Buena Vista, Va. - Led by Rodney Donald and Jack Woerner’s 100-plus yard rushing performances, the Tornados overcame seven turnovers and an early deficit as Brevard defeated Southern Virginia University at Bobby Williams Field on Saturday afternoon, 41-21.
The Tornados (3-4) racked up 519 rushing yards in the game, the largest rushing amount total in the NCAA Division II this season, as the Tornados tied the school record set last season against Southern Virginia. Donald led the way with 191 yards on 19 carries, crossing the goal line twice, while Jack Woerner carried the ball 15 times for 102 yards and a score. Andre Overholt also added 94 yards and a touchdown on six carries as the Tornados averaged 7.4 yards per carry in the game.
Mitch Stevenson went 21-of-40 through the air for 216 yards in leading the SVU (2-4) offense, with Dewayne Beamon and Brick Wilce both hauling in five catches for the Knights. Jerry Washington and Terry Eytcheson both added rushing scores for Southern Virginia as the Knights fell to 0-3 against the Tornados in the all-time series.
Southern Virginia was first on the scoreboard, taking advantage of the first Brevard fumble of the afternoon in starting their second drive of the game on the Brevard 38 yard line. Stevenson completed a 10 yard pass to Beamon on third-and-three to keep the drive alive, and three plays later Washington plunged over the goal line from one yard out to give SVU the 7-0 advantage with 7:17 left in the first quarter.
The Tornados went three-and-out on their following possession, and Southern Virginia wasted no time in striking next as Stevenson found Beamon down the sideline for a 62 yard completion and following a BC sideline interference penalty, gave SVU the ball on the BC 13 yard line. Eytcheson carried the ball in on the next play to give the Knights the 14-0 lead with 4:24 left in the first quarter in front of their Homecoming crowd.
The Tornados rallied back on their first play from scrimmage on their next possession as Donald took the handoff from Reese and sprinted 50 yards, past the goal line to halve the deficit with 4:04 on the clock in the opening quarter.
Brevard evened the score in the second quarter on their first drive as Donald capped off a seven play, 68 yard drive with a five yard run, tying the game up at 14 apiece. The drive included a 26 yard carry by Overholt, using up 2:14 off the clock as the Tornados evened the score with 9:38 remaining in the half.
Southern Virginia’s next drive stalled was cut short abruptly when Michael Gist stepped in front of a Stevenson pass at the SVU 46 yard line, recording his first interception of the season and 10th of his career. The Tornados took two plays into recording their first lead of the game as Reese found Eric Watts in the end zone from 31 yards out with 7:42 left in the first half to put Brevard up 21-14.
Neither team was able to score the remainder of the half, but the Tornados were able to expand their lead in the third quarter, with Woerner carrying the load. The freshman fullback opened the drive at the SVU 45 yard line with a 24 yard carry, and then one play later went up the middle for 21 yards, crossing the goal line to put Brevard up 28-14 with 6:20 left in the third quarter.
Another interception led to Brevard points at the start of the fourth quarter as Rashad Dirton picked off a pass, returning it 18 yards back to the Brevard 44 yard line. On the first play from scrimmage, Overholt took the pitch around the end, carrying the ball 56 yards and outracing the defense to the pylon to give BC the 35-14 advantage.
Turnovers again were the story of the next score, this time with Southern Virginia taking advantage of Brevard miscues as Kody Winsor picked up a mistimed BC pitch and rumbled in from 10 yards out to cut into the lead with 12:58 left in the game.
Brevard recorded one final score in the contest as senior fullback Jerel Drew carried ended a seven play, 70 yard drive with a three-yard scoring plunge with 1:01 left in the contest, but Arrick Blevins’ extra point attempt missed to put the score at 41-21.
On their last gasp, Stevenson was again picked off by Gist and the Tornados ran out the clock to defeat the Knights, 41-21.
Reese was three-of-14 through the air for 63 yards and a touchdown, while Watts hauled in two catches for 44 yards. Ten Brevard running backs recorded positive yardage in the game, led by Donald and Woerner, while Overholt and Drew both recorded their first career rushing touchdowns.
Defensively, the Tornados were led by Anthony Shakir with 10 tackles, while Prince Simunyu recorded nine solo tackles in the victory. Gist added seven tackles to go with his two interceptions and Christian Lumbu expanded on his conference leading sacks total with two more quarterback takedowns and 3.5 tackles for loss in the win.
Brevard returns home to Brevard Memorial Stadium on Saturday, October 22nd, as they welcome North Greenville University to BC’s 2011 Homecoming Game. Kickoff between the Tornados and the Crusaders is set for 2 p.m.