The Paladins won their fourth consecutive game and moved to 4-3 on the season and 3-1 in SoCon play.
VMI trailed by only a 14-10 margin at halftime following a spirited defensive goal line stand at the end of the first half that kept Furman from increasing its lead. The third quarter took a turn as the Paladins recommitted to the ground attack and took control with two third quarter touchdowns to break the game open.
The Paladins took the opening second half kickoff and marched 75 yards on seven plays generating the yardage through five rushes and two pass plays as running back Antonio Wilcox dove in to cap the drive a 16-yard touchdown run.
The Keydets took the ensuing kickoff and quickly seized the momentum back with no huddle and moved to the Furman 33 as quarterback Duncan Hodges connected on his first four pass attempts and added a 11-yard rush to help move the ball to the Furman 28. After a pass incompletion on the next snap, Hodges was picked off by outside linebacker Dillon Vaughn who raced back to the VMI 33.
The Paladins pounded the ball on the ground with an 11-play, 33-yard scoring drive all capped by Keland Dirks one-yard rush at the 5:58 mark of the third quarter to extend Furman’s lead to 28-10.
The Paladins added fourth quarter tallies on wide receiver Andy Schumpert’s 57-yard catch and run from quarterback P.J. Blazjowski early in the fourth quarter and running back Ridge Gibson ended the scoring run with a one-yard TD rush with 4:23 remaining.
VMI generated its points on a 30-yard field goal by Grant Clemons at the 8:22 mark of the second quarter to cut Furman’s lead to 7-3 and added a three-yard touchdown pass from Hodges to wide receiver Rohan Martin with3:18 remaining in the third quarter.
Furman held a 354-117 bulge on the ground with most of the rushing yards coming in the second half and outgained the Keydets 523-256 while topping the 40-point mark for the fourth consecutive game.
Senior linebacker Allan Cratsenberg led the Keydet defensive charts with 17 stops and moved to 371 career tackles that placed him in the top five all-time at VMI.
VMI returns home next Saturday to face Western Carolina with kickoff set for 1:30 p.m.
Postgame: VMI Head Coach Scott Wachenheim
“ I give credit to the Furman Paladins. Coach Hendrix has done a super job in his first year turning that program around. Their quarterback is an outstanding player. We came out and competed well in the first half. We failed to take advantage of a couple of opportunities early and in the second half they just kind of overpowered us. We had a couple of promising drives that just fell up short and credit the Furman Paladins for playing an outstanding football game.
“I thought stopping them there at the right there at the 1 would give us energy coming out in the second half. Again, Furman made some second half adjustments and attacked us well and went down on the opening drive and scored. We came back and were moving down and no huddle and they made a great adjustment with their outside linebacker and ran underneath a hitch route that we threw for a turnover and they went down and scored.”