Monday, October 21, 2013

Fabulous Furman Football

No photos this week.  There was a threat of rain so I eschewed taking my technology with me.


As you may recall, we last left our heroes, the Furman Paladins, struggling on the field, failing to execute their entrance onto the field, and with the paladin laid out on the ground after being thrown by his horse.

I was very miffed this week when, with no camera, the music, band, cheerleader, paladin, and team all expertly choreographed their parts in the entry of the Paladins.  Or I was miffed until the guy behind me pointed out the paladin laying on the ground again with both teams' trainers rushing to him.  (The horse's name is Fury. Indeed.)

And then the announcer declared the score would be kept on the field because the scoreboard wasn't working.  Actually the video screen, the advertising banner, and the opponent side of the scoreboard worked fine.  Only the part where Furman's score would be was down.  No ill omens here; move along people.

This weekend was the farewell to Appalachian State.  The mountaineers and the Georgia Southern Eagles are moving up to the Sunbelt Conference next year.  So the Paladins, of course, want to make a lasting impression by beating them.  Alas, Elon is also leaving, and we didn't do so well there.

A Pondering on Penalties

Coming into this game, Furman was among the nation's least penalized teams.  Only 12 penalties for 99 yards issued over the first 5 games.  The Paladins would amass 80 yards worth of flags in the first half.  And they would come at the worst times, as Furman approached the end zone.

The Paladins would make their so far customary long first drive of the (home) game.  But penalties would force them into a 53 yard field goal attempt.  And it's gooood!
An App State fumble would put Furman inside the Mountaineer 25.  Furman would go backwards and kick another field goal.
Furman would force a punt.  Another long drive.  Another series of penalties.  and this time they would miss the field goal.

And the the purple partisans' stomachs would gurgle as Appalachian state gained momentum.  They would kick a field goal to halve the lead.  A Paladin drive across the 50 would end in a fumble.  And the Mountaineers would drive down to the Furman 2 yard line.  A trick play...a, a reverse pass!  And the receivers throws the ball...directly into the gut of a Paladin defensive end!

Down the sideline he runs!  His teammates swarm to him!  He almost runs out of gas, but the convoy gets him to the endzone.  And he runs through the endzone, almost into the band!  Touchdown!

The band lives here during the game
Both teams would then exchange punts on drives cut short by penalties.  And App State would have a short drive before halftime.  The Paladin's held a (what felt like shacky) 13-3 lead.

First drive of the second half, App State fumbles the ball away!  A long pass inside the 5!  And the Paladins punch it in!

The teams exchange punts.  The mountaineers fumble again.  A long pass to the end zo-o-one! Touchdown! Huzzah! Huzzah! (What? Paladins are olde times. Huzzah is technically correct!)

And that in essence was the game.  The Paladins would punt on the last 3 drives.  App State would fumble, punt, score a touchdown, and have the game end.

There were numerous penalties on both sides.  App State would have 8 for 60 yards, including one that negated a successful onside kick.  Furman would finish with 11 for 112 yards.  In fact, looking at the statistics, Furman was outgained by over 100 yards.  They won the turnover battle and not much else.

But it was a 27 to 10 victory!  Fare thee well App State.

Thursday, October 10, 2013

Furman Football Funtime

Another bright sunny Saturday at Paladin Stadium! (I remembered sunscreen this time.)

And the luxury boxes are finished

The band is playing, the helmet and tunnel are ready for the Paladins to take the field.

 And now a word about quarterbacks.  Furman's starter missed the first game of the season due to injury.  His backup was injured in that game and will miss the season.  The starter was hurt again the previous week.  So a true freshmen and the junior "wildcat" quarterback lead Furman into this game.

Let's kick it off!

Another home game.  Another successful first stop, and another successful first drive for a touchdown.  And once again it all fell apart.

Furman was pinned deep all day by some monster punts.  The freshman QB threw an interception for a touchdown on his second drive.  The defense gave up a long touchdown drive.  The wildcat QB threw his first pass of the season...for an interception.  And a tired defense gave up another TD.

Only a field goal kept the game within reach at halftime, 28-10 Elon Phoenix (formerly Fighting Christians) leading.

Sadly many of then probably didn't arrive until 2nd quarter.

Most of these folks won't return.

 Furman Hall of Fame inductees.
 The 3rd quarter also started poorly, as the wildcat QB went out with a season ending injury.  The Phoenix were driving for what looked like a clenching TD.  Fumble!!! recovery by the Paladins!

Still buried deep in their own territory, Furman would drive.  And drive.  And drive.  84 yards later the Paladins would punch in a touchdown and a two point conversion to pull within 10 points.

A stop. Another ridiculous punt.  But the true freshman QB would prove up to the task.  93 yards later, Furman would pull within 3.  the defense would get a stop.  And another stop.  But each time deep punt would pin Furman.  A fourth down pass would fall incomplete.  And Elon would run out the clock.  Elon 28, Furman 25.

Oh, and at the end the Paladin was thrown from his horse.