#5 Wofford 20, Furman 17
SPARTANBURG, S.C. - The Wofford football team used a big performance by the defense to come away with a 20-17 win over Furman on Saturday afternoon at Gibbs Stadium. The Terrier defense had three interceptions, including two in the fourth quarter, to earn a hard fought victory.
The Terriers open the season 5-0 and 3-0 in the SoCon. Furman is 2-4 overall and 1-2 in conference play. For Wofford, Eric Breitenstein had 158 yards on 21 carries. Cam Flowers and Brian Kass each had rushing touchdowns, while Jeff Ashley had a 52-yard touchdown reception. Furman was led by Jarodis Williams with 121 rushing yards and two touchdowns.
The teams both punted on their opening possessions of the game. On the next drive by the Paladins, they converted three straight third downs before scoring on a 27 yard run by Jerodis Williams. Furman had a 7-0 lead at the 4:17 mark of the first quarter. Wofford drove the ball down the field on their next possession, but Will Irwin fumbled after making a first down catch and the ball was recovered at the 19-yard line by Cortez Johnson.
Furman picked up two first downs before Phillip LeGrande hit Reese Hannon as he threw a pass and the ball was intercepted by Tarek Odom at the line of scrimmage. After two first downs, Cam Flowers scored from ten yards out to make it a 7-7 game with 11:09 on the clock in the second quarter.
The Paladins gained two first downs, including one on a facemask penalty, to drive into Wofford territory. The drive stalled and Furman punted, with the Terriers taking over on the 22-yard line. Wofford was unable to gain a first down and punted. Furman was able to move down the field and scored on a one-yard touchdown run by Jerodis Williams. The Paladins had a 14-7 lead with only 54 seconds left in the first half.
To open the second half, Wofford used a 33-yard run by Eric Breitenstein to get inside the ten-yard line and Brian Kass scored from one-yard out on fourth-and-one. The score was 14-13 in favor of Furman after the extra point hit the right upright with 11:15 on the clock in the third quarter. The Paladins used a 40-yard completion to Colin Anderson to set up a 24-yard field goal by Ray Early. Furman had a 17-13 advantage with 9:23 left in the third quarter.
On the next drive for the Terriers, Brian Kass ran for two first downs. Kass then found Jeff Ashley for a 52-yard touchdown pass when Ashley beat the cornerback and was open on the near sideline. Wofford had a 20-17 lead with 6:49 left in the third quarter. Furman picked up one first down before two penalties backed up the Paladins. Ray Early punted 82-yards and Wofford started their drive on the two-yard line. The Terriers gained one first down before punting.
Furman drove deep inside Wofford territory, but Reese Hannon was intercepted by Mike McCrimon at the nine-yard line. He returned it 25 yards before fumbling, however James Zotto was there to recover the ball. Wofford used runs of 18 yards and 32 yards by Eric Breitenstein to move the ball inside the ten. On fourth-and-two, the pass was incomplete and the ball was turned over on downs with 11:06 left in the game. Furman converted a fourth-and-one from their 35-yard line to keep the drive alive, but had to punt.
Wofford started their next drive on the three-yard line with 5:55 remaining on the clock. The Terriers had a run of 18 yards by Eric Breitenstein and a 24 yard run by Will Irwin to move the ball into Furman territory, but the drive stalled and Wofford punted. Furman got the ball back with 1:19 left in the game and Reese Hannon was sacked by Alvin Scioneaux on the first play. On the second play, Blake Wylie picked off a pass from Hannon to seal the victory for the Terriers.
Wofford had 364 total yards, with 303 on the ground. Furman had 319 total yards, 170 of which were passing. The Terriers had 17 first downs to 20 for the Paladins. Wofford was 5-of-12 on third downs. Furman was 8-of-15 on third down. Wofford had seven penalties, while Furman had only three. Furman had the time of possession by a 30:01 to 29:59 margin.
#8 Georgia Southern 45, Western Carolina 13
CULLOWHEE, N.C. - The Georgia Southern Eagles ran for 614 yards behind three 100-yard rushers in their first road win of the season over Western Carolina 45-13. The rushing total was the fourth-largest and just the fourth such performance in school history, while the win was the 18th-straight victory by the Eagles over the Catamounts
Georgia Southern's (4-1, 3-1) Darreion Robinson, Dominique Swope and William Banks all ran for over 100 yards, the ninth time in school history and the second time in as many years against Western Carolina (1-5, 0-4). Robinson, who rushed for 100 or more yards for just the second time in his career, led the way with a career high 124 yards and a touchdown.
