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Strong First Half Powers Kennesaw State Past Furman, 52-42

Antonio Wilcox Buy Now
Antonio Wilcox

GREENVILLE, S.C. -- Chandler Burks ran for three touchdowns and threw for another score and Kennesaw State rode a dominant first half to a 52-42 victory over Furman in FCS football action Saturday afternoon at Paladin Stadium.

Burks, a redshirt sophomore quarterback, rushed 27 times for 103 yards and scored on touchdown runs of 2, 2, and 1 yard, and finished off Kennesaw State's first half with a 46-yard scoring strike to Justin Sumpter to give the Owls a 49-14 lead at intermission.

Furman rallied with three third quarter touchdowns to get within 49-35, but KSU blunted the rally, using a Christian Kinsley 40-yard field goal with 9:20 remaining to go up, 52-35.

The Paladins got a 21-yard touchdown run from Antonio Wilcox with 5:30 to go; KSU, however, recovered the onside kick and effectively used most of the remaining clock to close out the contest.

The win was the third straight for Kennesaw State (3-1) while Furman (0-5) fell in its eighth consecutive outing.

Burks passed for 171 yards, completing 9-of-12 attempts, to help the Owls post 567 total yards, including 393 rushing.  Darnell Holland had six carries for 123 yards and two touchdowns, highlighted by a 62-yard run on the first play of the second quarter to give KSU a 28-0 lead.

Outgained 213-23 in the first quarter while falling behind 21-0, Furman found some offense in the second period behind quarterback Reese Hannon, whose 53-yard touchdown pass to Logan McCarter and 12-yard strike to Thomas Gordon helped the Paladins cut into a 35-0 KSU advantage.

The Owls answered with Burks' third score, a 1-yard plunge, and then put the finishing touches on their first half offensive display when Burks lofted a pass down the sideline to the 6-foot-3 Sumpter, who collected the ball and bounced into the end zone with just nine seconds on the clock to send KSU into intermission with a 49-14 advantage.

Furman finished with 455 total yards behind Hannon, who completed 28-of-40 passes for 330 yards and a career high five touchdowns.  He was intercepted twice — both in the first half.

Andrej Suttles led Furman with seven catches for 104 yards a touchdown, and McCarter had six catches for 87 yards and two scores.  Freshman Thomas Gordon also had six receptions for 54 yards and a touchdown — his third straight game with a score.

Sumpter, who caught six passes, accounted for 147 of KSU's 171 receiving yards.

Dillon Woodruff, starting for injured linebacker Carl Rider, led all tacklers with 16 stops, while linebacker Adekunle Olusanya, making his first start of the campaign for the injured Byron Johnson, also had a career high 13 tackles.

The Paladins return to Southern Conference play next Saturday when they play host to Samford in a 1:00 p.m. game.