Brevard, N.C. – The Brevard College Tornados will be on the road again for the second week in a row on Saturday afternoon, as Coach Hamilton’s squad will take on the Lions of Mars Hill College. This is the second year in a row in which the Tornados have played the Lions at Meares Stadium in Mars Hill, N.C. The two teams that are only 50 miles apart will kick-off the afternoon tilt at 1:30 p.m.
The Tornados are coming off a thrilling offensive showcase, in which BC fell in a slugfest to Tusculum 55-42 last Saturday afternoon. In the loss the Tornados had a season-high points (42 points), rushes (70 attempts), rushing yards (356 yards), yards per rush (5.1), rushing touchdowns (5), total plays (76), total offense (394 yards) and first downs (23).
The Tornados offense, which has searched for an identity all season long, looks to have gone back to the triple-option running attack with sophomore Trey Wilborn moving back to quarterback after playing most of the season on the defensive side of the ball at safety.
Last week against Tusculum, Wilborn had a season-high 116 rushing yards and one touchdown. Wilborn helped lead the offensive charge, as he averaged 8.3 yards per carry. Junior fullbacks Xavier Johnson and Desmond Wilson, who both saw a significant amount of action for the first time all season at Tusculum, each had 16 rushing attempts with Johnson gaining 74 yards and Wilson picking up 64 yards and a touchdown via a three-yard pass from Wilborn. Senior John Taylor, back from an injury that had sidelined him for the previous three weeks, had a touchdown run in limited action.
Again junior receiver Donald Hudson came up big for BC, this time by way of the ground game, as Hudson had two touchdowns out of the backfield for the Tornados against the Pioneers. Hudson also completed a pass for 35 yards on a BC trick play.
Defensively the Tornados will look to regroup, as Tusculum was able to move the ball all over the field enroute to scoring 55 points. Tusculum had 351 passing yards and 128 rushing yards on Saturday, which leaves the young BC defense, which played seven freshmen at a time on Saturday, to look to improve against the passing attack.
Freshman Michael Gist, who will get the start at free safety with Wilborn moving to quarterback, will look to make plays against the Lions. Gist has two interceptions on the year to go along with 29 total tackles. Junior linebackers Stanley Jones, who leads the SAC in tackles with 58, and Brandon Rawls will both be asked to keep pressure on the Mars Hill quarterback as well as help in pass coverage against the Lions short passing game.
The Lions, who were picked sixth in the SAC Pre-Season Coaches Poll, is 5-3 overall and 1-2 in conference play having upset No. 25 Newberry College, 27-6 last Saturday.
Mars Hill will bring a fairly balanced offensive attack on Saturday afternoon, as the Lions have rushed for 1,339 yards and passed for 1,274 yards on the season. The Lions are averaging 373.3 yards per game and will look to keep the Tornado defense guessing.
The Lions are led by quarterback Ricky Spradling, as the senior has got it done through both the air thus far in 2008. Spradling has completed 65 of 129 pass attempts for 1,184 yards and eight touchdowns, while throwing five interceptions. Spradling is first in total offense with an average of 197.7 yards per game for the Mars Hill offense. On the ground, the Lions have 12 different players with at least three rushing attempts, headlined by tailback George Washington’s 114 carries for 586 yards and five touchdowns. Fullback Elroy Harris, their short yardage back, has rushed 13 times for 45 yards but has three touchdowns on the season. Running back Jonas Randolph will also see a lot of snaps in the offensive backfield as he has 35 carries for 215 yards for three touchdowns of his own.
On defense, the Lions have allowed 1,234 yards on the ground in their first seven contests and are giving up 373.4 yards per game. The Lions have forced 17 fumbles, recovering nine of them, and have picked off six passes on the season.
Linebackers Zach Johnson and Stan Galbraith led the way for the Mars Hill defense, as Johnson has a team-high 63 total tackles, one interception, one forced fumbled and three sacks. Galbraith has 48 total tackles, but leads the team with four sacks and three forced fumbles.
Defensive backs Keadran Pinckey and Brandon Edmond will also look to make big plays both at the line of scrimmage and on the outside, as the two have combined for 88 total tackles, one sack, one interception, one forced fumble and four pass breakups on the season.
The Tornados are 0-2 against the Lions of Mars Hill, having lost to them once in each of the last two seasons. Last year, Mars Hill used a big second half to defeat the Tornados 35-7 at Meares Stadium. In 2006, the two teams first ever match up on the gridiron; the Lions came into Brevard, N.C. and shut out the Tornados, winning 55-0.
The kickoff time is slated for a 1:30 p.m. at Meares Stadium in Mars Hill, N.C.
Fans of all ages who want to make the trip; the Brevard College Athletics Department invites you to ride the Booster Bus to the game. For $40 per person, you will receive a ride to and from the game, participate in a tailgate party and will receive an admission ticket to the game. For more information call the athletics office at (828) 884-8276.
You can catch the game via live broadcast brought to you by the “Voice of the Tornados” Rob Walden over the radio at WSQL 1240 AM or over the Internet at www.wsqlradio.com. You may also visit the Brevard College Athletics website at www.BCTornados.com.
Brevard College vs. Mars Hill College Football Game Notes