Furman in Command Against WCU; Home Opener is a Success
Furman Football begins its long anticipated return.
Securing a win during their first time back on the field is quite impressive, but the team is not stopping there: they want to win a national championship.
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It was an exciting weekend to be a Paladin, as this past Saturday Furman Football took the field once again after a year-long hiatus due to COVID-19 cancelling their typical fall season. In anticipation of an exciting spring season, the team delivered—and they delivered big. Beating Western Carolina 35-7 and posting 533 yards in total offense, the Paladins began their season with a strong start. When reflecting on this win, sophomore Wayne Anderson commented on how it was “good to get back out there” and secure a win following their extended break from the season.
When asked about the kind of work the Paladins had put in leading up to their opening game, Anderson explained how the team has been practicing since their spring camp back in Jan. 2020. He described how the players were expected to still work out and train when they were sent home in February, and Anderson recounted, “When we came back, we were prepared.”
After the team received the news that they would not be getting a fall season, they continued to practice during the Fall of 2020. All of the hard work and preparation that was put in from last year to now has led the players to be “physically and mentally ready to play when given the opportunity,” and once they had the opportunity, they ran with it.
Though beginning by being down 0-7, the Paladins quickly tied the game in the middle of the first quarter when junior Hamp Sisson threw a 6-yard touchdown pass to Anderson. Sisson quickly found wide receiver sophomore Zach Peterson in the end zone in the second quarter, giving the Paladins a 14-7 lead. Sophomore Dominic Roberto made a 3-yard touchdown, forcing the score up 21-7. With just 21 seconds left before halftime, Sisson found junior Ryan Miller for a 24-yard touchdown. Senior Devin Wynn made the final touchdown on a 1-yard dive toward the end of the third quarter, pushing the final score to 35-7. Wynn led the rushing effort of the offense, running 18 times for 106 yards. From his work on the field this past weekend, he now has 2,063 total yards and has become the 13th player in the football program’s history to reach the plateau set by the Greensboro, Ga., product’s performance mark of 2,000 yards.
On the defensive side, senior Darius Kearse, Evan DiMaggio ‘20, and Nick Kuzemka ‘20 led the deep tackle chart with four big stops, holding Western Carolina to 109 total yards.
Securing a win during their first time back on the field is quite impressive, but the team is not stopping there: they want to win a national championship. On this point, Anderson said, “At the end of the day we want to be the last team standing.” Anderson explained that to do this, the team must take it one week at a time, with a goal of being 1-0 each week. With the way this week went, the team is well on their way to reaching that goal.
The Paladins are set to play at the Virginia Military Institute (VMI) this Saturday, Feb. 27.