Brevard falls to Tusculum in final conference game

Box Score

GREENEVILLE, Tenn. – The Brevard College football team played in a rare Thursday night game on the road in conference play, but were unable to find a rhythm offensively as homestanding Tusculum defeated the Tornados 48-10.


Brevard (0-10, 0-7 SAC) managed a season-low 200 yards of total offense. Tusculum’s (5-5, 3-3 SAC) defense, which entered the game as the South Atlantic Conference’s fifth-ranked unit with 364.7 yards allowed per contest, gave up eight Brevard drives of 21 yards or less on the evening. The home team has now won every game in the series since Brevard joined the SAC in 2008. The Tornados have not won a game in Greeneville since a 25-6 win on November 16, 1946.


The game was played in sloppy conditions after Pioneer Field, which undergoes heavy use as the home of Tusculum’s football, men’s soccer, and women’s soccer teams, was soaked by rain on Wednesday afternoon. Because of the Remote Area Medical clinic hosted on Tusculum’s campus this weekend, the contest between the Pioneers and Tornados was played on Thursday night to accommodate the anticipated strain on Tusculum’s parking facilities.


A bright spot for the Tornados was the play of Andre Overholt, who became the second player in Brevard history to surpass the 4,500-yard mark in all-purpose yardage. The Tryon, North Carolina native is second to Jeter in all-purpose yardage, who topped 4,500 yards with a 140-yard rushing effort in Saturday’s loss to Newberry. Earlier in the day, Overholt learned of his selection to the Capital One Academic All-District team, making him eligible for Academic All-America honors.


The game began with an auspicious start for the Tornados. Brevard marched 65 yards in 14 plays on the game’s opening possession, converting four third down plays to keep the drive alive. Kelvin Jeter found his way into the end zone from seven yards out at the 6:29 mark of the first quarter, running around the left side and angling toward the pylon to cap a drive that ate up the game’s first eight minutes.


After the Tornados were unable to earn a first down after forcing a Tusculum turnover, the Pioneers needed just eight plays to drive 88 yards and tie the game at seven. A vicious hit on Brevard’s Kevin Herbst jarred the ball free at the Tornados’ 41-yard line soon after, and D.J. Haney found the end zone for the second time six plays later to give the Pioneers a 14-7 lead early in the second quarter. Tusculum would extend its lead to two scores on a 92-yard drive on its final possession of the first half.


Brevard marched 57 yards in 10 plays and added a 34-yard Alex Noboa field goal just before the half to cut Tusculum’s lead to 21-10. But the Tornados would have no answer for the Tusculum offensive attack in the second half. The Tornados had just 69 yards of total offense in the second half, with four drives that failed to surpass five yards and two that lost yardage.


Brevard marched 61 yards to the Tusculum 18 when the Pioneers had the game well in hand, but turned the ball over on downs when a fourth down completion failed to gain the necessary seven yards to reach the marker. Tusculum, however, pulled away with 28 second-half points and 170 yards over the final 30 minutes of play, scoring 28 unanswered points.


The Tornados were led by quarterback Kevin Herbst, who rushed for 75 yards on 16 carries and threw for 21 yards. Kelvin Jeter chipped in 44 yards, while Jordan Ollis moved to within 59 yards of Brevard’s single-season rushing record with 32 yards on the ground. Michael Gruber led Brevard with a game-high 11 tackles, Gruber’s sixth double-digit tackling effort of the season and fifth in his last six contests.


Tusculum had several players set career milestones on Thursday night. With four catches, Justin Houston set the Tusculum all-time receptions record with 215 catches. Fellow receivers Johnathan Dilberto and Ken Funnye surpassed 1,000 career receiving yards with 36 and 30 yards, respectively.


Brevard will seek to finish its season on a positive note with a 1:00 p.m. game against non-NCAA opponent College of Faith on Saturday, November 15. Senior Day festivities will be celebrated before kickoff.

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