Wynn Powers Paladins to Win at Samford, 58-14


BIRMINGHAM, ALA. (Furman SID) — Devin Wynn rushed for 217 yards and two touchdowns and Thomas Gordon caught three touchdown passes to help FCS 14th-ranked Furman roll past Samford, 58-14, in Southern Conference football action Saturday afternoon at Seibert Stadium.

The win, the third straight for Furman (4-2, 3-0 SoCon), which is idle next Saturday, marked the Paladins’ most decisive triumph in the series with Samford (3-3, 2-1 SoCon) and halted Furman’s three-game series losing skid to the Bulldogs.

The victory was also the eighth straight by Furman against FCS opposition and improved the Paladins to 9-1 in their last 10 SoCon games.

Furman won with brutal efficiency, scoring on its first nine possessions and rolling up 647 yards in total offense, including 460 through its ground attack. ย The 647 yards represented the third highest tally in program history.

Wynn, a junior tailback, took an option pitch on Furman’s first play from scrimmage and bolted 75 yards for a touchdown and capped Furman’s explosive first quarter with an 89-yard burst to stake the Paladins to a 28-7 lead. ย The Greensboro, Ga., product’s 174 first period rushing yards tied a SoCon standard set by Georgia Southern’s Jayson Foster against Wofford in 2008.

Wynn, whose performance came on just 14 carries, capped his outing with a 61-yard touchdown catch off a Darren Grainger pass on the first possession of the second half, putting the Paladins up, 49-14.

Gordon’s three receptions โ€” all in first half โ€” went for touchdowns as the senior hauled in scoring passes from quarterback Darren Grainger covering 38, 17, and 25 yards.

Grainger, a redshirt freshman from Conway, S.C., completed 6-for-9 passes for 183 yards and four touchdowns and also tacked on 25 yards rushing.

Samford scored on the game’s first possession, but that proved to be the lone highlight for the Bulldogs, who wilted under Furman’s punishing ground game keyed by Wynn’s 75-yard scoring bolt three over three minutes into the game. ย Wynn’s 89-yard, late first quarter run matched the second longest dash ever by a Paladin, trailing only a 93-yard burst by Russ Sutton versus Presbyterian in 1951.

The second half shutout was the second in the last three games for Furman, which has surrendered just a field goal (vs. East Tennessee State) in the three-game span of third and fourth periods.

Head coach Clay Hendrix emptied his bench starting early in the second half as 30 Paladins scratched on defensive statistics sheet, which was paced by redshirt freshman linebacker Braden Gilby’s nine tackles.

Furman returns to action on Oct. 19 when it plays host to historic rival The Citadel at Paladin Stadium.

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