Swope added 117 yards and a touchdown, his sixth-straight game with a rushing score, while fellow B-Back Banks ran for 101 yards and a touchdown in the fourth quarter.
After going 0 for 10 on third downs in last week's win over Samford, GSU converted its first six third downs and finished 11 for 15. The Eagles took advantage of their third down success to set new season highs for longest drives on two separate drives. GSU's second touchdown drive of the day was the longest by time (7:07) this year, while the Eagles' field goal drive just before halftime was the longest in terms of plays (16) and yards (86).
The Georgia Southern defense held Western Carolina to just 207 yards of offense and 95-yards passing. The quarterback duo of Eddie Sullivan and Troy Mitchell combined to go 8 for 17 in passing attempts with most of that coming on a 42-yard pass to Karnorris Benson. Mitchell also led the team in rushing with 13 carries for 41 yards and a score.
Michael Vaughn added another 35 yards on 11 carries, while Shaun Warren scored a touchdown in six carries.
Georgia Southern struck for their second-quickest score of the season as Robinson capped off the opening drive with a 48-yard touchdown run.
The rush was the longest of the season for the senior and gave GSU a touchdown in the opening drive for the fourth time in five games this season.
Swope added a second touchdown eight minutes later with a five-yard touchdown run. The sophomore B-Back carried the ball six times for 35 yards during the 13 play drive. The drive accounted for seven minutes of the Eagles' 9:40 first quarter time of possession and put the Eagles up 14-0 early in the contest.
Western Carolina struck back before the end of the quarter on an 11-yard run by Troy Mitchell to move within a touchdown, 14-6.
Mitchell rolled out on the extra point attempt trying to find an open receiver for a two-point conversion but his pass was picked off by John Stevenson in the back of the end zone.
Georgia Southern responded on their next drive and went ahead 21-6 early in the second quarter on Jerick Mckinnon's first touchdown pass of the season to Kentrellis Showers. The 20-yard touchdown grab was Showers' second of the season and the second for the Eagles this year.
The Eagles added a 25-yard field goal by freshman Alex Hanks (Marietta, Ga.) with 32 seconds remaining to take a 24-6 halftime lead. The 16-play 86-yard drive was the largest scoring drive in both yards and plays for GSU this season.
After Hanks' 19-yard field goal attempt was blocked on Georgia Southern's first drive of the second half, a 30-yard punt return by Robinson set up a three-play 38 yard drive that resulted in a 30-yard touchdown pass from McKinnon to Tray Butler, his first catch and score of the year.
After Western Carolina's Shaun Warren scored from 9-yards out with 8:59 to go in the fourth quarter, the Eagles scored a pair of touchdowns to close out the game. Banks capped off a 9-play 93-yard drive with a 13-yard touchdown run, and Dean broke through for a 43-yard touchdown score with 1:31 remaining.
Samford 38, #22 The Citadel 7
BIRMINGHAM, Ala.-The Samford offense rolled up 569 yards of total offense, and the Bulldog defense held The Citadel to just seven points as the Samford football team claimed a 38-7 win over The Citadel Saturday afternoon at Seibert Stadium.
With the win, Samford improves to 5-1 for the first time since 1992, and the team is also 3-1 in Southern Conference play. The win marked the first time Samford has defeated a ranked Division I-FCS team since defeating sixth-ranked UCF, 36-35, on Oct. 8, 1994. The Citadel drops to 3-3 overall and 2-2 in SoCon play.
Samford senior quarterback Andy Summerlin completed 23-of-32 passes for a career-high 320 yards and one touchdown. Junior running back Fabian Truss rushed 17 times for 114 yards in the win.
Senior wide receiver Riley Hawkins caught three passes for 94 yards and a touchdown, including an 82-yard score from Summerlin. Sophomore receiver Kelvin Clay had four catches for 60 yards.
For the Samford defense, Jaquiski Tartt had an interception he returned 65 yards for a touchdown, to go along with three tackles and two pass break-ups. Darion Sutton led Samford in tackles with nine. Jeremy Towns blocked a Citadel field goal and had one tackle.
For The Citadel, Rickey Anderson rushed four times for 80 yards and a touchdown. Ben Dupree rushed 15 times for 66 yards, and he completed 4-of-8 passes for 63 yards and one interception. Matt Thompson led The Citadel's receivers with three catches for 59 yards.
