Football's Second Half Surge Falls Short Against Furman, 31-21
CLINTON, S.C. – The Presbyterian College football team scored 21 points in the second half of its home matchup against Furman on Saturday, but the Paladins held on to an early lead for a 31-21 victory at Bailey Memorial Stadium.
In a tale of two halves, PC (1-3) outgained Furman 226 to 122 yards in the third and fourth quarters. Outside of a PC win in 1979 and a tie in 1977, the result marks the closest margin of victory for Furman since a 22-19 win in Clinton in 1974.
The Paladins went up 14-0 in the opening quarter before taking a 24-0 lead into halftime. Furman added one more touchdown after a PC score to hold off the Blue Hose, despite 14 unanswered points from PC in the fourth quarter.
PC quarterback Tamyn Garrick (Williston, S.C.) went for 270 yards through the air to Reese Hannon’s 217, but the visitors held PC’s rushing attack to 43 yards while racking up 239 yards and four touchdowns on the ground offensively.
The Blue Hose emerged as a different team to start the second half, marching 73 yards on 12 plays for a touchdown. Arthur Williams (Baxley, Ga.) capped the drive by hauling in a five-yard pass and reaching for the end zone to make the score 24-7. Williams broke the 100-yard mark on the day, catching seven passes for 119 yards.
Furman answered with a marathon drive of its own. The 16-play, 67-yard drive spanned 8:27 and saw Jerodis Williams punch in a short touchdown as the Paladins restored their 24-point lead shortly before the end of the third quarter, 31-7. Williams finished with 136 rushing yards.
A Garrick fumble gave Furman the ball 22 yards away from the end zone early in the fourth, but Paladin penalties and a pass breakup from Branden Leston (Clearwater, Fla.) forced a failed 38-yard field goal attempt.
The Blue Hose offense looked sharp on the next drive en route to a PC touchdown. Garrick took advantage of a defensive offside and hit Williams for a 38-yard bomb before connecting with Anderico Bailey (Covington, Ga.) to get in the red zone, one of Bailey’s six catches for 88 yards. The play set up a four-yard Michael Ruff (Whitmire, S.C.) rushing touchdown and Joel Ruiz (Kingsland, Ga.) punched in the two-point conversion to cut the Furman lead to 31-15 with 10 minutes left.
A third-down stop gave PC the ball back on its own 14. Facing a quick fourth and short, Garrick rolled out left before breaking back to his right and finding a leaping Williams, who then scampered to complete a 43-yard gain. PC’s drive gained new life when a Furman unnecessary roughness call gave the Blue Hose a first down on third and 20. A Ruff rush set up a Demarcus Rouse (North Augusta, S.C.) three-yard score before an unsuccessful two-point conversion attempt pulled PC within 10 points at 31-21.
Unfortunately for the home side, Furman would chew the clock and seal the victory.
Furman’s Hank McCloud put the Paladins up by two scores early to begin the game, rushing for touchdowns of 45 and 13 yards in the first quarter. McCloud finished the day with 78 yards and three touchdowns.
PC moved the ball to within five yards of paydirt thanks to a 44-yard Garrick pass to Bailey, but two offensive penalties and a sack pushed the Blue Hose back. Aaron Mayes’ (Blythewood, S.C.) 44-yard field goal attempt then fell short, keeping Furman ahead by 14.
The Paladins struck again on their next drive. Furman used a 50-yard Reese Hannon pass to Colin Anderson to eventually set up a seven-yard McCloud touchdown rush, giving Furman a 21-0 advantage midway through the second.
Furman hit a short field goal shortly before the break to take a 24-0 lead into halftime.
Cory White (Anderson, S.C.) led PC with 11 total tackles, nine coming on solo takedowns. Donelle Williams (Starke, Fla.) added 10 tackles while LJ Perry (Augusta, Ga.) and Bryson Brindle (Acworth, Ga.) shared a sack.
PC hits the road for its next game, a Saturday night non-conference tilt at Davidson. Kickoff is slated for 6 p.m.