By: Sammy Clough, Columnist
All photos courtesy of Lois Ruffle
The aerial attack of the Furman Paladins was too much for the Buccaneers of East Tennessee State to handle as the Paladins came away with a 56-35 victory in their first home win of the season.
An offensive battle throughout, Furman senior quarterback P.J. Blazejowski finished the game with 301 passing yards and three touchdowns and would be named the CFPA National Performer of the Week.
Blazejowski found many targets throughout the day, but none had quite the game that wide receiver Logan McCarter had. McCarter, a senior out of Sevierville, TN caught 7 passes for 178 yards with a receiving touchdown, and capped-off the Paladins scoring with a kickoff return touchdown in the fourth quarter.
While Blazejowski dazzled the box score with his passing, the Paladins running attack was just as potent. Kealand Dirks led the team in rushing yards with 100, and redshirt freshman Darius Morehead was just behind him with a career high 97 yards as well as two rushing touchdowns.
The pieces have been there all season, it was just a matter of putting them together, and this win was truly a complete team effort.
Furman led the Southern Conference in sacks with 11 on the season going into Saturday’s game and added six more to their total in a pounding of ETSU quarterback Austin Herink.
This game put the Southern Conference on notice of just how lethal the Furman Paladins balanced game plan can be. Following the victory, P.J. Blazejowski earned SoCon Offensive Player of the Week honors while Logan McCarter earned SoCon Special Teams Player of the Week honors.
Coach Clay Hendrix got his second straight win under his belt as the Paladin’s new head coach, and his first at home in front of the Paladin faithful.
The victory over the Buccaneers came after an impressive 45-14 pounding at Colgate University. Blazejowski led the Paladins with 251 yards in the air, while Dirks led the team in rushing with 52 yards on the ground.
The Paladins defense looked stout, forcing three turnovers and limiting the Raiders to a measly 66 rushing yards. This was head coach Clay Hendrix’s first victory as a head coach. To celebrate Hendrix’s milestone, athletic director Mike Buddie presented him with the game ball.
The Paladins will travel to Chattanooga next Saturday, Oct. 7 to face the Mocs and will try to keep their winning streak rolling in a SoCon battle.
Senior quarterback P.J. Blazejowski looks to get the snap off against ETSU on Saturday, Sept. 30. Blazejoski finished the game with 301 passing yards and three touchdowns and was the CFPA National Performer of the Week.
Senior wide receiver Logan McCarter hauls in a pass against the ETSU Buccs. McCarter finished the game with an impressive 178 receiving yards, one receiving touchdown and a 47 yard kickoff touchdown.