Asheville, N.C. - Chris Spencer blocked a punt out of the back of the end zone and Prince Simunyu returned a Lenoir-Rhyne fumble 37 yards for a touchdown, but Major Herron found the end zone twice for the Bears as Brevard fell at home to visiting Lenoir-Rhyne University, 24-8.
The Tornados (3-4, 0-3 SAC) were held to their lowest rushing total on the season, accumulating 34 yards on the ground, led by Kelvin Jeter’s 23 yards on seven carries. Michael Crumbaker was three of 10 through the air for 14 yards, with Eric Watts hauling in two catches for four yards, while Derek Church had one catch for 10.
Defensively, C.J. Wilson led all players with 15 tackles in the contest and had a pass breakup, while Simunyu had 10 tackles to go with his fumble return. Demarcus Allen, Ryan Wannamaker, Phillip Curcio and Christian Lumbu all had sacks for Brevard on the afternoon as well, while Chris Jones had a fumble recovery and an interception for the Brevard defense.
Herron led the Lenoir-Rhyne (4-3, 1-2 SAC) offense on the afternoon, carrying the ball 38 times for 108 yards and two touchdowns, while completing four of 10 passes for 99 yards. Anthony Silvers added a late touchdown run for the Bears, while Nick Stutts caught three passes for 88 yards to lead the Bears aerial assault.
Marcus Shuford led Lenoir-Rhyne with 10 tackles on the afternoon, including half a tackle for a loss, while Brandon Martin recorded 2.5 tackles for loss, including two sacks on the afternoon. Richard Walker added six tackles with 2.5 coming behind the line of scrimmage as the Bears had 10 tackles for loss in the contest.
Justin Fleming opened up the game with a 59 yard kickoff return on the opening kickoff, giving Brevard excellent field position on the Lenoir-Rhyne 39 yard line. The Bears defense held, sacking Crumbaker on third down to force the punt and Lenoir-Rhyne took over on their 20 yard line.
Three plays later, as the Bears prepared to punt, the snap hit one of the L-R backs, causing the punter to scramble after the ball. As he prepared to pick it up and punt, Spencer came through the line and blocked the kick, sending the ball bouncing through the end zone and touching the backline for a safety before Brevard could jump on the ball as the Tornados went up 2-0 with 11:13 remaining in the first quarter.
The Tornados went three and out on their next drive, giving the Bears the ball back at the Lenoir-Rhyne 37 yard line. On their first play of the drive, Herron pitched the ball as he was hit and the ball flew past the L-R running back, bouncing on the turf where it was recovered by Simunyu, and the junior linebacker was escorted by his teammates to the end zone. Chase Henry’s extra point was blocked, as Brevard went up 8-0 with 9:54 left in the first quarter.
The Bears responded from the BC touchdown with a drive of their own, moving the ball 66 yards on 10 plays in just under five minutes before Herron found a gap off the left guard and carried the ball into the end zone from four yards out. Colin Corpe’s extra point put the score at 8-7 with 4:58 to play in the opening quarter.
Brevard forced two turnovers in the second quarter, stalling Lenoir-Rhyne drives on the BC side of the field as Rufus Jenkins forced a fumble that was recovered by Chris Jones on the Brevard 36 yard line, while L-R’s next drive ended at the BC 14 yard line as Jones stepped in front of a Herron pass.
The Bears got back on the board with 18 seconds remaining in the half as Herron connected with Stutts twice through the air on passes of 38 yards and eight yards, moving the ball to the Brevard 21 yard line. An incompletion brought up fourth down, but Corpe placed the 37 yard field goal attempt through the uprights to put the Bears on top 10-8.
Lenoir-Rhyne held possession through most of the third quarter, as they moved the ball 64 yards on 15 plays, gobbling up 10:30 of the clock, before a sack by Lumbu and Allen forced a Lenoir-Rhyne field goal attempt. Corpe’s effort from 45 yards out was wide left to keep the score at 10-8.
The Bears added two touchdown runs in the fourth quarter as Herron went in from one yard out with 7:23 remaining in the contest, while Silvers carried the ball in from six yards with 19 seconds left in the clock to finish up the scoring as Lenoir-Rhyne defeated Brevard, 24-8.
Brevard remains home next weekend as they host Wingate University at Asheville High School Memorial Stadium. Kickoff between the Tornados and the Bulldogs is set for 1 p.m.