Greeneville, Tenn. - The Brevard College Tornados football team ran for 299 yards and Michael Crumbaker threw two touchdown passes to lead Brevard against Tusculum College on Saturday afternoon, but Bo Cordell and the Tusculum offense had 408 passing yards and seven scoring strikes to defeat the visiting Tornados, 51-35.
Kelvin Jeter had a late 41 yard touchdown run to lead the Brevard (3-6, 0-5 SAC) rushing attack, picking up 105 yards on 17 carries, averaging 6.2 yards per attempt in the contest. Neville Bryce continued his recent success with 10 carries for 62 yards and a pair of touchdowns, while Michael Crumbaker had 16 carries for 55 yards.
Crumbaker was six of 13 through the air for 72 yards and a pair of touchdown passes, while throwing an interception. Eric Watts was the recipient of four of those passes for 22 yards, including a four-yard fade in the corner of the end zone, while Derek Church had a 45 yard pickup and Thadus Benton III had a five yard scoring reception.
Defensively, the Tornados were led by Prince Simunyu, as the junior linebacker had a game high 13 tackles in the contest, including one for a loss. Trey Jenkins added seven tackles, while Ryan Wannamaker had a sack in the game.
Cordell led Tusculum (5-4, 1-4 SAC) on the afternoon, going 38 of 53 through the air for 408 yards and seven touchdowns. Deonte’ Gist and Michael Rodriguez each hauled in nine passes in the contest, with Gist going for 140 yards and three scores, while Rodriguez had 82 yards and two receptions in the end zone. Rashaad Carter and Calvin Britt also had touchdown receptions in the game as the Pioneers finished the contest with 489 total yards in the contest.
Defensively, the Pioneers were led by Luke Harris and Zachary Norman as the duo had eight tackles apiece. Brian Alexander, Jason Muehling and Cameron Myers each had fumble recoveries in the contest, while Nicolas Smith and Dameon Herring each had sacks for Tusculum.
Justin Fleming returned the opening kickoff for the Tornados, taking it 47 yards to the Tusculum 45 yard line to give Brevard excellent field position to open the game. Three plays later, Neville Bryce took the hand-off up the middle, going 29 yards for the score to give Brevard the 7-0 advantage with 13:53 remaining in the first quarter.
Tusculum’s first drive lasted one play as Cordell connected with Rodriguez on a short screen near the left sideline, but a good play by the defense forced a fumble the Tornados recovered to give Brevard the ball at the TC 36 yard line.
The turnover turned to naught though, as the Pioneers forced a fourth down and sacked Crumbaker as the 38 yard line, forcing the change of possession.
Tusculum capitalized on the possession five plays later as Cordell, after back-to-back incompletions, found Carter for a 49 yard touchdown pass over a leaping Salonik Amos to tie the score up at 7 with 10:46 on the clock in the first quarter.
Tusculum added two more touchdowns in the first quarter as Cordell found Gist from five yards out for a score, capping off an 8-play, 82 yard drive to put the Pioneers up 14-7, before finding Gist again in the end zone from four yards out, this time capping off a 7 play, 56 yard drive, giving Tusculum the 21-7 lead at the end of the quarter.
Bryce got Brevard back on the board on their next possession, carrying the ball six times on the 13 play drive, with the last one coming from five yards out of the end zone as Brevard moved the ball 64 yards in 6:58, cutting the lead to 21-14.
The Tornados defense forced a three-and-out on the next Tusculum possession, bringing Pioneers’ punter Andy Rossetti to the field. Rossetti boomed a 42 yard punt and Williams Muscatello called for the fair catch, but the ball bounced off his hands onto the ground, where it was recovered by Myers, giving the Pioneers a fresh set of downs at the BC 22 yard line. Seven passes later, Cordell found Rodriguez in the end zone, putting the Pioneers up 28-14 with 6:16 left on the field.
After the Tornados went three-and-out, the Pioneers struck quickly, as Cordell found Brian Marshall for a three yard pickup, before Cordell found Gist open in the middle of the field. The receiver found open field for a 60 yard pickup before stopping in the end zone for the final score of the first half, 35-14.
A receiving flub on the opening kickoff of the second half gave the Pioneers the ball on their own two yard line, but Cordell got the offense moving, completing passes to Gist, Britt, Marshall, Carter and Fred Jones in moving the ball to the Brevard 34 yard line. Calvin Vann and Amos combined for a big defensive stop on third-and-10, holding Gist to a nine-yard pickup on the screen, but Gareth Rowlands connected on the 42 yard field goal attempt to put the Pioneers up 38-14.
A fumble on the Tornados third offensive play of the half gave the Pioneers the ball back at the Brevard 25 yard line. Tusculum capitalized seven plays later as Cordell found Rodriguez for the second time in the game from 15 yards out to give Tusculum a commanding 44-14 lead.
Crumbaker found Watts in the end zone at the end of the third quarter from four yards out to cut the lead back to 44-21, but Tusculum responded two drives later with a score from Cordell to Britt to put the score at 51-21 with 8:19 left in the game.
The Tornados added a pair of touchdowns late in the game as Jeter scampered in from 41 yards out and Crumbaker targeted Benton from five yards out, putting the final score at Pioneer Field at 51-35.
Brevard returns home on Saturday, November 6th, as they host Newberry College in the Tornados final regular season home contest. Kickoff for the game is set for 2 p.m.