Brevard, N.C. - The Brevard College football returns to familiar grounds as they prepare to come home to Brevard Memorial Stadium this weekend for their home opener against Johnson C. Smith University.
The last time the Tornados took the field in Brevard Memorial Stadium was the 2009 season, where the Tornados defended their home turf, finishing the year 4-1 in the friendly confines as Brevard High School, including an overtime victory against Tusculum College and the "Mud Bowl" game in which the Tornados toppled Catawba College.
This season’s team closely resembles the 2009 squad as a senior-laden defense, led by Preseason All-SAC linebacker Prince Simunyu, linemen Richard Ray and Christian Lumbu, and defensive backs Michael Gist, Rashad Dirton and Salonick Amos, will take the field for their final year with the Tornados.
Brevard comes into this game after a 34-17 defeat suffered at the hands of FCS opponent Gardner-Webb University on Sept. 3rd at Spangler Stadium in Boiling Springs, N.C. Johnson C. Smith also comes into the game after their season opener against West Virginia State in which the Golden Bulls defeated the Yellow Jackets 64-27.
Brevard Head Coach Paul Hamilton’s team showed off their traditional high-power rushing attack against the Runnin’ Bulldogs in the season opener, gaining 245 rushing yards on 43 carries, led by senior quarterback Aaron Reese’s 15 carry, 111 yard effort. Michael Gist and C.J. Wilson led the way on defense for Brevard with 13 tackles apiece, tying for second overall in the conference after the first week, while Christian Lumbu and Richard Ray had two sacks apiece in harassing the Runnin’ Bulldogs’ quarterback throughout the game.
Johnson C. Smith, under Coach Steven Aycock, finished 2-8 last year, suffering a 28-25 defeat to Brevard College at Irwin Belk Stadium, but the team looks to turn things around this year after winning their season opener for the first time since 2007. The Golden Bulls are led by freshman quarterback Keahn Wallace, as he opened his collegiate career with a milestone game, passing for 337 yards and four touchdowns, while adding a rushing score.
Brevard College Players to Watch
Derek Church – The final original member of the Brevard College football team, fullback Derek Church, comes into this week’s contest after pounding the ball 22 times up the middle against FCS opponent Gardner-Webb University for 97 yards and a pair of touchdowns, keeping up his strong play since the Blue-White scrimmage in the spring preseason. Often described as a "human bowling ball", Church is steadily moving up the rushing ranks in BC history with 796 career rushing yards and he is currently third all-time in the BC rushing list with 13 rushing touchdowns, three behind Neville Bryce’s career high 16. Church also is among BC’s all-time receiving leaders with 11 career receptions for 152 yards and a touchdown.
Richard Ray – Ray made his presence felt immediately on the field in his first game back with Brevard College after a one year hiatus from the Tornados ranks, recording two sacks among his three tackles and was consistently in the Runnin’ Bulldogs backfield throughout the evening as Brevard recorded nine tackles behind the line of scrimmage on the game. In his last full season with Brevard, Ray had a knack for making big plays, as he was influential in two of the Tornados four victories over SAC schools, recovering a fumble in the final seconds against Lenoir-Rhyne in the 14-9 victory, as well as returning a blocked punt for a touchdown against Catawba in the 7-6 victory over the Indians.
Johnson C. Smith Players to Watch
Keahn Wallace – Wallace opened up his freshman year with the Golden Bulls with a bang, leading Johnson C. Smith to a 64-27 victory over West Virginia State University inside the Irwin Belk Complex on Sept. 3rd. The freshman showed poise in hitting seven different receivers in going 16-of-25 in the passing game for 337 yards and four touchdowns, with a long of 62. Wallace also showed burst to the outside, recording 54 yards rushing and a touchdown on just seven carries. The 6-2, 210 lbs athlete holds the Homestead Senior High School record for passing yards in a season and was selected to the North vs. South All-Star game in 2010.
Derek Johnson II – Derrick Johnson was a force in the Golden Bulls’ season opener, destroying the Yellow Jackets offensive line to the tune of six tackles, 1.5 tackles for loss, a fumble recovery and a sack. A 6-0, 265 lb junior from Charlotte, N.C. and Hopewell High School, Johnson is coming off a season in which he recorded 29 tackles, with 7.5 coming behind the line of scrimmage. He also recorded 4.5 sacks on the season and forced a fumble. Last time against the Tornados, Johnson recorded three solo tackles, with two going behind the line of scrimmage for a loss of five yards.
Kickoff for the 2011 Brevard College Fooball Home Opener is set for 2 p.m. at Brevard Memorial Stadium in Brevard, 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.
Brevard Football Game Information
Johnson C. Smith Game Notes
Brevard College vs Johnson C. Smith LiveStats
Brevard College at Johnson C. Smith Radio Broadcast
Directions to Brevard Memorial Stadium