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Furman Fourth Quarter Rally Beats The Citadel, 28-17

JeMar Lincoln

CHARLESTON, S.C. -- Furman rallied from a 17-14 deficit in the final 10 minutes to down rival The Citadel, 28-17, in Southern Conference football action Saturday afternoon at Johnson Hagood Stadium.

Trailing by three with under 14 minutes left, quarterback JeMar Lincoln engineered a nine-play, 65-yard drive that ended with the redshirt freshman scoring on a four-yard keeper to give the Paladins a 21-17 lead with 9:12 to play.

Furman stopped the ensuing drive for The Citadel, but the Bulldogs got the football back at their own 28, trailing 21-17 with 2:46 remaining. On the second play of the drive, redshirt freshman bandit Adrian Hope sacked The Citadel's Jordan Black and forced a fumble that Donavan Perryman scooped up and returned 20 yards for a touchdown to seal the Paladin victory with 2:04 left.

Lincoln, a product of Waycross, Ga., making his first collegiate start following an injury to redshirt senior signal caller Harris Roberts against Samford a week ago, completed 9-of-12 pass attempts for 140 yards and rushed for three touchdowns on 17 carries.

The win, Furman's second straight versus the Bulldogs and 60th in the SoCon's oldest, most contested rivalry, improved the Paladins to 3-4 overall and 3-2 in the SoCon. The Citadel dropped to 2-5 overall and 2-4 in league play.

The Paladins overcame a pair of first quarter deficits to take a 14-10 lead into halftime following Lincoln's 1-yard scoring plunge midway through the second quarter.

Saddled with poor field position on its second possession of the third quarter Furman flipped the field with an 81-yard punt by Grayson Atkins, but the The Citadel answered on the next play when Black found Raleigh Webb all alone down the hash for a 91-yard touchdown pass to give the Bulldogs a 17-14 lead.

Using a trio of runs by Devin Wynn covering 31 yards, Furman covered 65 yards in nine plays to take the lead for good, 21-17, on Lincoln's third score of the game — a 4-yard option keeper around left end with 9:12 remaining.

Bulldog punter Matt Campbell's 50-yard punt on the ensuing possession was downed a foot shy of Furman's goal line, but the Paladins managed to punch their way out to the 35 with the help of Keland Dirks' four rushes for 27 yards.

Following an Atkins punt to Bulldog 28, Black was sacked by Hope, who jarred the ball loose at the Bulldog 27, and Perryman scooped it up in the company of a pair of teammates and raced untouched into the end zone.

The sack was the eighth of the season for Hope, the SoCon leader.

Perryman led Furman defensively with 12 tackles and a sack along with the fumble recovery.  Aaquill Annoor and Jordan Willis finished with 11 tackles, respectively.  The Paladin defense limited The Citadel to just 28 total yards over the Bulldogs' final five possessions and forced two turnovers.

Devin Wynn led all rushers with nine carries for 86 yards.  Furman ran for 165 yards and passed for 140 to finish with 305 total yards.

Furman, a winner of three of its last four games, plays host to Chattanooga next Saturday in a 1:00 p.m. contest.