Furman 27, Appalachian State 10
GREENVILLE, S.C. — Gary Wilkins returned an interception 98 yards and Furman feasted on five Appalachian State turnovers to down the Mountaineers, 27-10, in Southern Conference football action Saturday afternoon at Paladin Stadium.
The contest closed out the league rivalry between the Paladins (3-4, 2-2 SoCon) and Mountaineers (1-6, 1-3 SoCon) with Furman winning two of the final three meetings to improve to 23-18-3 all-time against Appalachian State.
Appalachian State suffered five turnovers in the game, fumbling the ball eight times and losing four, in addition to Wilkins’ interception, which marked the second longest pickoff return in Furman history.
Ray Early gave Furman a 6-0 first quarter lead with a pair of field goals covering 50 and 32 yards.
After App State’s Drew Stewart cut it to 6-3 early in the second quarter with a 37-yard field goal, the Mountaineers appears poised to take the lead by driving to Furman 6, but on a second and goal play App State wide receiver Anrew Peacock’s pass attempt off a reverse play went right into the hands of Wilkins, who tucked the ball away, leaped over a Peacock’s tackle attempt, and sprinted 98 yards down the sideline into the end zone to help give Furman a 13-3 lead.
Furman took command on its first possession of the second half, which was set up by a forced fumble by linebacker Cory Magwood that was recovered by Austin Williiams at the Paladin 44. A Reese Hannon 41-yard pass to Andrej Suttles on the next play gave Furman the ball at the Mountaineer 15, and six snaps later fullback Ernie Cain bulled over from 1-yard out to stretch the lead to 20-0 following the PAT.
A Wilkins fumble recovery at the Appalachian State 25 midway through the third quarter set up the Paladins’ final touchdown. Quarterback Reese Hannon delivered the tally on the next play when he floated a 25-yard strike into the Ryan Culbreath’s hands in the corner of the end zone with 6:01 on the clock.
The Mountaineers’ Simms McElfresh found the end zone with a 39-yard touchdown catch from Kameron Bryant with 3:01 to go in the contest.
App State forged a 473-336 advantage in total offense, but the differential was primarily compiled on the Mountaineers last two possessions after trailing 27-3.
Hannon, who returned to the starting lineup after missing two games due to injury, completed 13-of-19 passes for 164 yards and a touchdown. Hank McCloud paced the Paladins running game with 13 rushes for 89 yards.
Bryant finished with 307 yards passing for Appalachian State, completing 32-of-40 passes and a touchdown. Marcus Cox led all rushers with 118 yards, but Bryrant and Cox combined for two fumbles apiece in the contest.
Magwood paced all tacklers with 13 stops, followed by Jairus Hollman with 12, Carl Rider with 11 and Reggie Thomas with 10 stops for Furman.
Chattanooga 20, Elon 9
ELON, N.C. -- Two second quarter touchdowns were the difference in Saturday's Southern Conference football showdown between Chattanooga and Elon as the Mocs defeated the Phoenix 20-9 on a soggy afternoon at Rhodes Stadium.
Facing the eighth-ranked defense in the nation, Elon (2-6, 1-3 SoCon) managed to churn out 293 total yards of offense, but had to settle for three field goals off the leg of #John Gallagher#.
On its second drive of the game, Elon put together a 16-play drive that covered 80 yards before Gallagher put the maroon and gold in front 3-0 with a 19-yard field goal. Mike Quinn completed six passes on the drive for 54 yards, including a 14-yard toss to Rasaun Rorie on third-and-six at the Mocs' 44.
UTC (5-2, 3-1) responded with a nine-play, 75-yard drive to move in front 7-3 on a four-yard run by Keon Williams. Elon looked like it was going to get off the field when the Mocs lined up to punt on fourth-and-one at their own 34, but UTC faked the punt with Taharin Tyson taking the direct snap and toting the ball 24 yards to the Elon 42. A Williams 19-yard dash later set the Mocs up at the four.
Elon received prime field position with just over 11:30 to go in the second quarter when Julius Moore stripped Williams of the ball and Akeem Langham fell on it at the Mocs' 13-yard line. After a penalty, the Phoenix moved the ball back to the 13 before Gallagher booted his second field goal of the game to pull Elon within one, 7-6.
Williams pushed the UTC lead to 14-6 with 3:59 left in the first half, scoring on a two-yard run to cap a 10-play, 58-yard drive. It was a lead that the Mocs would carry into halftime.
UTC looked like it would extend its edge to 21-6 on its first drive of the second half on a 13-yard touchdown pass, but the Mocs were flagged for covering up the tight end. Two plays later, Nick Pollard hit a 32-yard field goal to make it a 17-6 contest with 7:10 to go in the third quarter. At midfield, the Mocs moved the chains on a three-yard run by Jacob Huesman on fourth-and-one.
The Phoenix came right back and drove to the UTC six before Gallagher hit his third field goal of the afternoon, this one from 23 yards away to close the gap to 17-9.
Chattanooga's Nick Pollard closed the scoring with a 19-yard field goal in the fourth quarter.
