Brevard, N.C. - The Tornados topped visiting Edward Waters College in their season opener last week at Asheville High School Memorial Stadium, defeating the visiting Tigers behind a strong rushing attack, winning 53-27.
This week, the Tornados will face an opponent they haven’t faced since the 1940s as the team travels to Boiling Springs, N.C. as they travel to take on Gardner-Webb University. The teams are currently 2-2 overall against each other in the rivalry. Last season, the Tornados went 7-4 (3-4 in SAC play) in their best season since the program was reinstated, while Gardner-Webb went 6-5 (3-3 in BSC play). Both teams faced off against a common opponent last season in Mars Hill College, with Brevard falling to the Lions, 28-13, while Gardner-Webb defeated MHC, 58-14 in Boiling Springs, N.C.
Gardner-Webb runs a balanced offensive attack, averaging 218.3 passing yards per game and 157.5 rushing yards per game during the 2009 season, while Brevard is averaging 352.0 rushing yards and 128 passing yards per contest in the 2010 season.
Brevard is led by senior quarterback Michael Crumbaker and senior fullbacks Neville Bryce and Derek Church on the offensive side of the ball as the Tornados rushed for 352 yards last week against Edward Waters College. Freshman Kelvin Jeter had a smashing debut for the Tornados, rushing for 121 yards on five carries, including a 63-yard score in the second quarter as Brevard rushed for their sixth highest rushing total since the program was reinstated in 2006.
Defensively for the Tornados, Preseason All-SAC First Team selections Prince Simunyu and Michael Gist had quiet weeks in the first game of the season, seeing limited action against Edward Waters, but will be expected to go full-bore against the Runnin’ Bulldogs offense. Senior defensive end Christian Lumbu led the team in tackles in the first game, recording eight stops in the game, but will have a stiff challenge going up against the Gardner-Webb offensive line.
Gardner-Webb was selected to finish fifth in the 2010 Big South Conference Preseason Football Poll after finishing the 2009 season with a 6-5 overall record, going 3-3 in conference play. The Runnin’ Bulldogs have 19 starters returning from last season’s team, including having eight selected to the Preseason All-Big South team and two selected to the preseason All-America squad.
Seniors Marty Patterson and Corey O’Daniel were Preseason FCS All-America picks, with Patterson returning to lead the linebacking corp, having led the Big South with 107 tackles last season, while the 6-7, 330 pound O’Daniel is a fourth-year starter for Coach Steve Patton and is a potential NFL prospect.
The GWU passing attack, led by sophomore quarterback John Rock and a deep receiving corp including James Perry III and Marquis Sanders will look to keep BC defensive coordinator Scott Brumett’s defense on their toes in the battle at Spangler Stadium on Saturday night, while tailback Patrick Hall will be expected to carry the load for the rushing attack. Hall led the Big South with 12 rushing touchdowns last season and has rushed for 1,218 yards and 22 touchdowns on 240 career carries and will be expected to play more of a featured role in the offense this season.
Defensively, Gardner-Webb will be led by Patterson and 2009 Preseason All-American selection Jeffrey Williams at the linebacker position, while a pair of senior cornerbacks in Cedric McGowan and Bryce Nixon lead an experience secondary into Saturday’s matchup.
Kickoff for the game between the Tornados and the Runnin’ Bulldogs is set for 6 p.m. in Ernest W. Spangler Stadium, located on the campus of Gardner-Webb University in Boiling Springs, N.C.
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Gardner-Webb Campus Map