Purple vs. White Football Scrimmage in Review: Everything You Need to Know
The Paladin covers Furman Football's Purple vs. White Scrimmage.
"We think we have a good chance to have a really good football team, but we have a bunch of work to do between now and the opening kickoff" - Coach Hendrix
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On a sunny Saturday, Oct. 24, the Furman fight song could be heard across campus, and, for a moment, the music provided everyone with a pre-COVID nostalgia. Many members of the Furman family felt a sense of normalcy with the return of Furman Football competition, albeit a Purple-White scrimmage. The game kicked off with the white team in possession of the football, and a first down by star Devin Wynn. The running game appeared to be solid all game with Devin Wynn, but also younger and upcoming star Wayne Anderson. Anderson made a 47-yard run for a touchdown, highlighting what looks to be a great running game and a lot of promise.
The purple squad fired back with some big plays by redshirt sophomore and defensive standout Dae’one Wilkins. The defense asserted themselves strongly all game with Adrian Hope leading the way; Hope ranks third in school history statistically, with 21.5 sacks.
As play continued and the drives ensued, Darren Grainger was put in as the Purple QB. Unfortunately, some sloppy play and unforced errors kept Purple out of the endzone. Penalties plagued Purple but both teams looked slightly out-of-form. However, junior kicker Timothy Bleekrode had several successful kicks and freshman Axel Lepreveau made one as well. Overall, the kicking units and special teams play was a bright spot for the Paladins.
Purple and White traded drives and possessions midway through the game, showing some equity and good spirit from all players. But ultimately, White’s offense cleaned up some mistakes and figured out a way to get the ball into the endzone. After Purple’s failure to convert anything offensively, the White team retained the football and Freshman Kendall Thomas converted a big run for a touchdown, again illustrating the strengths of the tailbacks and running game. The White team retained firm control of the scrimmage most of the competition, winning with a score of 35-26.
Coach Clay Hendrix felt the scrimmage was a productive 60 plays, which “was great experience for a number of guys who have not played a bunch of football in game type situations.” This upcoming season is looking promising with lots of young players who are standing out to Hendrix now: “we have a good mix of true freshman and redshirted guys such as Kam Brinson, Kevin DiMaggio, Jeremiah Jackson and Jake Johannig.” With the older players, the quarterbacks, and running backs as strengths, the Paladins look to be a formidable force again in the Southern Conference this season. Center Cole Neely said, “We felt like the scrimmage was great. Offense did some great things and so did defense. Both sides of the ball have something we can still improve on for the spring season. It really was a great ‘fall ball’ overall. We’ve been really physical and attentive. I believe we have something special for the spring. Can’t wait for this group to play this spring.”
Coach Hendrix added, “We think we have a good chance to have a really good football team, but we have a bunch of work to do between now and the opening kickoff.” The Paladins start preseason play in January with opening kickoff in February.