Brevard, N.C.- Despite pulling within seven points of Presbyterian College late in the second quarter, the Tornados couldn’t overcome an early 17-0 deficit and fell to the Blue Hose 45-10 at Bailey Memorial Stadium on Saturday.
Presbyterian’s Michael Ruff returned the opening kickoff 92 yards for a touchdown to give the Blue Hose a 7-0 advantage. A Shawn Armstrong touchdown run later in the first quarter and an Aaron Mayes field goal in the second would give the home team a 17-0 lead.
The Tornados, however, would answer with 10 straight points of their own.
A 38-yard run by Andre Overholt sparked an eight-play, 54-yard drive to put the Tornados into field goal range early in the second quarter. A 40-yard field goal by Ben Noboa would make it 17-3.
Brevard’s defense then forced a three-and-out, giving the Tornados the ball at their own 20-yard line with 6:40 remaining in the first half.
The Tornados then drove 80 yards to score their first touchdown of the season with 1:13 remaining in the second quarter. Eric Watts hauled in a five-yard touchdown pass from Aaron Reese to culminate the drive, and put Brevard within a touchdown of Presbyterian. The duo connected for 68 yards in the air on the afternoon, including a game-long 27-yard pass on the touchdown drive. Reese finished 9-for-15 with 81 yards and a touchdown, and also scrambled for 34 yards.
However, the Blue Hose were able to swing the momentum back in their favor before the half concluded after Presbyterian’s Joel Ruiz returned the kickoff 12 yards to the Presbyterian 43-yard line. Two quick passes from quarterback Tamyn Garrick to Michael Ruff moved the football to Brevard’s 44-yard line.
After a four-yard pass to Derel Howard, Garrick found Arthur Williams in the end zone with a 39-yard touchdown pass with :24 seconds remaining in the half. Presbyterian went into the half with a 24-10 lead, and the Tornados never got the momentum back in their favor.
The Blue Hose finished with 240 yards on the ground on the afternoon, including four rushing touchdowns. Lance Byrd ran for 109 yards on 13 carries to lead the Blue Hose rushing attack, while Demarcus Rouse gained 83 yards on eight carries and scored three rushing touchdowns for Presbyterian.
Overholt and Kelvin Jeter each ran for 53 yards for the Tornados, who finished with 179 rushing yards as a team.
Brevard opens their 2012 home campaign on Saturday, September 8th against Virginia Union University at Brevard Memorial Stadium. Kickoff is set for 6 p.m.