Brevard, N.C. - Aaron Reese set a Brevard single game record with five rushing touchdowns and Reese, Kelvin Jeter and Jack Woerner all broke the century mark on the ground as the Tornados overcame a 94-yard kickoff return for a touchdown by Deonte Gist in the first play of the game to defeat the visiting Tusculum Pioneers, 41-24.
Reese broke the single game rushing touchdown record set last season by both Thadus Benton and Neville Bryce and he led the Tornados (2-3, 1-2 SAC) with 153 yards on 19 carries as Brevard recorded a season high 388 rushing yards in the game, while holding the ball for 38:06 in the game. Woerner recorded his first 100-plus yard rushing game in his first start on the season, carrying the ball 26 times for 113 yards and a touchdown, while Jeter added 110 yards on 14 carries as the Tornados recorded their first conference win of the season.
Kyle Dickey led the Pioneers with 43 rushing yards and went 9-for-15 for 63 yards through the air, while Torrey Slaven came in during the second half and went 4-for-5 for 62 yards with touchdown tosses to Michael Rodriguez and Gist to lead the Pioneers offense in the game.
The Pioneers won the coin toss and elected to receive the ball, and Gist took advantage of the early opportunity, catching the ball on the six yard line and weaved his way through the BC defense, shrugging off a tackle before outdistancing the field as he went 94 yards for the touchdown to put the Pioneers up 7-0 just 13 seconds into the game.
Jeter nearly matched Gist on the following kickoff, taking the ball at the Brevard eight yard line and carrying it up the right side line for 56 yards, before getting knocked out by Tusculum kicker Logan Cornelius at the TC 36 yard line, setting up the Tornados first drive. Buoyed by the excellent field position, the Tornados moved the ball down the field in six plays, with Reese carrying the ball over the goal line for the tying score at the 11:49 mark in the first half.
The Tornados began their next possession on their own 18 yard line following a Tusculum punt, but Jeter swapped the field, taking the pitch on the first play for scrimmage around the right side for 46 yards, moving the ball to the TC 36 yard line. Six plays later, Reese faked the handoff up the middle to Woerner and walked across the goal line around the left tackle to put the Tornados up 13-7. The ensuing extra point was blocked and Justin Arrington returned the ball all the way to the end zone, but a tripping penalty took the points off the board as the score remained 13-7 with 5:41 to play in the opening quarter.
Brevard moved the ball again on their first possession of the second half as Reese and Woerner ripped off long carries as the Tornados advanced the ball from their own 28 yard line down to the Tusculum 18 yard line on eight plays, but the Pioneers defense stood their ground, forcing a fourth down. Austin Clark’s 35 yard field goal attempt was tipped at the line of scrimmage and fell short as the Pioneers special teams again came up big as the score remained 13-7.
After a Tusculum three-and-out, the Tornados moved the ball 52 yards on eight plays, with Reese earning the bulk of the yards with carries of 12 and 14 yards before going around the right end and out-racing the defense for the pylon on a 31 yard touchdown scamper to put the Tornados up 20-7.
The Pioneers attempted one final drive before the half, moving the ball deep into BC territory, recording first and goal on the Brevard nine yard line, but miscommunication between the Tusculum sideline and the quarterback ended with the clock running out as TC was unable to put any points on the board as the teams went into the half with BC up 20-7.
The Pioneers took over after the Tornados opening drive in the second half stalled at the TC 34 yard line, but on Tusculum’s first play from scrimmage, Dickey was stripped by Christian Lumbu and Anthony Shakir pounced on the loose ball to give BC the ball on the 27 yard line. Four plays later, Reese picked up his fourth rushing touchdown of the game, carrying the ball in from 15 yards out to give the Tornados the 27-10 lead with 6:13 left in the third quarter.
A Brevard special teams miscue extended the next Pioneers possession as Andre Overholt was unable to corral Any Rosetti’s punt attempt, giving Tusculum the ball on the BC 18 yard line, and Slaven gave TC their first offensive touchdown of the game, finding Rodriguez in the right flat from six yards out to cut the lead back to 10 at 27-17.
The Tornados fumbled on their next possession as Woerner lost control of the ball at the Tusculum 49 yard line, and flashbacks of last week’s heartbreaking loss to Wingate began to flash in the fans’ minds. However, Rufus Jenkins quickly ended those concerns as the sophomore linebacker picked the ball off the turf after a miscommunication between Slaven and Marcus Foster, and the BC linebacker was tackled down at the Tusculum four yard line.
Woerner plowed up the middle two plays later, extending the lead back to 34-17 with 42 seconds left in the third quarter.
Tusculum continued to showcase their special teams as Foster returned the following kickoff 62 yards down to the Brevard eight yard line, and Slaven found Gist in the end zone from eight yards out, as the Pioneers answered the BC touchdown over a period of 14 seconds to put the score at 34-24 heading into the final quarter.
Reese scored the record breaking touchdown, closing out a six play, 64 yard drive, diving in from two yards out to give the Tornados the 41-24 advantage, and though Tusculum challenged to cut back into the lead, Cornelius’ 28 yard field goal attempt was hooked left and neither team was able to add to the score as the Tornados recorded their second consecutive victory over the Pioneers in the friendly confines of Brevard Memorial Stadium.
Prince Simunyu led the Tornados defense with 11 tackles, while Christian Lumbu added 10 tackles, 2.5 behind the line of scrimmage and 1.5 sacks as he continued to build onto his lead in the South Atlantic Conference sack standings. Shakir added two fumble recoveries to go with six tackles, while C.J. Wilson had eight tackles and a half sack for the BC defense as the Tornados held the Pioneers underneath 150 passing yards for the first time since Tusculum took on the Liberty Flames on September 1, 2007.
Boomer Brown and Brian Alexander each led the Pioneers defense with 10 tackles, while Desmond Raiford recorded a fumble recovery as Tusculum fell to 0-4 in the conference.
The Tornados remain in South Atlantic Conference play as they take to the road next week, traveling to Hickory, N.C. to take on Lenoir-Rhyne University. Kickoff between the Tornados and the Bears at Moretz Stadium is set for 2 p.m.