By Hunter Reid
Special to College Sports Journal
Editor’s note: This story is courtesy of www.furmanpaladins.com
SPARTANBURG, S.C. — Evan Jacks ran for 120 yards and two touchdowns and Wofford rode a strong rushing attack to beat Furman, 31-28, in Southern Conference football action Saturday afternoon at Gibbs Stadium.
With the victory in the 89th renewal of South Carolina’s oldest football rivalry, Wofford finishes its season with a 5-6 record while Furman wraps up its campaign with a 4-7 slate.
Jacks, a junior quarterback, rushed 13 times and scored on a pair of 1-yard touchdown plunges to headline a Wofford ground attack that amassed 417 yards.
Furman was paced offensively by sophomore quarter P.J. Blazejowski, who passed for 215 yards and three scores.
The Paladins trailed 17-14 at intermission and watched the Terriers add to their lead with a pair of third quarter scores, the second coming on Jacks’ second touchdown plunge of the game, to go up 31-14.
Furman bounced back to make it a game, using a fourth down 34-yard pass play from punter Jon Croft Hollingsworth to Reggie Thomas to set up a 5-yard touchdown strike from Blazejowkski to tight end Duncan Fletcher at the 13:37 mark of the fourth quarter, the PAT making it 31-21.
Two possessions later the Paladins struck again, aided by a screen pass from Blazejowski that running back Antonio Wilcox converted into a 46-yard play to the Wofford 15.
Blazejowski then drilled a 16-yard strike to Fletcher, helping Furman cut it to 31-28 with 4:54 remaining.
The Paladins’ couldn’t complete the comeback, however, as Wofford took the kickoff and used its ground game to melt the remaining clock and put the game away.
The Terriers moved from their own 27 to the Furman 28, where on a fourth-and-one-play with 23 seconds remaining, running back Chase Nelson crashed through a gap in the line and sprinted 28 yards into the end zone with 17 seconds to go.
Furman made its way difficult in the first half when Blazejowski’s pass on the first offensive play of the contest was picked off by Wofford safety Jaleel Green and returned 32 yards for a touchdown.
On their second possession the Paladins moved to the Wofford 9 but Jon Croft Hollingsworth missed a 27-yard field goal attempt.
Furman later tied it at 7-7 after Blazejowski bought time with a scramble and found Jordan Snellings behind the Wofford secondary for a 60-yard touchdown connectiong with two minutes left in the first quarter.
The Paladins and Terriers traded second quarter touchdowns, and it appeared the Paladins and Terriers were headed to intermission tied at 14-14, but that changed after Jacks took an option keeper around right end on a third-and-nine play from the Wofford 20 for 51 yards to the Furman 29.
Four plays later David Marvin drilled a 42-yard field goal on the final play of the first half to give Wofford a 17-14 lead.
Antonio Wilcox rushed for 68 yards as the Paladins totaled 109 yards on the ground. He also caught two passes for 41 yards.
Aaquil Annoor and Carl Rider combined to lead Furman defensively with 11 tackles apiece, and linebacker Cory Magwood tallied nine stops in the final game of his Paladin career. His 337 tackles rank 17th in Furman history.
Jordan Snellings caught four passes for 102 yards to finish his Paladin tenure with 139 receptions, third all-time, and with 10 touchdowns. His 1,700 receiving yards stand 10th at Furman.