Defense was the name of the game in Saturday’s Southern Conference showdown between ETSU and Furman in Greenville, S.C. The Bucs dropped a narrow 17-10 contest at 15th-ranked Furman, despite outgaining the Paladins 290-268. With the loss, the Bucs fall to 2-3 (0-2 SoCon), while the Paladins improve to 3-2 (2-0 SoCon).
The Paladins held the Bucs to their lowest offensive performance of the season at 290 yards, two yards shy of the previous season low of 292 in the season opener at Appalachian State. The ETSU defense countered with a shutdown performance of their own, holding the Paladins to their second-lowest offensive spurt of the season.
Furman jumped on the board in its second possession of the game with a 15-yard touchdown reception by Ryan DeLuca from Darren Grainger. The Paladins carried the 7-0 lead until 13:18 left in the second quarter when Grayson Atkins connected on a 28-yard field goal to extend the lead to 10.
Cameron Lewis (McDonough, Ga.) scored the Bucs’ only touchdown of the game in the second quarter with a 6-yard touchdown scramble to pull ETSU within 10-7. The touchdown was set up by an Artevius Smith (Birmingham, Ala.) hit that jarred the ball loose for Jason Maduafokwa (Seymour, Tenn.) to recover his third career fumble.
The Bucs knotted the game up at 10-10 with just under six minutes in the third quarter as Tyler Keltner (Tallahassee, Fla.) buried a 34-yard field goal, his third consecutive make since his miss against VMI.
The Paladins notched the final score of the game in the first play of the fourth quarter with a 1-yard touchdown push from Devin Wynn to lift Furman to the 17-10 victory.