GREENVILLE, S.C. -- Tanner Skogen's 13-yard touchown burst midway through the fourth quarter broke a tie game and Furman held off The Citadel in the waning minutes of play to claim a 24-17 win over its arch-rival in Southern Conference football action Saturday evening at Johnson Hagood Stadium.
The victory was the second straight for Furman (2-2, 1-0 SoCon) in Charleston and the Paladins' 58th triumph over Citadel (1-4, 1-2 SoCon) in the 93rd clash between the old SoCon rivals.
Skogen's decisive scoring run, which broke a 17-17 tie with 9:43 remaining, followed an interception by Paladin cornerback Reggie Thomas and 43-yard pass completion from quarterback Duncan Fletcher to Gary Robinson to the Bulldog 13.
The Paladins forced a punt on the Bulldogs' next possession and then, after turning the ball over on downs at the Citadel 32, stopped the Bulldogs on downs at the Furman 20 with 1:10 left on the clock.
The Citadel, which ripped Old Dominion for 453 rushing yards in a 59-58 loss to the Monarchs last Saturday, mustered only 132 yards on 37 carries against the Paladins' defense.
Furman posted a 359-321 advantage in total offense, rushing for 131 yards and passing for 168 on an evening that saw the Paladins reach even deeper into their depth chart at quarterback.
Fletcher, a true freshman from Columbus, Ga., came off the bench after starting signal caller Reese Hannon exited the contest in the third quarter with a knee injury. Hannon, who missed the season opener against Gardner-Webb with a strained oblique, returned to the starting lineup in game two against Coastal Carolina after his replacement, true freshman Dillon Woodruff, sustained a fractured shoulder versus Gardner-Webb, ending his season.
Fletcher steadied the Paladins offensively, completing all three passes for 61 yards and rushing four times for 19 yards. His 43-yard pass that set up the game winning score capped a career best receiving performance for Robinson, who finished the conest with eight receptions for 133 yards.
Robinson's younger brother, Terry, sparked Furman in the first half, scoring on runs of 9 and two yards operating out of the wildcat quarterback position. His second score, which gave the Paladins a 17-7 lead, came with just 24 seconds left in the half, capping a four-play, 65-yard drive that took just 58 seconds and included a 36-yard pass completion from Hannon to Andrej Suttles to the Citadel 2.
The Bulldogs cut the lead to 17-10 with a 31-yard Thomas Warren field goal on their first possesion of the third quarter and later tied the game with a 59-yard scoring strike from backup quarterback Aaron Miller to Darien Robinson on the first play of the fourth quarter.
Furman's next possession ended with a punt, but the Paladin defense regained the momentum when Thomas stepped in front of a Miller pass along the Bulldog sideline, returning it six yards to the Furman 44 with 9:43 to go. Two plays later Skogen took a Fletcher handoff and bolted up the middle untouched into the end zone.
Hannon completed 13-of-18 passes for 167 yards before exiting the contest.
Hank McCloud led all rushers with 16 carries for 77 yards.
Ray Early's 34-yard field goal gave Furman a 3-0 first quarter lead and made him a perfect 4-for-4 against The Citadel in his career.
Greg Worthy paced all defenders with 10 tackles. T.J. Warren had seven tackles, including three for-loss and a sack.
Furman entertains Elon next Saturday in a 1:30 p.m. game in Paladin Stadium.