Quinn finished the day with 237 passing yards on 44 completions. He ran his streak of passing attempts without an interception to 171. His leading target was Rorie who caught nine balls for 71 yards. Kierre Brown added 74 receiving yards on seven catches and amassed 95 yards on three kickoff returns.
On defense, Alexander Dawson made a career-high 11 tackles, while Dustin Ruff put up a personal-best 10 stops. Elon has now forced a turnover in four consecutive games.
For the Mocs, Davis Tull recorded a fourth-quarter sack to give him 24 for his career, a new program record. He finished the day with four tackles. Wes Dothard led all players with 13 tackles.
Williams ran the ball 24 times for 118 yards and two scores for UTC. The 20 points scored by the Mocs were a season low.
Wofford 21, Western Carolina 17
CULLOWHEE, N.C. – For the second straight week, the Wofford football team needed a last second defensive stand to take a 21-17 win at Western Carolina on Saturday afternoon. The Catamounts had ten point lead at the half, but the Terriers scored two touchdowns in the second half and held on for the win on the final play of the game.
The Terriers move to 5-2 and 4-0 in the Southern Conference. Western Carolina is 1-7 overall and 0-4 in the SoCon. Wofford was led by Michael Weimer with 132 rushing yards and 2-of-5 passing. Jonny Martin added 99 yards for the Terriers and Bernard Williams led the team with 14 tackles. The Catamounts were led by Darius Ramsey with 103 rushing yards, while Troy Mitchell was 18-of-28 passing for 206 yards along with 53 rushing yards.
The Catamounts had the ball to open the game and used a 34-yard completion to move downfield. The drive ended with a 44-yard field goal attempt that hit the cross bar. Wofford took over at the 27-yard line but were unable to gain a first down and punted. After a three-and-out by Western Carolina, Wofford started at the 44-yard line but failed to convert a fourth-and-one.
On the next drive by Western Carolina, two costly Wofford facemask penalties moved the ball inside the ten yard line. A fourth-and-one from the four-yard was converted and the Catamounts took a 7-0 lead on a one-yard run by Troy Mitchell with 2:29 left in the first quarter. Wofford moved the ball downfield and gained four first downs before James Lawson was intercepted by John McBeth and he returned it across midfield. Western Carolina’s 40-yard field goal attempt was wide left with 12:30 on the clock in the second quarter.
Michael Weimer entered the game at quarterback for Wofford, but it was Will Gay who completed a 46-yard pass to Will Irwin to move the ball inside the red zone. Gay ended the drive with a 2-yard touchdown run to tie the game at 7-7 with 10:06 left in the second quarter. The Catamounts were three-and-out on their next possession.
Wofford failed to convert a fourth-and-two and the Catamounts took over near midfield. Troy Mitchell connected with Karnorris Benson for a 46-yard touchdown pass for a 14-7 lead with 5:13 remaining in the first half. Western Carolina then squib kicked and recovered at the 46-yard line after bouncing off a Wofford player. The Wofford defense forced a three-and-out and the Catamounts punted.
The Terriers took over at the one-yard line and gained one first down. Will Irwin fumbled and it was recovered by Caleb Hawkins at the 34-yard line. The Catamounts added a 26-yard field goal for a 17-7 lead with 1:39 left in the half. Wofford began the drive at the 18-yard line and attempted a 37-yard field goal as time expired that was wide right.
To open the second half, Wofford ran the kickoff back for a touchdown but it was called back for holding. On the first play of the drive, Michael Weimer kept the ball and ran 83 yards for a touchdown to make it a 17-14 game with 14:26 on the clock in the third quarter. The Catamounts gained three first downs before punting back to the Terriers. Wofford then went three-and-out and punted. Western Carolina had one first down before a sack by Tarek Odom forced a punt.
With 4:38 left in the third quarter, Wofford took over at the eight-yard line but had to punt after one first down. After a three-and-out by the Catamounts, the Terriers grounded out a nine play, 79 yard drive that was capped by a 16-yard touchdown run by Octavius Harden for a 21-17 lead at 11:22 in the fourth quarter. Western Carolina and Wofford then traded punts. The Catamounts took over with 5:57 remaining from the three-yard line. Western Carolina moved the ball downfield and had fourth-and-two from the eleven yard line. The run was for no gain and Wofford took over with 1:21 left on the clock. The Terriers however went three-and-out and punted with 33 seconds left. Western Carolina used a 33-yard completion and a 24-yard completion to set up first and goal from the five. After spiking the ball to stop the clock, the Catamounts had two plays left. Both pass attempts were incomplete to give Wofford the 21-17 win.
Wofford had 446 total yards, with 372 on the ground. Western Carolina had 419 total yards, 263 of which were passing. Wofford had 19 first downs, while Western Carolina had 22. Wofford was 3-of-11 on third downs and 0-of-2 on fourth downs. Western Carolina was 3-of-16 on third down and 1-of-2 on fourth downs. Western Carolina had eleven penalties, while Wofford had six. Western Carolina had a 33:43 to 26:17 time of possession advantage.