Furman University

2014 FB Record Book

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Page 106 of 147

2013 FURMAN PALADINS FOOTBALL Furman 107 Paladins HISTORICAL HIGHLIGHTS 1889 — Furman and Wofford bring football to South Carolina when the two schools meet in the state's first gridiron clash, in Spartanburg, on December 14. Wofford defeats Fur- man 5-1 in a game that features no uniforms for its players, no positions, and rules formulated before the game. Described by Wofford alumnus G. Rouqie ('91) in the January, 1890, issue of Old Gold and Black, the game "lasted one hour and half, with two fifteen-minute rests, and was won with ease by Wofford, the score being five to one. The visiting team (Furman) left on the afternoon train wiser and sadder men, having learned that though they receive instruction in their heads, not feet, at Furman, a little education of the pedal extremities is requisite to make good football players." 1890 — Furman loses 2-1 to Wofford in the first football game ever played in Greenville. Football team disbands following loss and first Furman baseball team is formed. 1891 — Furman topples Wofford 12-0 on January 24, in Spartanburg, for the school's first collegiate football victory. Coached by H.C. Granger, Furman completes sweep of Wofford with a 28-2 win in Greenville on March 21. 1892 — Furman plays South Carolina in Charleston on Christmas Eve and wins 44-0. Furman wears purple jerseys and goes by the name of Mountaineers. Professor H.P. Young plays quarterback and serves as head coach. Furman's players average 156 pounds. At an alumni meeting headed up by James Andrews Tate of York, South Carolina, the school's colors — royal purple and white — are selected. 1893 — Opposition to football is revealed in the April issue of the Furman Journal, which reports one foe as saying, "There are not a few people in this state who think football is proper only for 'toughs'. You boys are members of the church and ought not to do such things." Team (with 51 other students) takes train to the Augusta Exposition to play Georgia and loses 22-8. 1895 — Quarterback and head coach H.P. Young suffers self-inflicted gunshot wound to his wrist and is forced to have his hand amputated. 1896 — Furman and Clemson meet on the football field for the first time, and Clemson wins 14-6. 1897 — Furman Board of Trustees abolishes all intercol- legiate sports at June meeting. 1898 — Furman student newspaper, The Echo, reports in its October issue that tennis clubs are organized "since we are not allowed to play football." In the November issue of The Echo, football scores from across the nation are printed and students complain that "the problem with southern colleges is they don't advertise, don't play football, and don't teach business classes." 1900 — Football resurfaces at Furman under the direction of Frank Spencer. 1902 — Furman and South Carolina meet again on the football field in a game that is significant in South Carolina athletic history. After taking a 10-0 win, Furman's players — known then as Purple Fighters — hoist above their heads a garnet and black rooster with plucked tail feathers. This prompted the use of the name Gamecocks to describe South Carolina's football team, a name that was widely used by 1903. 1903 — No coach can be found to direct Furman's football team; season is suspended. 1905 — Furman faculty passes a new rule stating that "any student who fails an exam can't play on a varsity team." As reported in The Echo, the faculty's reasoning for its action centers on the poor classroom performance of athletes. "Members of many of the college's teams go to school simply to play ball, taking only a light course and just stumbling along until ball season is over." 1913 — Furman revives football under coach W.C. Farmer. 1916 — Furman's first recruited player arrives on campus. He is Harold "Speedy" Speer of Winston-Salem, North Carolina. Greenville citizens raise enough money to pay his tuition. William Gressette scores a school record five touchdowns in 60-3 win over Erskine. 1918 — Georgia Tech, under the direction of coach John Heisman, defeats Furman 118-0, for the worst defeat in school history. 1919 — Furman dedicates its new home at Manly Field with a 13-0 victory over Oglethorpe and goes on to post a 6-2-1 record and claim its first of nine state championships. Furman's 7-7 tie with Clemson at the time is called the greatest football game ever played in Greenville. 1920 — Furman defeats Clemson, 14-0, for the first time. Now known as the Purple Hurricane, Furman goes 9-1 and wins its second state championship, losing only to Georgia, 7-0. 1921 — Furman makes it three straight state champi- onships, winning its last five games en route to a 7-2-1 record. 1922 — Furman posts an 8-3 mark and defeats both Florida (7-6) and Clemson (20-6). 1923 — Manly Field's seating capacity is increased to 8,000. Furman opens the season with a 13-0 win over Virginia. Hurricane steamrolls South Carolina 23-3 and finishes with a 9-2 record. 1924 — Furman goes 5-5, but Hurricane finishes the season with three straight wins, defeating South Carolina (10- 0), Mississippi (7-2), and Clemson (3-0) to claim its fourth state championship. 1925 — Furman goes 7-3 and cruises to its fifth state championship. Hurricane knocks off South Carolina, (2-0) and Clemson (26-0). 1926 — Norwood Cleveland wagers to walk from Athens, Georgia, to Greenville if Furman beats Georgia. Purple Hurricane edges Bulldogs 14-7 and Cleveland's trek takes four days to complete. Furman's band meets Cleveland on his arrival in Greenville. Team posts an 8-1-1 record (among which are five shutouts) and claims its sixth straight state title. Besides the win over Georgia, Furman defeats North Carolina State (31-0), Wake ▲ Greenvillians raise money to pay Harold "Speedy" Speer's tuition, making him first recruited player in Furman history. Furman goes 8-3 and defeats Florida (7-6) and Clemson (20-6) behind stellar play of captain A.P. "Dizzy" McLeod, who in 1932 becomes head coach. ▼ ▼ O.L. "Blackie" Carter serves as captain of 9-2 Furman squad that tops Virginia (13-10). ▲ Guard H.R. "Red" Dobson and Furman whip South Carolina (10-0), Ole Miss (7-2), and Clemson (3-0) in final three games, win first state championship. 1916 1922 1924 1923

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