Brevard, N.C. – The Brevard College Tornados will look for their first South Atlantic Conference win at home this Saturday afternoon, as the Tornados will play host to No. 17 Carson-Newman College on Homecoming Weekend. The kick-off is slated for a 2 p.m. start time with Homecoming festivities scheduled for both before and during halftime of the game.
Having switched back to the triple option offensive attack two games ago, the Tornados have seen their offensive production increase, particularly in the ground game. In BC’s last two games, the Tornados have rushed for 542 yards and have put 56 points on the scoreboard.
In the lost to Mars Hill last week, the Tornado offense protected the ball well, turning the ball over one time on a miss-handled snap. Against the Eagles, sophomore quarterback Trey Wilborn will be given the task to run the offense successfully, by protecting the ball, gaining yards and keeping the Carson-Newman offense off the field. Since becoming quarterback Wilborn has rushed for 206 yards and one touchdown, as the running attack for BC has resurged. Senior running back John Taylor along with Desmond Wilson and Xavier Johnson will all see some snaps in the down-back position, while slot-backs Donald Hudson, Shaton Pratt and Matthew Gaines, a converted quarterback, will all play a huge part in the offensive option attack on Saturday.
On the defensive side of the ball, Defensive Coordinator Scott Brumett and the Tornados will face perhaps their toughest challenge this season in the Carson-Newman Eagles. The Eagles have seven pre-season all-sac selections and can score from anywhere on the field. Junior linebacker Stanley Jones, who leads the SAC in tackles with 67 total take downs, will head a linebacking corp. that will be asked to make plays all over the field. Fellow linebackers Brandon Rawls, 44 tackles and three sacks, and Zac McAlister, 41 tackles, along with freshman Prince Simunyu, who is coming back off an injury, will all be challenged on every snap as the Eagles will look to run the ball effectively.
Safety’s Joshua Durm and Michael Gist, who were in almost over play against Mars Hill a week ago, will both be in charge of preventing the long-plays in both the run and passing attack of Carson-Newman. The defensive line - headlined by juniors Travis Flynn and John Hardee - will have to make plays up front against a much larger C-N offensive line in order for the Tornados to be successful on Saturday.
The Carson-Newman Eagles, the 2008 Coaches Pre-Season selection to win the South Atlantic Conference, returned 21 starters from last year’s 10-1 team that shared the league crown.
The Eagles, who were No. 7 in the nation in many polls at the start of the season, are 5-2 overall on the year with their two losses coming to then No. 3 North Alabama and a overtime thriller with Newberry College.
The No. 17 Eagles are a high-powered and high-scoring offense that is the top-scoring offense in the South Atlantic Conference, as they have scored 314 points on the season, an average of close to 45 points per game. In four of their first seven games, the Eagles have pushed across 59 points are more, with two of those games coming against SAC opponents. The Eagles offense is first in the SAC in rushing offense, averaging 318.7 yards per game.
The C-N offense is led by Pre-Season All-Conference First Team selections quarterback Alex Good and running back Buck Wakefield. Good leads the Eagles in both rushing and in passing, as he as rushed for 621 yards on 84 carries and seven touchdowns, an average of 7.4 yards per attempt and 88.7 yards per game. Through the air, Good is 36-of-68 for 758 yards, nine touchdowns and four interceptions. Wakefield has 542 yards on 58 rushing attempts with eight touchdowns, an average of 9.3 yards per carry.
However, the Eagles have a number of other weapons on the offensive side of the ball, as running backs Ricky Harris, Tony Richardson, quarterback Joel Statham as well as receivers Reggie Hubbard, Otis Miller and Mo Whitten are all capable of making big plays and finding the end zone.
Defensively, the Eagles are allowing 152.4 yards per game on the ground, something that the Tornados will like to take advantage of with their triple option offensive attack. The Eagles are giving up close to 24 points per game, but have forced 16 turnovers on the season, including 11 fumbles.
Pre-Season All SAC First Team selections Otis Ballard and Brian Brown are in the top-three in tackles for the Eagles along with defensive back Mario Russell. Ballard leads the team with 23 solo tackles and two interceptions. Russell leads the team with 31 total tackles over the first seven games and also has two interceptions, while linebacker Brown leads the team with six tackles for loss, including a team-high three sacks for the year.
The Tornados have only faced the Carson-Newman Eagles once before on the gridiron with that game coming one-year ago, Saturday, October 27, 2007, in Jefferson City, Tennessee. The Eagles used a big first half, outscoring BC 31-0, to pull away and pick up the 52-13 win.
The kickoff time is slated for 2 p.m. at Brevard Memorial Stadium in Brevard, N.C. The shuttle buses begin running at 12 p.m. and the gates will open at that time as well, two hours prior to the opening kickoff.
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.
Football Game Notes - No. 17 Carson-Newman vs. Brevard College