Indianapolis, Ind. - With two weeks remaining in the 2008 season, several Tornado football players remain ranked among the statistical leaders in both NCAA Division II and the South Atlantic Conference statistics.
Linebacker Stanley Jones (Spartanburg, S.C.) continues to lead the SAC in tackles. On the heels of an 18-tackle performance last week against Carson-Newman, Jones has 85 tackles, averaging 10.8 per game. That average is a full 1.4 tackles per game clear of the next leading tackler, Mars Hill's Keadran Pinckney. The defensive stalwart is ranked 10th nationally in tacklers per game.
Punter Luke Lovelace (Hendersonville, N.C.) is 2nd in the SAC in punting, averaging 39.4 yards per punt. That average is 37th best in Division II. Lovelace and a fantastic coverage team are the biggest reason why the Tornados lead the conference in net punting, at 35.7 yards per punt.
Running back John Taylor (Richmond, Va.) ranks 7th in the conference, averaging 63.8 yards per game. The senior is the 90th best rusher statistically in the nation.
Punt returner Jared Light (Kernersville, N.C.) ranks 4th in the conference, averaging 7.4 yards per return. Light is ranked 66th nationally in the category.
Kick returner Shorick Johnson (Seneca, S.C.) is averaging 21.7 yards per return, 8th best in the SAC. Johnson checks in 92nd nationally in the category.
Several other Tornados are listed in the SAC statistical leaders. Rover Michael Gist (North Augusta, Ga.) is tied for 5th in the conference in interceptions, with two. Kicker Chase Henry (Franklin, N.C.) is fifth in the conference in PAT kicking percentage, having connected on 83.3% of extra points. Linebacker Zac McAlister (Iowa Park, Tex.) is 15th in the conference, averaging 6.5 tackles per game. Fellow linebacker Brandon Rawls (Perry, Ga.) is 16th, at 6.4 tackles per game, while safety Josh Durm (Franklin, N.C.) is tied for 17th with 6.3 stops per contest. Rawls is 10th in the league in sacks, with 0.4 per game, while Johnson and Durm are each tied for 3rd in fumbles forced, having dislodged two fumbles apiece. Durm and defensive tackle Travis Flynn (Hendersonville, N.C.) have each recovered two fumble, tied for 2nd in the league.
The Tornados (1-7, 0-5 SAC) travel to Salisbury, N.C. Saturday to face Catawba College.