Brevard, N.C. - Coach Paul Hamilton and the BC Football team travel to Gardner-Webb University this weekend to kickoff the 2011 college football season after wrapping up preseason last week with a scrimmage at the BC practice fields.
Saturday’s gridiron contest will be the sixth meeting all-time between the Tornados and the Runnin’ Bulldogs, dating back to 1940s, and second in the past two seasons. The Tornados are 2-3 against the current FCS opponent Gardner-Webb, having fallen last season in Ernest W. Spangler Stadium, 28-14.
The Tornados return with their option attack after finishing the 2010 regular season as the third-ranked rushing attack in the NCAA Division II, averaging 285.5 yards per game on the ground. Brevard looks to improve on their passing attack this season and balance the field of play after averaging 49.9 yards through the air in the 2010 season.
A new face graces the Runnin’ Bulldogs sideline as Coach Ron Dickerson, Jr. has taken over the reigns of the GWU program. He inherits an offense which was balanced across the board in the 2010 season, averaging 112.5 yards on the ground, while accumulating 197 passing yards per game.
The Tornados were picked eighth in the annual SAC Preseason Coaches poll, while Gardner-Webb tied for fourth in the Big South Conference football preseason season. Both teams are coming off of victories in their 2010 season finales, as Brevard defeated Mars Hill 35-28, while Gardner-Webb topped VMI, 10-7.
Key players returning for both sides
Kelvin Jeter – Jeter burst onto the scene last year as a freshman slot, picking up 121 yards on five carries in Brevard’s season opener last year. The 5-7 athlete continued that wave of success in finishing the season by becoming Brevard’s first 1,000 yard single season rusher, capturing SAC Offensive Freshman of the Year honors. He finished second in the SAC with 1,145 yards rushing on 135 carries, averaging 8.5 yards per carry and recorded four of the top 10 individual rushing games in Brevard College history. Jeter also set a school record with a 95 yard touchdown run against Southern Virginia last season. He is currently 109 rushing yards away from setting the BC career rushing record currently held by Neville Bryce (1,254 yards).
Prince Simunyu – Simunyu is a four year starting linebacker for the Tornados and is the team’s returning leading tackler. A two-time First Team All-Conference linebacker, the senior possesses the ability to play sideline-to-sideline, as well as get behind the line of scrimmage. Last season, Simunyu tied for 13th in the SAC in tackles and tackles per game with 75 on the season, 6.8 per game. He also managed to get on the scoreboard last season in returning a fumble against Lenoir-Rhyne for 37 yards and a touchdown. Simunyu is also closing in on a BC career record, currently sitting 2.5 tackles for loss behind BC’s all-time leader Stanley Jones (23.5 tackles for loss).
James Perry III – Perry comes into the game only 22 receptions away from taking over the top spot in Big South history in the category and is a three-time All-Big South Conference team selection. The senior hauled in 65 receptions last season for 673 yards, averaging 10.4 yards per catch and a team high 61.2 yards per game. He added three touchdowns and also was the team’s primary punt returner. Perry finished second in the Big South rankings in receptions and fourth in receiving yards. Last season, the Tornados kept Perry in check, holding him to four receptions and 12 yards, but the 6-0 senior will have eyes on him at all times on the field.
Marty Patterson – The 2010 Big South Preseason Defensive Player of the Year never got on the field last season after an injury, but returns stronger than ever after playing at full speed in the Runnin’ Bulldog’s spring season. A College Sporting News Preseason All-American selection, the 6-3, 235 pound senior led the team with 110 tackles in the 2009 season, picking up a team-high 14 tackles behind the line of scrimmage and five sacks. He also dropped back and picked up a pair of interceptions and will be one of the toughest defensive players the Tornados will face in the 2011 season.
Kickoff for the 2011 Brevard College Fooball Season Opener is set for 6 p.m. at Ernest W. Spangler Stadium in Boiling Springs, N.C.
Fans who are unable to attend the game, can listen live through the broadcast brought to you by the "Voice of the Tornados" Dwayne Summers over the radio at WSQL Radio 1240 AM, or over the internet at www.wsqlradio.com.
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