Brevard, N.C. - Aaron Reese connected with Eric Watts for a 10 yard score and added a one yard plunge in the third quarter, but Josh Wright capped off a 15 play, 97 yard drive with the go-ahead nine yard touchdown run as the Tornados fell on Senior Day in Brevard Memorial Stadium, 17-13.
Salonick Amos had two interceptions and added three more pass breakups, while Prince Simunyu racked up a career high 18 tackles for Brevard (3-7, 1-5 SAC) in their final game in Brevard Memorial Stadium. Rufus Jenkins added a game high 3.5 tackles for loss to go with 11 tackles, while Michael Gist, Anthony Shakir and Christian Lumbu were all in double digits in takedowns as the Tornados fell in the home finale.
Jacob Charest was 15-for-20 through the air for Catawba (3-7, 2-4 SAC) for 171 yards and shook off a pair of interceptions to hook up with Eric Morman for a touchdown. Josh Wright added 58 rushing yards and the winning score, while Kewone Harris and Cory Johnson led the Indians’ defensive efforts with each breaking the double-digit barrier in tackles on the game.
Catawba won the coin toss and elected to receive, starting their opening drive at the 33 yard line. 14 plays and 6:20 later, the Tornados stopped Charest at the line of scrimmage on third-and-3, forcing the Indians to attempt the 24 yard field goal. Thomas Trexler’s effort went spinning sideways, but went through the uprights to put the Indians up 3-0 with 8:40 left in the first quarter.
Jumal Rolle ended a BC drive late in the first quarter, picking off a Reese pass at the Brevard 25 yard line and returned it to the BC 6, before Campbell and Kelvin Jeter pushed him out of bounds. After a pair of Jacorian Brown runs advanced the ball to the BC 3, running out the clock, Amos went up and tip-toed the backline while hauling in Charest’s pass with his right hand, recording the interception and ending the Indians scoring chance.
The Tornados moved the ball down to the Catawba 16 yard line on the ensuing possession, but turned the ball over on downs and the Indians took advantage of a BC face mask penalty and a pair of 20-plus yard completions to Nate Charest and Bobby Morrison before Jacob Charest capped off the 11 play, 84 yard drive with a 10 yard scoring strike to Morman to give the Indians the 10-0 lead with 2:42 to play in the half.
A 32 yard Jeter kickoff return put the Tornados in prime position to score before the half as Brevard took over on their 42 yard line. A six yard carry by Reese on third-and-1 extended the possession and an 18 yard completion from Reese to Andre Overholt gave Brevard first and goal at the Catawba 10 yard line. On the next pass, Reese connected with Watts in the left corner on the fade route as the 6-4 wide receiver wrestled the ball away from the defender before falling to the ground for the score. Austin Clark’s PAT put the score at 10-7 as the teams went into the locker room.
A kick catching interference call gave BC the ball on their own 47 yard line on the Tornados second possession in the third quarter, and Brevard took advantage of the field position as Reese connected with Overholt for a 13 yard completion. After a one yard carry by Rodney Donald, Reese went the rest of the way, carrying the ball three times for 28 yards before closing out the drive with a one yard plunge over the pile to give the Tornados the lead. Clark’s extra point sailed wide right though, to keep the score at 13-10 with 3:45 to play in the quarter.
Amos put the Tornados in position to put the game out of reach, picking off a Charest pass on third-and-5 from the Catawba 25 as time expired in the third quarter, returning the ball 26 yards to the Indians 7 yard line. However, the Indians defense stood up, holding the Tornados to four yards on the drive, before a pair of incompletions turned the ball over on downs at the Catawba 3 yard line.
The Indians used 12 rushes and three passes to move the ball down field, added by an offside call on the Tornados defense, as well as a late hit personal foul which kept the Catawba drive alive, before Wright went up the middle from nine yards out for the go-ahead score, capping off the 15 play, 97 yard drive, chewing up 6:43 off the clock.
On their final drive of the game, Reese kept BC in contention with a nine yard completion to Sean Lampkin on third-and-5 from the BC 43 yard line. A quarterback sack by C.J. Barksdale and Damein Lee three plays later on third-and-9 put the Tornados in a hole and Reese’s final completion to Donald was short of the first down marker, and the Indians were able to run out the clock in recording the 17-13 victory.
For the game, Reese was seven-for-13 through the air for 101 yards and a touchdown, and the senior quarterback was also the leading rusher in the game with 17 carries for 75 yards and the touchdown. Watts added three receptions for 47 yards and a score, while Overholt finished with two catches for 31 yards.
Morman led the Indians receivers with five catches for 56 yards and a touchdown, while Nate Charest added five receptions and 54 yards in the game as the Indians avenged their 7-6 defeat in the Mud Bowl game played at Brevard Memorial Stadium two years ago.
Prior to kickoff, the Tornados recognized their 14 seniors, Christian Lumbu, Caleb Campbell, Richard Ray, Salonick Amos, Derek Church, Charles Chambers, Prince Simunyu, Michael Gist, Rashad Dirton, Aaron Reese, Jerel Drew, Rodney Donald, Adam Cordell and Tyler Fisher during the pregame festivities, as well as senior cheerleaders Terika Pearcy, Ki’era Gash, Amanda Metcalf, Alice Klochkova and Krisma Sellers. All of the football seniors served as team captains for the Tornados during the pregame coin flip.
Brevard wraps up the 2011 football regular season next weekend as they travel to Newberry, S.C. to take on Newberry College in the season finale for both teams. Kickoff between the Tornados and the Wolves is set for 2 p.m.