Interception return helps Furman top Mercer 25-20

MACON, Ga. (AP) Gary Wilkins returned an interception for a touchdown and Jon Croft Hollingsworth kicked four field goals, including a 50-yarder, as unbeaten Furman rallied past Mercer 25-20 in a Southern Conference opener on Saturday night.

Furman (2-0, 1-0), the reigning SoCon champion, twice had to rally past Mercer (1-1, 0-1). Hollingsworth kicked a 22-yard field goal late in the third quarter to give the Paladins the lead for keeps at 16-14. He extended it to 19-14 with a 50-yarder, tied for seventh-longest in school history, late in the fourth. Wilkins, the SoCon defensive player of the week, sealed matters when he picked off John Russ and returned it 19 yards for a TD and a 25-14 lead with 3:43 to play.

Russ hit JT Palmer on the next drive, but a two-point conversion failed, and Mercer didn't recover the onside kick.

There were four lead changes in the first three quarters.

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