https://www.etsubucs.com/football/boxscore/2021-22/11167/etsu-vs-furman-10-23-2021/#defense

NOTE: Former Watauga High football player Zach West continues to shine On Saturday, West picked up his first career interception, and his first career fumble recovery as the ETSU beat Furman....

Bucs Score in Closing Seconds for Marquee Win

Riddell finds Murray for game-winning touchdown

GREENVILLE, S.C. (Oct. 23, 2021) – History has officially been rewritten in Greenville, S.C. as the Bucs toppled Furman, 17-13 thanks to a last-minute touchdown connection between Tyler Riddell (Tampa, Fla.) and Malik Murray (Duluth, Ga.).

With nine seconds remaining on the clock, the Bucs jumped ahead for good with the touchdown reception in the back of the endzone, forcing the Paladins to attempt to pull off a miracle. Furman tried the old hook-and-ladder maneuver on the final play but it was snuffed out by the Buccaneer defense with Steven Scott (Greensboro, N.C.) forcing a fumble and Zach West (Boone, N.C.) sealing the game with the recovery.

The Bucs came out victorious in the defensive slugfest to improve to 7-1 on the season and more importantly 4-1 in Southern Conference action. Furman drops to 4-3 on the campaign and 2-2 in league play.

ETSU’s offense was slow to start the road game with just 99 yards of offense in the opening 30 minutes of play. However, the Bucs answered the call in the second half with 223 yards of offense, including 105 rushing yards. Quay Holmes (Powder Springs, Ga.) ended the game with 18 carries for 112 yards and one touchdown, making it an even 10 touchdowns on the season and a birthday to remember. Riddell capped off the game with an efficient 22 completions in 30 attempts for 177 yards and the touchdown pass that will live in ETSU history. Murray and Will Huzzie (Duluth, Ga.) led the team in receptions with five apiece, with Huzzie tacking on 53 yards.

ETSU’s defense was stifling yet again, allowing 13 points to the Paladins and holding the Furman offense to just 302 yards, including 75 on the ground. Donovan Manuel (Ellenwood, Ga.) and Jared Folks (Harrisburg, Pa.) led the way with nine tackles each. The Bucs received a huge boost from West on the defensive front with four tackles, one interception and the game-winning fumble recovery.

HOW IT HAPPENED:
First Quarter

  • Furman 3, ETSU 0: The Paladins opened the game with a 35-yard field goal on the opening drive as the Bucs stuffed a third-down rush, forcing Bleekrode to connect on his first attempt.

Second Quarter

  • Furman 6, ETSU 0: Furman added to its lead with another field goal from Bleekrode, this time from 45 yards out to conclude an 11-play, 47-yard drive.
  • Furman 6, ETSU 3: The Bucs added a field goal of their own when Tyler Keltner knocked in a 26-yard attempt to cap off a 14-play, 66-yard drive that featured three 3rd-down conversions.

Third Quarter

  • Furman 13, ETSU 3: After forcing an ETSU punt to open the half, the Paladins used just four plays to score the game’s first touchdown as Jace Wilson found Ryan Miller for a 20-yard strike. Wilson and Miller hooked twice for 72 yards on the drive.
  • Furman 13, ETSU 10: The Bucs finally crossed the goal line midway through the third quarter as Quay Holmes punched in his 10th rushing touchdown of the season to pull ETSU back within three.

Fourth Quarter

  • ETSU 17, Furman 13: ETSU took the lead for good with nine seconds left on the clock when Riddell polished off the game-winning drive by finding Malik Murray in the back of the endzone for the win.

INSIDE THE NUMBERS 

  • For the first time since 1997, the Bucs defeated the Paladins in Greenville, S.C. – picking up the program’s third win in Greenville in program history.
  • For the second consecutive game, the Bucs were held without a touchdown in the opening half.
  • The Bucs yielded six sacks to the Paladins’ defense, the fifth time that the Bucs have yielded that many sacks in a game since bringing football back.
  • The Bucs are 2-3 in those games, winning the last two against Furman (Oct. 23, 2021) and Samford (Feb. 20, 2021).
  • This is the fourth time in program history that the Bucs have defeated both Wofford and Furman in the same season.
  • Riddell connected with seven different receivers in today’s win in Greenville.
  • Zach West tallied his first career interception and first career fumble recovery in Saturday’s win, stepping up in a big way for the short-handed Bucs.
  • Holmes closed to within one point shy of tying JJ Jerman for second all-time in program history for scoring, now sitting at 252 career points.
  • ETSU won the turnover battle (2-1) and the time of possession battle – 34:07 – 25:44.
  • The Bucs finished 10-of-15 on third-down conversions, the most third-down conversions this season for the Blue & Gold.
  • Tyler Keltner (Tallahassee, Fla.) finished the game 1-for-1 in made field goals and 2-for-2 in PATs, taking over solo third in career PATs.
  • Keltner how moved into sixth all-time in program history in career scoring (176).
  • Nate Brackett (Rockwood, Tenn.) ended the game with four punts for 173 yards (43.2 avg.).

NEXT GAME UP
ETSU will have its bye week this coming Saturday (Oct. 30) before welcoming VMI into town on Saturday, Nov. 6. Kickoff against the Keydets is set for a 1 p.m. start and will be homecoming for the Blue & Gold.

For more information on Buccaneer football, visit ETSUBucs.com and click on the football page.