Samford took the lead first when Tartt intercepted a Dupree pass and returned it 65 yards for a touchdown. Cameron Yaw added the extra point to give Samford a 7-0 lead with 3:36 to go in the first quarter.
Samford struck again late in the second quarter when Summerlin scored on a one-yard sneak with 2:02 left before halftime. Yaw added the PAT to give Samford a 14-0 lead. The score capped a 14-play, 92-yard drive that took 3:49 off the clock.
The Citadel got on the scoreboard when Anderson scored on a 55-yard run with 10:37 left in the third quarter. Thomas Warren added the extra point to cut the Samford lead to 14-7.
Samford answered on the ensuing drive. Summerlin hit Hawkins for an 82-yard touchdown pass with 9:19 left in the third quarter. Yaw's extra point gave Samford a 21-7 lead. Yaw added a 33-yard field goal with 1:40 remaining in the third quarter to push its lead to 24-7.
Samford struck again when Stanley Robinson scored on a one-yard run with 12:21 left in the fourth quarter. Yaw added the extra point to make the score 31-7.
Samford added one final score when D'Morrise Bledsoe scored on a 10-yard run with 2:40 to go, and Yaw's PAT made the final score 38-7. The score was Bledsoe's first touchdown of his Samford career.
As a team, Samford had 249 yards rushing and 320 yards passing. The Citadel finished with 221 rushing yards and 83 passing yards.
Samford will return to action on Saturday, Oct. 13, when the Bulldogs play host to the Appalachian State Mountaineers. The game is scheduled for a 2 p.m. kickoff from Seibert Stadium.
#14 Appalachian State 35, Elon 23
BOONE, N.C. - Jamal Jackson set career highs with 398 yards of total offense and accounted for five five touchdowns to lead Appalachian State University to a hard-fought 35-23 victory over visiting Elon on Saturday afternoon at Kidd Brewer Stadium.
Jackson also set career highs with four touchdown passes and 94 rushing yards in Appalachian State's 17th-straight victory over Elon. The junior finished with 304 yards on 20-of-29 passing and had a rushing touchdown to go along with his four scores through the air.
Despite Jackson's gaudy numbers, the game was a battle for Appalachian (4-2, 2-1 SoCon), which overcame a career-high 419 passing yards by Elon's Thomas Wilson to pull away from the Phoenix in the second half.
The Mountaineers struggled on both sides of the ball throughout the first half but thanks to a career-long 54-yard touchdown catch by Tony Washington with 1:01 to go before halftime, they took a 14-10 advantage into the break. Appalachian's halftime lead came despite allowing Elon to amass 293 yards in the first two periods while going three-and-out on three of its first six offensive possessions and throwing an interception on a fourth.
Elon (2-4, 0-3 SoCon) regained the lead at 17-14 on its first possession of the second half but three series later, the Mountaineers took the lead for good when Andrew Peacock capped a six-play, 93-yard drive with a 25-yard touchdown catch that pushed the Apps ahead, 21-17.
Senior running back Steven Miller, who was Appalachian's unlikely receiving leader with five receptions for 97 yards and two touchdowns (all career highs), gave Appalachian its first two-score cushion two possessions later when he hauled in his second touchdown catch of the day from 23 yards out that stretched the advantage to 28-17.
Just 1:21 later, Elon pulled back within five points at 28-23 on Aaron Mellette's third touchdown catch of the day but following a 35-yard kickoff return by Washington, Appalachian marched 62 yards on seven plays and took a 35-23 lead on Jackson's one-yard touchdown run on fourth down.
From there, Appalachian's defense took over, limiting Elon to 25 yards the rest of the way. The Apps ended any hopes of an Elon comeback when they picked off Wilson for the third time on the Phoenix's final offensive play.
The teams combined for over 1,000 yards of total offense, with Elon racking up 515 and Appalachian going for 499. However, the Mountaineers held significant advantages in rushing (195-96) and turnover margin (3-1) and got a big boost on special teams with 63 yards on three kickoff returns (21.0 avg.) compared to zero kickoff-return yards for the Phoenix.
Troy Sanders led the Mountaineers' defensive effort with 11 tackles, including one for loss. Jeremy Kimbrough, Demetrius McCray and Jamill Lott all had interceptions, with Kimbrough's and McCray's pickoffs both thwarting drives deep in Appalachian territory.
Mellette finished with 237 yards on 13 catches. The rest of Elon's receivers combined for 12 receptions on the ballgame.