Furman University

2015 Furman Football Record Book

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Page 115 of 151

2015 FURMAN PALADINS FOOTBALL Furman 116 Paladins HISTORICAL HIGHLIGHTS Head coach Bobby Johnson is consensus league coach-of-the- year pick and American Football Coaches Association Region II Coach-of-the-Year selection. Senior guard Ben Hall garners the league's Jacobs Blocking Award. Paladin running back Stuart Rentz and linebacker Marion Martin are named to prestigious GTE Academic All-America squad, earning first and second team honors, respectively. Paladins ranked 12th in Sports Network final poll. 2000 — Consensus All-America tailback Louis Ivory is named Walter Payton Award recipient as the top offensive player in NCAA I-AA football after becoming first player in Southern Conference history to run for 2,000 yards in a season and lead the nation in rushing. Ivory, who totals 2,079 yards and 16 touchdowns in the regular season, records five 200-yard perfor- mances, including a league record 301-yard, three-touchdown showing in Furman's 45-10 dusting of eventual national champion Georgia Southern. Named league player-of-the-year, state male amateur athlete-of-the-year, Furman and league male athlete-of-the-year, Ivory, who accepts the Payton Award at New York's famed Downtown Athletic Club, spearheads Paladin ground game that averages a school record 307.5 rushing yards per game, helping Furman to 9-3 record and second straight trip to the NCAA I-AA playoffs, where Furman falls to Hofstra 31-24 in first round. Linebacker Will Bouton, an AP All-America first team pick, is named league's defensive player-of-the-year, and tackle Josh Moore, garners the conference's Jacobs Blocking Award and All-America honors prior to signing a free agent contract with the Philadelphia Eagles. Offensive guard Marty Priore and center Chris Stewart also land All-America honors. Linebacker Marion Martin earns Academic All-America accolades for the second straight year and is awarded a prestigious $18,000 National Football Foundation/Hall-of-Fame Scholarship. Furman ranks 10th in Sports Network NCAA I-AA final poll. 2001 — Furman registers one of the most successful seasons in school history by going 12-3, claiming its Southern Conference record 11th league crown, and finishing as NCAA I-AA national runnerup. After season opening setback at Wyoming, Furman reels off six straight wins, including 65-7 rout of VMI for the 100th win in Paladin Stadium history and 28-22 triumph over nationally fifth-ranked Appalachian State. Paladins claim share of league crown with 42-10 win over Chattanooga on the way to earning third straight NCAA I-AA playoff berth. In first round clash with Western Kentucky, Paladins rally from a 20-7 third quarter deficit to turn back the Hilltoppers, 24-20. With Louis Ivory sidelined due to a knee injury, Furman turns to trio of sophomore tailbacks, led by Toreico O'Neal's 128 yards and three touchdowns, and linebacker Will Bouton, who records four sacks, to demolish previously undefeated Lehigh, 34-17. The next week Furman takes on league co-champion Georgia Southern in Statesboro, where Eagles had posted 39 straight wins and a 27-0 playoff record. Trailing 17-7 at intermission, Paladins convert pair of early third quarter Eagle turnovers into 10 points to tie the game and win it in fourth quarter with 13-play, 56-yard drive that ends with Eric Emerson 1-yard touchdown plunge. Furman defense shuts out GSU and holds Eagles to 55 total yards in second half on the way to program's 500th victory and third national champion- ship game appearance. Montana, however, turns back Furman, 13-6, in Chattanooga. Paladins' outstanding season produces a wealth of recognition, including a school record six All-Americans and 16 All-Southern Conference honorees — another program high. Donnie Littlejohn, a consensus All-America choice at tackle, becomes the third consecutive Paladin to capture league Jacobs Blocking Award. Louis Ivory and Will Bouton, meanwhile, are named conference offensive and defensive players-of-the-year, respectively, for second straight season, and Ivory becomes only third player in Furman history to have his jersey (No. 34) retired. Brian Bratton captures league freshman-of-the-year honors after pacing the nation in kickoff returns (37.2 avg., 3 TDs), and head coach Bobby Johnson is tabbed national coach-of-the-year by American Football Coaches Association. Johnson ends eight-year head coaching tenure when he accepts head coaching position at Vanderbilt in late December. Former Paladin quarterback great and 13-year assistant Bobby Lamb succeeds Johnson. 2002 — Paladins go 8-4 under first year head coach Bobby Lamb, earn program's fourth straight NCAA I-AA playoff berth, and finish No. 9 in Sports Network final poll. Quarterback Billy Napier throws for school record 2,475 yards and sets SoCon career pass completion record (68.5 percent). Wide receiver Bear Rinehart establishes new Furman season (70) and career (126) receptions records en route to earning South Carolina Player-of- the-Year honors. Paladins trounce arch-rival The Citadel, 37-10, and edge Wofford in quagmire in Spartanburg, 23-21, denying the Terriers a playoff bid. Offensive guard Trevor Kruger is named to four All-America squads, and cornerback Rodney Johnson lands Verizon Academic All-America accolades. 2003 — After getting off to 4-1 start, Furman stumbles down the stretch to finish 6-5. Paladins, lose four conference games by a combined total of 10 points despite leading the league in four of five major defensive categories and ranking first nationally in passing defense. Placekicker Danny Marshall converts 16-of-20 field goals, finishes his career as the SoCon's all-time leading kick scorer (312 points), and is named to three All-America teams. Linebacker Mike Killian tops league with 134 tackles. Twelve Paladins earn All-SoCon honors. 2004 — Furman posts 10-3 record and wins program's 12th Southern Conference championship on the way to No. 5 final national ranking. Paladins win first three in impressive fashion and then, after losing starting safeties Cam Newton and Shelton Riley to injury, narrowly miss upsetting eventual Fiesta Bowl participant Pittsburgh, losing 41-38 in overtime. Furman rebounds to win seven of its final nine games, including 33-14 triumph over The Citadel that saw the Paladins limit the Bulldogs to no first downs in the first half. Furman takes down second-ranked Georgia Southern 29-22 in front of 17,145 fans at Paladin Stadium and then knocks off Wofford 31-24 for third straight win in Spartanburg, snapping the Terriers' 13-game home winning streak. Furman clinches league crown with 51-31 triumph over Chattanooga and opens NCAA I-AA playoff action with 49-7 victory over Jacksonville State. Furman takes 13-7 second half lead against James Madison but surrenders last minute score to fall 14-13 to eventual national champion. Junior linebacker William Freeman registers team leading 100 tackles on SoCon's top scoring defense and is consensus SoCon Defensive Player-of-the-Year selection. Strong safety Andrew Thacker captures SoCon Freshman-of-the-Year honors, and Bobby Lamb is tabbed league coach-of-the-year. Offensive tackle Ben Bainbridge is named SoCon Jacobs Blocking Award winner and joins defensive end Roy Ravenell and Freeman in garnering All- America accolades. Quarterback Ingle Martin throws for school record 2,792 yards and another school best 22 touchdowns. Defensive coordinator Bobby Johnson returns to Furman as program's 20th head coach. ▼ ▲ Furman defeats North Carolina (28-3) and claims first league championship since 1990 behind SoCon Defensive Player-of-the-Year John Keith. ▼ Will Bouton keys Furman to 12-3 record, SoCon title, and NCAA I-AA runner-up finish. ▲ Louis Ivory rushes for SoCon record 2,079 yards and captures Walter Payton Award as top offensive player in NCAA I-AA. 1994 1999 2000 2001

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