Wofford beats Furman to advance in FCS Playoffs
SPARTANBURG, S.C. – The Wofford College football team defeated Furman 28-10 on Saturday afternoon at Gibbs Stadium to advance to the NCAA FCS Quarterfinals. The Terriers scored first and took a 14-10 lead into the half. Wofford scored two touchdowns in the second half and held the Paladins scoreless for the win. Wofford will visit North Dakota State next weekend.
Wofford, ranked seventh in the nation at the FCS level, is 10-2 overall. Furman ends the season at 8-5. The Terriers were led by Lennox McAfee with 98 rushing yards, while Blake Morgan scored a pair of touchdowns – one rushing and one receiving. Brandon Goodson was 8-of-11 passing for 88 yards and he added 34 rushing yards. The Paladins were held to only 53 rushing yards, but P.J. Blazejowski threw for 257 yards on 18-of-30 passing.
“We had a team that was ready to play,” said head coach Mike Ayers. “Our coaches did a great job of prep and our team came in with the mindset that this wasn’t going to be the last time that we played. Going against Furman and having to play them twice was going to be a tough task. They got their offense going after they played us and they were rolling over people. Their defensive staff did a great job of preparation.We felt that we had a good matchup with our front against their front. We felt that our guys in the secondary could cover their guys and play with them. They’re hanging 55 on people and it’s one of those things where you look at the film and its obvious why. They’re making big plays, they’re blocking well, and their kids have a great deal of confidence. They are a heck of ball club. The game was a game that, for the most part, we won our fair share on all three phases. I really admired the way that our guys competed. I know tomorrow there will be a lot of bumps and bruises but it was a heck of a win over a heck of a program. I’m proud of our guys and our coaches. We’ve got a locker room of competitors.”
The Paladins won the toss and deferred. Wofford had a first down run and then Lennox McAfee had a 30-yard run for a first down. McAfee added a 19-yard run on third down and Blake Morgan capped the drive with a five-yard touchdown run for a 7-0 lead at 9:40 in the first quarter. Furman had two first downs before a fourth-and-one run failed and Wofford took over on downs. On the first play, Brandon Goodson fumbled and it was recovered by the Paladins. Furman again had two first downs and tried a 22-yard field goal that was blocked by Dominique Lemon.
With the ball back, Wofford went three-and-out and punted. Furman had two first downs and then got on the scoreboard with a 41-yard field goal by Grayson Atkins. The score was 7-3 with 12:35 on the clock in the second quarter. The Terriers had a first down run by Andre Stoddard and then a fourth-and-one, which after a false start penalty forced a Wofford punt.
The Paladins used a 44-yard pass to move to the 20-yard line and on the next play a touchdown pass to Logan McCarter gave Furman a 10-7 lead with 6:52 left in the first half. Chase Nelson had a pair of first downs for the Terriers, but a personal foul penalty stalled the drive and Wofford punted. A Paladin three-and-out gave the Terriers the ball at the 36-yard line with 1:30 remaining in the first half. Two first down passes to R.J. Taylor were followed by a 33-yard touchdown pass to Blake Morgan for a 14-10 lead with 45 seconds on the clock. Furman ran one play to end the half.
To open the second half, Furman gained one first down before punting. Wofford had a first down run by Andre Stoddard before punting. The Paladins then went three-and-out and punted. With the ball back, the Terriers covered 79 yards in twelve plays, including a 24-yard run by Brandon Goodson and a 30-yard run by Lennox McAfee. Chase Nelson capped the drive with a 2-yard touchdown and Wofford had a 21-10 lead with 2:56 on the clock in the third quarter.
The Paladins punted, but a Wofford penalty gave Furman a first down on the play. On fourth-and-four, Deon Preister batted down the pass and the Terriers took over on downs. Wofford had first down passes to Blake Morgan and Jason Hill. A defensive holding call on third down gave the Terriers a first down. After another first down by Blake Morgan, the Terriers lined up for a 20-yard field goal. Holder Miller Mosleykept the ball and ran it in for the touchdown on the fake. Wofford had a 28-10 lead with 5:59 left in the game. Furman gained four first downs and had first-and-goal from the two yard line. After a gain of one, a no gain and incomplete pass brought up fourth-and-one. Antonio Wilcox was stopped for a loss of one by Datavious Wilson and Dominique Lemon to turn the ball over on downs with 3:19 remaining. Wofford took over at the one and a first down by Jamison Chapman enabled the Terriers to run out the clock for the win.
Wofford had 379 total yards, with 291 rushing. Furman had 309 total yards, 257 of which were passing. Wofford had 19 first downs to 15 for Furman. Wofford was 9-of-14 on third downs and 1-of-1 on fourth down. Furman was 4-of-14 on third down and 1-of-4 on fourth down. Wofford was called for nine penalties to only two for Furman. Wofford had a 35:15 to 24:45 time of possession advantage.
Wofford Athletics contributed to the writing of this article.