Furman spoils Mercer’s SoCon opener with 25-20 win

Jon Croft Hollingsworth booted four field goals, including a 50-yarder, to help lead Furman to a 25-20 win over Mercer on Saturday.

The win, before a crowd of 12,227 at Mercer University Stadium in Macon, Ga., marked the seventh victory in the last eight games for reigning SoCon champion Furman (2-0, 1-0 SoCon). For Mercer (1-1, 0-1 SoCon), the defeat was the first home loss since the Bears resumed play last season.

Furman dominated the ball, holding onto the rock for a total of 35:06 of play. The Paladins picked up 367 total yards of offense to Mercer’s 286 yards of offense.

In his first start since taking over for injured quarterback Reese Hannon last week, Dillon Woodruff completed 14 of 29 passes for 228 yards and one interception. Jordan Snellings hauled in five passes for a career high 111 receiving yards.

Gary Wilkins sealed the win for Furman with a 19 yard interception return for a touchdown with 12:38 remaining in the fourth quarter, putting the Paladins ahead by a 25-14 mark. Mercer scored with 2:12 remaining when John Russ connected with J.T. Palmer on a 7-yard touchdown; a two-point conversion failed.

Mercer is playing in its first season in the SoCon. The Bears last year played in the Pioneer Football League.

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Todd DeFeo

Todd DeFeo loves to travel anywhere, anytime, taking pictures and notes. An award-winning reporter, Todd revels in the experience and the fact that every place has a story to tell. He is owner of The DeFeo Groupe and also edits The Travel Trolley and Railfanning.org.