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Furman Rolls Past Chattanooga, 41-17

Furman Rolls Past Chattanooga, 41-17

CHATTANOOGA, TENN. -- Furman rushed for 290 yards and quarterback P.J. Blazejowski threw three touchdown passes to power the Paladins to a 41-17 victory over Southern Conference foe Chattanooga on Saturday afternoon at Finley Stadium.

The victory improved the Paladins to 3-3 overall and 2-1 in the SoCon. Chattanooga dropped to 1-5 overall and 1-2 in league play.

"I thought offensively and defensively it was the most complete performance we've had," said first-year Furman head coach Clay Hendrix following his squad's third straight victory.  "Other than the two balls that got over our heads early, I thought we were relentless, had several picks, and got after their quarterback.  I also looked up on the scoreboard and saw they only had seven yards rushing, so I was pleased with that.

"There were times where I thought we really exerted our will, especially against some really talented personnel, and P.J. had another solid game."

The Paladins scored 20 second-quarter points to erase a 10-7 deficit and carry a 27-10 advantage into halftime.

Antonio Wilcox's 4-yard touchdown run finished off a nine-play, 78-yard drive that put Furman up, 14-10, and little over two minutes later, following a Reynard Ellis interception at the Chattanooga 32, Blazejowski connected with Andy Schumpert on a 15-yard touchdown pass to stretch the lead to 20-10.

Furman finished off the second quarter flurry by covering 54 yards in eight plays for a Darius Morehead 12-yard touchdown run off an option pitch from Blazejowski.

The Paladins took total command in the third quarter when Logan McCarter slipped behind UTC's secondary and collected a Blazejowski aerial for a 57-yard scoring play and a 34-10 advantage.

Kealand Dirks led Furman's rushing attack with 101 yards on 19 carrries, while Wilcox ran for 64 yards. Blazejowski added 51 yards on the ground to go with his 138 yards through the air.

Furman finished with 441 yards in total offense.

Defensively the Paladins registered four interceptions and three sacks to up their SoCon leading takedown tally to 20.

Redshirt freshman outside linebacker Dillon Vann's 33-yard interception return for a touchdown completed the scoring and represented the Paladins' first pick-six since Gary Wilkins returned an interception 19 yards for a score in a 2014 win over Mercer.

UTC's seven rushing yards represented the least by a Furman opponent since the 2001 season.

Hunter Reid, Furman Sports Information