Gardner-Webb held tough defensively for much of Saturday night’s season opener, but fell at No. 18 Furman, 13-3.
The Runnin’ Bulldogs (0-1) played the game without preseason All-America linebacker Tanner Burch (injured), but still proved to be tough defensively on the ground – limiting the Paladins to 80 yards rushing. Furman quarterback Reese Hannon was effective through the air, however, completing 21-of-30 passes for 221 yards and a score.
Freshman Jon Croft Hollingsworth booted field goals from 28 and 47 yards and averaged 39 yards on nine punts for the Paladins (1-0).
Hannon’s six-yard toss to Jordan Snellings with 1:08 left before halftime broke a 3-3 tie and was the game’s only touchdown. Snellings caught the short pass and stepped out of a tackle to get into the end zone.
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Gardner-Webb freshman Paul Schumacher booted home a 19-yard field goal with 7:42 left before halftime to tie the game at 3-3. Gardner-Webb had the ball inside the one-yard line before the drive stalled.
Gardner-Webb’s O.J. Mau forced a fumble that was recovered by Jebrai Regan late in the third quarter near midfield, but the Runnin’ Bulldogs were forced to punt. Gardner-Webb held defensively the rest of the way, but was forced to punt in each of its next three possessions.
S.C. State 63, Benedict 0: Seven players scored touchdowns for the visiting Bulldogs, including a 61-yard fumble recovery by Javon Hargrave (North Rowan) in the third quarter. Former West Charlotte player Jalen Simmons and former Hopewell player Dondre Lewis-Freeman each scored two rushing touchdowns.
Coastal Carolina 31, The Citadel 16: Junior quarterback Alex Ross completed 24-of-32 passes for 263 yards and a touchdown to lead the visiting Chanticleers in the season opener for both teams.
Ross extended his program record for consecutive games with a touchdown pass to 15 and surpassed the 200-yard mark for the 11th time in 22 games.
Sophomore receiver Bruce Mapp tied a school mark with 10 receptions and compiled his first 100-yard game, finishing the day with 108 and a touchdown catch. Sophomore De’Angelo Henderson rushed for 94 yards and a touchdown on 18 carries, and senior quarterback Aaron Aiken and junior running back Andre Johnson each scored their first career touchdowns.