Courtesy of Furman Athletics
GREENVILLE, S.C. â€“ Daniel McFadden caught a 31-yard touchdown pass from Chris Forcier midway through the second quarter to power the Art Baker-coached Paladins a 12-7 win over the Dick Sheridan-coached Paladin squad in Furmanâ€™s 2010 spring football game Saturday afternoon at Paladin Stadium.
McFaddenâ€™s 31-yard hookup with Forcier at the 5:34 mark of the second quarter gave the Baker squad a 9-0 lead and proved to be the game winning score.
Sheridanâ€™s team cut it to 9-7 with a 16-yard third quarter touchdown pass from quarterback Dakota Derrick to Adam Mims, but Bakerâ€™s Paladins answered with the gameâ€™s final score, a Chas Short 38-yard field goal to make it 12-7 with 4:44 remaining.
â€œIâ€™m pleased it wasnâ€™t a scoring-fest,â€ said Furman head coach Bobby Lamb, who starred at quarterback for Sheridan from 1982-85. â€œI thought the defense, in particular, looked good, especially their execution and aggressiveness. (Linebackers) Kadarron Anderson and Matt Solomon had some big hits, and we got after the quarterbacks.â€
â€œOffensively, we did some solid things. Jerry Williams ran the ball well, and each of the quarterbacks had some good plays, as did our receivers. The fact that we put yellow jerseys on our quarterbacks took out some of what weâ€™ve been doing in the running game, which helped the defense.
â€œTaken as a whole, what I saw today was encouraging because the offense dominated in first half of spring practice, and the defense really stepped up the .last couple of weeks. As a head coach, thatâ€™s probably the best case scenario.â€
Forcier completed 9-of-13 passes for 106 yards and a touchdown. He also threw the gameâ€™s only interception to cornerback Leander Jones, who returned it 18 yards.
Cody Worley connected on 6-of-14 passes for 40 yards, and Derrick found the mark on 2-of-3 passes for 25 yards and a score.
Jerry Williams paced all rushers with eight carries for 76 yards for the Baker team. Tersoo Uhaa, meanwhile, led the Sheridan squad with nine rushes for 31 yards.
The two defenses combined for seven sacks and two caused fumbles in the contest. Backup defensive end Brandon Boykin had two of the six quarterback takedowns along with a caused fumble, and Christian Onyeuku, another reserve end, recorded a pair of sacks, with Navy transfer Cameron Mason and Max Lerner accounting for the other two. Mason was also credited with a caused fumble.
All-Southern Conference cornerback Ryan Steed sacked Forcier in the end zone for a safety midway through the first quarter.
All-conference wide receiver Adam Mims led all receivers with five catches for 49 yards and a score. Tyler Maples had eight catches for 48 yards, and McFadden finished with three grabs for 39 yards and a touchdown.
â€œIt was a real thrill for the coaching staff, players, and fans to have coach Baker and coach Sheridan back on campus for this event,â€ added Lamb. â€œThey both spoke at our playersâ€™ association breakfast and reflected on the qualities and excellence they helped instill in this program years ago, and which we are charged today to maintain.â€
Baker is credited with laying the groundwork for the unparalleled success Furman football has enjoyed over the last four decades. In 1973 his inaugural Paladin squad posted a 7-4 record and was recognized as the most improved team in the country after going 2-9 the year before. Besides quickly turning Furman football into a winner, the Sumter, S.C., native also stamped the program's future by hiring assistant coaches, including, among others, Sheridan, Jimmy Satterfield, and Bobby Johnson -- all of whom later directed Furman football to impressive success.
Sheridan, who succeeded Baker as head coach in 1978, is considered the architect of Furman's football championship tradition after leading the program to its first Southern Conference title in his first season. He would go on to guide Furman to six league championships and establish Paladin football as one of the nation's finest NCAA Football Championship Subdivision (I-AA) programs. In eight seasons the North Augusta, S.C., native posted a 69-23-2 record and coached Furman to three playoff appearances, including a national runner-up finish in 1985. In addition, Sheridan's Paladin teams reeled off consecutive victories over South Carolina (1982), Georgia Tech (1983), and North Carolina State (1984 & `85). He was named SoCon Coach of the Year three times and Kodak National Coach of the Year in 1985.
Furman wraps up spring practice on Monday.