College Sports

Furman remembers title season

This is a special season for Furman's football program, the 20th anniversary of the Paladins' 1988 NCAA Division I-AA National Championship.

The Paladins finished 13-2 after being picked to finish fourth in the Southern Conference and became the first private school to win the Division I-AA crown.

Former Rock Hill High School standout Dwight Sterling was part of that team. Sterling, the Paladins' fullback, scored the deciding touchdown in a 17-12 victory over Georgia Southern in the national title game in Pocatello, Idaho. Sterling scored on a 5-yard run, ending an 80-yard drive to give the Paladins a 17-6 lead.

Sterling picked up 70 yards on 12 carries for coach Jimmy Satterfield's team.

The road to the championship included a 21-7 victory over Delaware, a 13-9 win versus Marshall with Sterling's 1-yard TD plunge the winner, and a 38-7 triumph over Idaho.

Furman's losses were to Clemson (23-3) and Marshall (24-10).

• BREVARD: The Tornados scored a season-high 42 points last Saturday but came up just short in a 55-42 South Atlantic Conference football loss to Tusculum.

One of the bright spots for the Tornados was former Chester athlete Xavier Johnson.

The 5-8, 180-pound Johnson, listed as a junior linebacker, played fullback, rushing 16 times for 74 yards. Johnson averaged 4.6 yards a carry and had a long run of 21 yards.

It was only the second game in which Johnson has played this season for the Tornados, who are 1-5, 0-3 in the SAC.

• NEWBERRY: Former Rock Hill High School standout Mike Grase turned in a strong defensive effort in Newberry's 27-6 SAC loss to Mars Hill last Saturday.

A 5-10, 225-pound senior linebacker, Grase collected 13 tackles, including three for loss. Grase is fourth on the team in tackles with 29, 17 solo and 12 assists. He has 6.5 tackles for loss for minus-18 yards and one sack for a loss of 8 yards.

• S.C. STATE: Junior defensive back Phillip Adams helped the Bulldogs post a 24-23 Mid-Eastern Athletic Conference victory over Norfolk State last Saturday.

The 6-1, 185-pound Adams had six solo tackles and an assist. He also picked off a pass by Norfolk State's Dennis Brown at the SCSU 18-yard line with a little over four and a half minutes left in the game.

Adams, who starts at a cornerback position, has 30 tackles this season. He has half a tackle for loss and has 30 yards on two interception returns.

Coach Buddy Pough's Bulldogs are 5-2, 3-0 in the MEAC and are tied for the league lead with Hampton.

• U.S. MILITARY ACADEMY: Dustin Yates, who played at Fort Mill High, is a member of the West Point Collegiate Sprint football team.

Yates, a linebacker and fullback in high school, is an offensive lineman for the West Point Sprint team which is 2-3. Yates has been starting at center for the Black Knights.

Yates, a sophomore, was named as a honorable mention offensive lineman for the Sprint League last year.

The Collegiate Sprint Football League, until the 1998 season, was known as the Eastern Lightweight Football League. The league was originally founded as a means of encouraging lighter athletes to play football. Four days prior to a game, all players must weigh in at 172 pounds and weigh in again two days before the game at 172 pounds. If they don't meet both limits, they're ineligible for that game.