GREENVILLE, S.C. -- Deon Sanders' 1-yard touchdown plunge in the third quarter proved to be the winning points in giving Furman's White Team a 16-10 win over the Purple Team in the annual Purple-White football scrimmage in Paladin Stadium on Saturday afternoon.
Sanders' game winning score was set up by a fumble recovery at the White Team 10-yard line by linebacker Elijah McKoy following a high snap from center. Sanders' score came three plays later to give the Purple squad the 16-10 lead.
The White Team drove to the Purple 22 in the fourth quarter but was stopped on downs with an incomplete pass on the final play.
The scrimmage featured solid work by the starting quarterbacks for both teams. Redshirt senior Harris Roberts completed 6-of-8 passes for 112 yards and a touchdown for the Purple Team, while redshirt freshman JeMar Lincoln connected on 7-of-8 passes for 80 yards and a score. Both players are vying for starting signal calling duties vacated by graduated All-Southern Conference performer P.J. Blazejowski.
Lincoln engineered a nine-play, 70-yard scring drive to open the scrimmage. Using a 24-yard hook-up with wide receiver Ryan DeLuca and his own 19-yard bolt on a draw play to the Purple 9, Lincoln followed with 9-yard scoring strike to DeLuca to help give the White Team a 7-0 lead.
The Purple Team responded quickly behind Roberts, whose first pass of the scrimmage covered 53 yards to Cam Burnette to the White 22. A Kealand Dirks 17-yard run to the 5 was followed two plays later by Roberts' 3-yard touchdown pass to tight end Jake Walker.
SoCon All-Freshman Team kicker Grayson Atkins booted a 48-yard field goal in the second period to give the White Team a 10-7 halftime lead, and in the third quarter did his Purple Team squad mates the same favor with a 42-yard field goal to tie it at 10-10.
Ridge Gibson led all rushers with 10 carries for 27 yards, and Devin Wynn had four rushes for 26 yards. Lincoln finished with three carries for 22 yards.
The top receivers included Ryan DeLuca with four catches for 65 yards. Cam Burnette had three grabs for 70 yards.
"It was a great day with a bunch of recruits here and perfect weather," said Furman head coach Clay Hendrix, the SoCon's 2017 Coach of the Year. "The two quarterbacks, JeMar Lincoln and Harris Roberts, especially, did some good things, and I thought our receivers made some nice catches.
"Anytime you split the teams you worry about getting sloppy, but we did protect some guys and didn't have 10 or 11 guys available today. Overall, though, we were pretty pleased with the execution, and it was good to be able to compete a bit. We came out pretty healthy and have two practices left to get in some final work."
Hunter Reid, Furman Sports Information