Furman Pulls Away in Second Half to Defeat VMI, 42-10

GREENVILLE, S.C (Furman SID) — Furman scored 28 unanswered points in the second half and compiled 523 yards of total offense to claim its fourth consecutive victory with a 42-10 Southern Conference win over VMI on Saturday afternoon at Paladin Stadium.

Junior Kealand Dirks rushed for 82 yards and two touchdowns, while quarterback P.J. Blazejowski added 145 yards passing and 74 yards rushing to help the Paladins improve to 4-3 overall and 3-1 in the SoCon play.

Furman’s 42 points extended the Paladins’ string of scoring at least 40 points to four games — a first in school history (1,109 games since 1889).

“It was good win.  We’re excited to get it and look forward to trying to get another one next week,” said Furman head coach Clay Hendrix following the game.  “We just didn’t play very well in the first half.  We left some points on the field, and really the only thing I told them at halftime was I wasn’t going to let them to fall into mediocrity.  We didn’t change a lot of things, but just did a better job of blocking and tackling and finishing runs.”

The Paladins never trailed in the contest but only led 14-10 at intermission after punting four times over the game’s first 30 minutes.

The second half was a different story, however, as Furman registered touchdowns on its first four possessions to take command.

An Antonio Wilcox 16-yard scoring burst off the left side finished off a seven-play, 75-yard drive that put the Paladins up 21-10.

The Paladin defense set up the next score when outside linebacker Dillon Vann recorded his second interception in successive games, returning it 42 yards to the VMI 33.  From that point the Paladins turned to their ground game to cover the distance, converting a pair of fourth down plays for Dirks’ second 1-yard touchdown plunge of the contest.

Furman tacked on a pair of fourth quarter scores via a 57-yard pass from quarterback P.J. Blazejowski to tight end Andy Schumpert and a Ridge Gibson 1-yard plunge.

The Paladins’ ground game accounted for a season high 354 yards and five of Furman’s six touchdowns.

Furman plays host to Mercer next Saturday in a 1:30 p.m. Homecoming game at Paladin Stadium.