Brevard, N.C. - The Tornados overcame turnovers in their first two possessions, before rallying behind seniors Michael Crumbaker and Derek Church on their way to 39-13 halftime lead, defeating the visiting Edward Waters College Tigers in Brevard’s 2010 home opener at Asheville High School, 53-27.
Brevard’s (1-0) rushing attack led the way for the Tornados as the team recorded 331 yards on the ground, picking up 15 of their 20 first downs through carries. Freshman Kelvin Jeter opened up his collegiate career with a big game, gaining 121 yards on five carries to go with a touchdown, while preseason All-SAC second teamer Neville Bryce also broke the century mark, gaining 110 yards on 14 carries, while finding the end zone once. Church and Crumbaker also crossed the goal line twice for the Tornados on the ground as five Tornados ball carriers reached the end zone.
Through the air, Crumbaker was picked off in his first pass attempt, but responded with a six completions in nine attempts stat line for 128 yards and a touchdown, with junior Eric Watts the recipient of three of those passes for 66 yards. Senior placekicker Chase Henry added five extra points in the game to surpass John Taylor’s record and become the modern BC scoring leader, with 94 points in his career as a Tornado.
On the defensive side of the ball, Christian Lumbu led the Tornados with eight tackles in the game from his defensive end position, while Chris Spencer, Salonik Amos and Rufus Jenkins each recorded five stops. Phillip Curcio also recorded a fumble recovery for the Tornados in the contest in his first collegiate start for Brevard.
Edward Waters’ offensive attack was led by sophomore quarterback Brandon Turman as he went 18 of 28 through the air with a touchdown. Junior wide receiver Samuel Charles was his favorite target on the afternoon, snaring five passes for 35 yards, while senior Antonio Bellamy had three catches for 78 yards, including a 64 yard pitch and catch for a touchdown. On the ground, Antoine Nabors led all Tigers rushers with 20 yards and a score and Turman also found the end zone on the ground with a one-yard plunge.
Defensively, Edward Waters was led by sophomore Ashlon Smith as the sophomore led all tacklers in the game with 12 stops in the contest. Betram Balfour was the recipient of the lone interception in the contest and also had a fumble recovery in the end zone for a touchdown for EWC, while Rashaan Barton also added a fumble recovery.
The Tornados won the opening coin toss and elected to receive, but after a three-yard loss by Jeter, Brevard took to the air, where Crumbaker’s first pass of the season was tipped and picked off by Balfour, giving the visitors their first possession of the game. The Tornados defense held the Tigers to a three-and-out on defense and Jerry Martin’s punt landed inside the Tornados 10-yard line, where it was fumbled by Jeter and the Tigers pounced, with Balfour landing on the ball in the end zone to put Edward Waters up early, 7-0.
The ensuing kickoff was a short one collected by Church at the Brevard 29, and the senior fullback rumbled his way up field, shedding several tacklers before finally being brought down on the Edward Waters 35 yard-line. Four straight runs by the Tornados, including an 18-yard scamper down the left sideline by Jeter led to Crumbaker’s first touchdown of the game, a five-yard quarterback keeper as Brevard evened the score with 10:44 to play in the first quarter.
A second three-and-out by the Brevard starting defense led to great field position for the BC offense as the Tornados were awarded the ball on the EWC 35-yard line following a personal foul after Martin’s punt. The Tornados again capitalized, striking quickly as Church found a hole in the defense and carried the ball all the way into the end zone for a 32-yard score, putting Brevard up by seven.
Edward Waters put together their first drive of the game in their next possession, marching down the field in 10 plays, covering 56 yards capped off by Turman’s one-yard sneak to bring the score back within one, but a failed two-point conversion kept the Tornados ahead with 3:12 left in the quarter, 14-13.
Brevard’s next drive also found pay-dirt as the Tornados took their drive down the field, pounding away at the defense with 10 straight running plays before capitalizing on Bryce’s three-yard plunge, but Henry’s extra-point attempt was pushed wide, keeping the score at 20-13.
Turman took to the air in the next Tigers’ possession, marching Edward Waters down the field to the Brevard 18-yard line with a series of swing passes and drop-offs to his tailback as the Tigers converted two third-downs, however a miscommunication between Turman and his tailback led to a fumble which was recovered by Curcio at the Brevard 27 to end the drive.
On this next possession, the Tornados overcame a long gain negated by a holding penalty as Jeter took the ball and went 63 yards down the right sideline for the first touchdown of his collegiate career and put the Tornados up 26-13 with 7:05 remaining in the opening half.
Brevard would score twice more in the first half as Church again found the end zone with a six-yard carry and Crumbaker and Watts connected with a three-yard fade in the right corner of the end zone as the teams went into the locker room with the score 39-13 in favor of Brevard.
In the second half, Crumbaker led the Tornados on a 10-play drive in their opening possession, before scoring on a one-yard keeper to put the score at 46-13, but Edward Waters responded in the first play their next possession as Turman found Bellamy on a crossing pattern and the senior broke several tackles on his way to a 64-yard score to put the score at 46-19.
Xavier Johnson found the end zone for the final Tornados score with 5:01 left in the third quarter, rushing for three yards off the left tackle and Nabors carried the ball in from 10 yards out for the final score of the game for the Tigers as Brevard opened the 2010 season with a 53-27 victory.
Brevard continues the 2010 season on the road, as they head to Boiling Springs, N.C. to take on FCS opponent, Gardner-Webb University on Saturday, September 4th. Kickoff for the game between the Tornados and the Runnin’ Bulldogs is set for 6 p.m. in Spangler Field.