compiled 567 yards of offense with a balanced 292 through the air and 275 on the ground.
Jamison Crowder led the receiving corps with seven catches for 93 yards, including two for touchdowns, to push his career catches total to 205. He is the third receiver in Duke history to amass 200-plus career catches, joining Donovan Varner and Conner Vernon. Max McCaffrey had a career receiving day with five catches for 65 yards.
The running game was led by Josh Snead and Shaquille Powell with 74 and 54 yards, respectively.
Devon Edwards paced the defense with seven tackles, including four solo stops. Bryon Fields had six tackles and Carlos Wray made three stops and recorded his first career sack.
Duke, after forcing Elon into a three-and-out on its opening possession, marched 61 yards over 11 plays to get on the scoreboard for the first time in 2014 with a four-yard touchdown pass from Boone to Issac Blakeney. Shaquille Powell carried the ball for 34 yards and Blakeney hauled in 22 yards receiving, including the one-handed grab in the back left corner of the end zone, to highlights Duke’s opening drive of 2014.
Elon answered with a 61-yard drive that finished with a 36-yard field goal from John Gallagher to pull within a score. Duke punted for the first time of the afternoon on its next possession to go into the first break with a 7-3 lead.
Coming into the game two catches shy of the 200-catch benchmark, Crowder made his second grab of the evening count. On the first play from scrimmage, Boone found Crowder streaking down the right sideline for a 46-yard strike to put the Blue Devils in front 14-3 early in the second quarter.
The Blue Devils continued to roll offensively with Powell finding the end zone for the first time of the season with a two-yard rush up the middle, and Blakeney pulling in a 19-yard toss from Boone to send Duke into halftime with a 28-6 lead.
Duke racked up 205 yards of offense in the second quarter with Boone passing for 129 and Josh Snead amassing 52 yards on the ground. Boone finished the first half 13-of-19 with 170 yards and three touchdowns.
Defensively, the Blue Devils held the Phoenix to just 10 first downs, 165 yards of offense and two field goals in the first 30 minutes.
Boone and the Duke offense continued to fire on all cylinders in the third quarter. After scoring on the opening drive of the period – a 13-yard pass to Crowder – Duke added a 49-yard Ross Martin field goal for a 38-6 advantage.
Duke redshirt sophomore quarterback Thomas Sirk came off the bench to add a pair of rushing touchdowns for the Blue Devils. Sirk finished 5-of-7 for 40 yards.
Elon, trailing 45-6 in the fourth quarter, tacked on its lone touchdown in the fourth quarter, despite being held to just 132 yards of offense for much of the second half.
Duke hits the road next to take on Troy next Saturday, September 6th at 7 p.m.