GREENVILLE, SC (WJHL) – Despite a superb effort from the Bucs’ defense and special teams, the third-ranked Paladins escaped with one-score victory on Saturday afternoon.
Furman was held to 300 yards of total offense, and just 85 yards rushing. However, an injury-plagued ETSU offense turned in over three times in the loss.
The Blue and Gold gave it away on their first possession of the game, as William Riddle threw behind Tommy Winton III. The receiver tipped the ball into the air, only to have to swallowed up by Kam Brinson.
Furman managed an Ian Williams field goal to strike first, 3-0.
Williams legged a 52-yard kick to make it 6-0 late in the first quarter, but that’s all the scoring either side would do in the first 30 minutes.
Riddle led a drive at the close of the first half to the doorstep of the redzone. However, his third-down pass was intercepted by Cally Chizik on the two-yard line to kill the drive.
The Blue and Gold defense continued to get stops in the third quarter, holding the home squad to just 5-of-16 on third down in the contest. Williams’ third field goal of the afternoon came with 3:22 to play in the third quarter, extending the lead to 9-0.
Riddle was intercepted once more by Micah Robinson, giving the Paladins good field position late in the third quarter. Tyler Huff completed a tunnel screen to Joshua Harris, who burrowed his way into the endzone for a 22-yard score, making it 16-0.
After a three-and-out for the Paladins in the fourth quarter, ETSU’s Teddy Wilson blocked a punt that bounced into the arms of Ton’Quez Ball, who scored a special teams touchdown. The Bucs’ two-point conversion to Xavier Gaillardetz was successful, cutting the deficit to 16-8.
The Blue and Gold were unable to manage points on their final two drives, however, as Furman salted away the game with a late first down.
Riddle finished 11-of-24 for 111 yards passing and three interceptions for the Bucs. The ground game did have some success against a typically stingy Furman defense. Trey Foster toted the ball 12 times for 80 yards, while Bryson Irby added eleven carries for 37 yards.
Gaillardetz was the leading receiver for the Blue and Gold with three catches for 36 yards.
Furman’s Tyler Huff completed 21-of-35 passes for 215 yards and a touchdown. Running back Dominic Roberto was stifled, gaining just 65 yards on 22 carries Saturday afternoon.
The ETSU defense came up with seven tackles for loss. Linebacker Stephen Scott led the way with nine total tackles. Sheldon Arnold II and Chris Hope each has eight tackles.
The Bucs (2-6, 1-4 SoCon) will return home to face VMI next Saturday at 1 p.m.