After a slow start against Furman, the Samford Bulldogs beat the Furman Paladins 34-27.
Quarterback Michael Hiers said, “We were just beating ourselves. Once we got our gameplan in and started executing it properly, we got going.”
After a Hiers touchdown pass to Jay Stanton, momentum swung in Samford’s favor, as the defense was dominant in the second quarter. Samford put up 20 points in the second and only allowed 7, including two touchdowns by running back Jaylan Thomas. Thomas was one of the main stars of the game, as he had five carries for 104 yards and three touchdowns.
Regarding Thomas’s stellar performance, Hiers said, “He’s a great player; whoever gets the ball, we believe in.”
Hiers also performed phenomenally, as he threw for 228 yards and two touchdowns. He was also able to extend plays with his legs, rushing 13 times for 19 yards and converting on a couple of big third downs.
The third quarter was all Bulldogs, as Samford shut out Furman and led 34-17 heading into the fourth. Jaylan Thomas rushed for his third touchdown, which was a 44-yard scamper. Chandler Smith was a massive contributor to the Bulldogs, finishing the game with 11 receptions for 83 yards. In the third quarter, the defense held the highly regarded Furman offense to 0 points.
The Samford win made Michael Hiers 4-1 as a starter for the Bulldogs and helped Samford rise to No. 13 in the FCS rankings.
Jay Stanton said, “He (Hiers) is a winner, and it’s contagious. Having your leader be a winner and lead you to wins means that everyone wants to follow him. It means that everyone wants to be a winner like him; him bringing that winning culture to Samford has really worked out for us”.
Staff Writer (Sports)