Tornados ready for SAC Home Opener
Brevard looks to bounce back after loss to Wingate
Brevard, N.C. - The Tornados saw their program-best five-game winning streak come to an end Saturday as the Wingate University Bulldogs defeated Brevard 28-12 at Irwin Belk Stadium. BC (5-1, 1-1) has two straight home games upcoming on the schedule, the first of which is a 6:00 p.m. kickoff against the Tusculum College Pioneers October 10 at Brevard Memorial Stadium.
Brevard welcomes a Tusculum team that features a balanced air attack. Freshman Quarterback Bo Cordell takes over for the departed Cory Russell and leads an offense averaging over 27 points per game. He has completed nearly 62 percent of his passes for 1,602 yards, 10 touchdowns and 10 interceptions. He is averaging over 320 yards per game through the air with All-American tight end Jarrell NeSmith leading the way, averaging almost 15 yards per reception and leading the team with 333 receiving yards. Marcus Foster is Cordell’s favorite target with 30 receptions and three scores, while four of Calvin Britt’s 11 receptions have gone for touchdowns. Tusculum boasts a ton of depth at the receiver position with six different Pioneer receivers achieving double-digit receptions this year and six different Tusculum players have caught a touchdown in 2009.
Last year Tusculum and Brevard combined to score 97 points and gain almost 900 yards of total offense in a 55-42 Pioneer victory. Tusculum led 28-7 after the first quarter and 55-28 with under eight minutes to play in the fourth but BC kept playing. Five Tornado turnovers led to three Pioneer scores. Donald Hudson rushed for two touchdowns. Trey Wilborn started at quarterback and rushed for 116 yards and a score. Desmond Wilson rushed for 64 yards and a score, and John Taylor returned from injury to run for 56 yards and a touchdown. Xavier Johnson also had a career high 74 rushing yards against the Pioneers.
Pioneers quarterback Corey Russell went 22-29 for 328 yards and four touchdowns in the game and also led the team with 7 carries for 73 yards and two scores. Ryan Tallent had 6 catches for 63 yards and two touchdowns in the Tusculum victory.
This season, the Pioneers enter the game with a record of 1-4 and 0-2 in the South Atlantic Conference, coming off of back-to-back home losses against Wingate and Lenoir-Rhyne. The Bears held Cordell without a touchdown pass for the first time in his brief career. The key to the game was seven Pioneer turnovers, including three Cordell interceptions which helped the Bears to a 38-17 victory. Lenoir-Rhyne ran for 299 yards on the ground against a Pioneer defense which is allowing 39 points per game and 466 yards of total offense per game, including 255 on the ground.
Brevard this past weekend ran for 238 yards against the Bulldogs but were hurt by big plays and untimely penalties. BC had a good start to their opening drive, getting the ball near midfield before being called for an illegal shift on a nine-yard Lawrence Martin run that moved them back and forced a punt.
Wingate quarterback Cody Haffly wasted no time as he found Philip Thomas for a 69-yard touchdown on the Bulldogs’ first play from scrimmage. After another Watts punt, Wingate mounted their first sustained drive of the game. Vince Jordan ran it in from two yards to cap a seven play drive that covered 59 yards in 2:26. The Bulldogs led 14-0 with 6:55 to play in the first quarter and that proved to be the halftime margin as well. The Bulldogs got a 31-yard kickoff return from Marcus Davis to begin the third quarter. Working with excellent field position Haffly led Wingate on an 11-play drive that covered 59 yards in 4:03, culminated by a five-yard touchdown pass to Delric Ellington on a fade route. Haffly went 17-27 on the day for a career high 219 yards, three touchdowns and an interception. He completed passes to seven different receivers.
Down 21-0 the Tornados mounted their best drive of the game. Michael Crumbaker was integral in the 74-yard march. The Junior Quarterback ran for a game-high 98 yards on the day and continues to make great reads in the option game. Shaton Pratt’s four-yard touchdown run capped off the 15-play drive that took 7:37 off the clock. Pratt finished with 58 yards rushing on seven carries. Chase Henry’s extra point attempt went wide and BC faced a 21-6 deficit with 3:20 to play in the third quarter. BC possessed the ball for 32:56 of the game. The Tornados are averaging 308 yards on the ground per game and 31 points per game.
Brevard’s defense forced a Wingate punt but the Tornados gave the ball right back after a fumbled exchange between Crumbaker and John Compton. Mico Drew’s recovery set up Haffly and the Bulldogs with prime field position in the red zone. With plenty of time to throw the sophomore quarterback found Chris Bowden on a 20-yard post route for a touchdown and a 28-6 lead.
The Tornados continued to fight, and Eric Watts found the end zone for the first time this year on an eight-yard fade from Crumbaker, making it 28-12 but Crumbaker’s two-point try fell incomplete. Watts had an all-around day, averaging over 44 yards per punt on his six punts, including a season-long 68-yard boot. Two of his punts landed inside the 20.
Stanley Jones led BC’s defense with 11 tackles. He had 1.5 tackles for loss and a thunderous sack of backup quarterback James Hall late in the fourth quarter. Jones has 57 stops this year and is close to the nearly 10 tackle per game pace he had in 2008. Prince Simunyu posted his third consecutive game of double-digit stops. He made 10 tackles, one tackle for loss, and had eight solo stops. Simunyu leads the team with nine tackles for loss this year. Andrew Barrentine had a breakout game with seven tackles and a tackle for loss. Donald Hudson made three tackles and returned a Haffly interception 30 yards. The Tornados have allowed an average of 12.8 points per game and have held opponents to 99 yards rushing per game.
The Tornados can ensure the first winning season in modern program history with a win Saturday. The Tusculum game is the first true home game for BC since the Tornados hosted Chowan on September 12. BC will play at home two weeks in a row, as they will welcome Mars Hill to Brevard Memorial Stadium for a 6:00 p.m. kickoff October 17.
The kickoff time for Saturday’s game is set for 6 p.m. at Brevard Memorial Stadium in Brevard, N.C. The shuttle buses begin running at noon and the gates will open at that time as well, two hours prior to the opening kickoff.
General admission to the game is $10 for adults.
If you are unable to make the home opener in person, you can catch the game via live broadcast brought to you by the "Voice of the Tornados" Jim Stewart over the radio at WSQL 1240 AM or over the Internet at www.wsqlradio.com. You may also visit the Brevard College Athletics website at www.BCTornados.com and click on the LiveStats link located on the left-hand side under the "Tornados Links" section.