BREVARD, N.C.-The Brevard College football team begins their sixth season in the South Atlantic Conference and their seventh under the reigns of Head Coach Paul Hamilton as they visit the Presbyterian Blue Hose tomorrow afternoon for the 2013 opener.
Kickoff is set for 2 p.m. at Bailey Memorial Stadium in Clinton, South Carolina. The Blue Hose are coming off a 31-7 loss in their season opener at Wake Forest last Thursday.
The two teams are meeting in Clinton for the second time in as many seasons. PC emerged with a 45-10 victory in 2012.
The Tornados are returning eight starters on both sides of the football in 2013 and are coming off a season where they were the least penalized football team in the country, averaging just three penalties per game. Offensively, their rushing attack finished 14th in NCAA Division II football last season. On the defensive side, linebackers Michael Gruber and Billy Muscatello are both returning after finishing in the top five in the conference in total tackles in 2012.
Brevard looks to continue its rushing success after the Tornados accumulated 200-plus rushing yards in five of the team’s 11 games last season, including 415 yards at Tusculum on September 29th and a school-record 559 yards against Southern Virginia on October 13th.
All-American fullback Jordan Ollis will lead the Tornados ground game. The junior carried the ball 129 times for 558 yards and seven touchdowns for the Tornados last season. Former SAC Freshman of the Year Kelvin Jeter and Andre Overholt, last season’s Team MVP, will serve as dual threats out of the slot position. Overholt picked up 372 rushing yards and a touchdown coupled with 151 receiving yards and pair of touchdowns last season while Jeter gears up after a leg injury cut his 2012 campaign short.
The Tornados will look to Tanner Wright to step into the role of starting quarterback in 2013. The junior began the transition from defensive back to quarter back last season before a knee injury shelved his season in late October.
Preseason All-SAC First Team selection Andrew Velazquez anchors the offensive line along with fellow senior Garrett Johnson. Dylan Hornor and Dylan Dunbar are another pair of starters returning to the offensive line to bolster the Tornados in the trenches.
The Tornados have eight starters returning on the defensive side under new co- Defensive Coordinators Chris Bland and Tommy Pursley.
The Brevard linebacking corps will be one of the top in the conference, led by preseason All-SAC picks Gruber and Muscatello. Gruber set a Brevard College record for total tackles in a season with 117 last season, which was second in the SAC. Muscatello, a senior this season, finished third in tackles with 110 in 2012. A pair of seniors fortify the group as Rufus Jenkins and Anthony Shakir suit up for their final season in Brevard after combining for 101 tackles last fall. Jenkins also led BC with 7.5 tackles for loss as a junior.
Preseason All-SAC selection Rommie Fairchild returns as the senior leader for the Tornados defensive line after recording 37 tackles and a pair of sacks as a junior. Senior Gus Dukuly’s 3.5 sacks last season leads all returners, while junior Landon Allen will also help solidify the Tornados in the trenches.
Senior Devon Holmes, who finished fourth on the team last season with 50 total tackles, will lead the BC secondary with the help of sophomore Jeremy Chandler. As a true freshman, Chandler averaged three tackles per game last season.