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Paladins Survive, Advance

By Robbie Ross
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Furman wins a thriller over Elon, 28-27 in the first round of the FCS playoffs.

The Furman Paladins survived two special teams fumbles and a redzone interception to defeat Elon 28-27 in the first round of the NCAA FCS Playoffs.

Furman avenges a 31-28 loss to Elon in week two of the season in which turnovers plagued the Paladins in falling behind 21-0 in the first half. It seemed as if history was going to repeat itself in the rematch, as Thomas Gordon muffed an Elon punt in the first quarter which led to a 26-yard touchdown run by De’Sean McNair, the first of three touchdowns by McNair to go along with 101 yards on the ground.

The Paladins used a blocked extra point by Donovan Perryman in the fourth quarter and then held on defensively to claim their first win over Elon since 2012 and only their second win in the last nine meetings with the Phoenix.  

Furman was led by Antonio Wilcox with 92 yards rushing and a touchdown, Andy Schumpert caught 4 passes for 89 yards with two touchdowns, including one for 70 yards in the second quarter. The Paladins finished with 408 yards of total offense, 232 on the ground. 

With the victory, the Paladins fourth consecutive opening round win, yet another regular season rematch is on tap for Furman, this time with Wofford.  The Terriers, who received an opening round bye, beat the Paladins back in week one 24-23 on a missed two-point conversion attempt by Furman late in the game. Kickoff at Gibbs Stadium next Saturday is 2:00.

Robbie Ross - Robbie Ross is Southern Pigskin's lead SoCon writer. A 19-year veteran of the Furman Radio Network, Ross also spent time with the Georgia State Radio Network prior to his ventures with Southern Pigskin. He is a voter in the STATS FCS Top 25 Poll.