Pikeville, Ky. - Neville Bryce dove in from the one-yard line twice and Austin Williams had a key interception on the first drive of the game as the Tornados ran past Pikeville College on the road, 40-3.
Michael Crumbaker became the second Tornado to break the century mark this season, carrying the ball for 112 yards on 20 carries. Bryce contributed 68 yards on 18 carries, carrying the ball over the goal line twice in the first quarter as the Tornados racked up 22 first downs in the game, 17 of them on the ground. Brevard controlled the clock in their second game of the season, holding onto the ball for 37:22 minutes of the game and piling up 312 yards on the ground to dominate time of possession.
When the Tornados took to the air in the game Crumbaker went 4-6, with an interception, targeting Jeron Sikes three times for 28 yards, with all three catches going for first downs and keeping drives alive.
Pikeville was led by Jeremy Mobley, carrying the ball 12 times for 42 yards. Chase Ellis led the passing attack, going 7-14 with an interception, with his favorite target being Marcus Gilliam who hauled in four passes for 30 yards.
On the defensive side, Prince Simunyu took charge, leading a group which held the Bears to 75 total yards in the game. The sophomore outside linebacker racked up seven total tackles. Four of his tackles were for a loss, forcing the Bears to go back 24 yards and he also recorded a sack of Ellis. Stanley Jones and Donald Hudson each recorded four tackles for the Tornados.
Terry Hunter and Jamar Porter each recorded seven tackles to lead the Bears. John Brown had an interception off Crumbaker, while Nigel Charles recorded a sack.
Pikeville won the toss and chose to open the game with the ball. After a 20-yard return by Anson Cunningham, the Tornados defense took over as Simunyu and John Hardee drove the Bears back seven yards in their first two plays. On the third play, as Ellis dropped back to pass, he targeted Bobby Owens, but pressure forced a lob which Austin Williams jumped for, catching it at the peak and bringing it down to give the Tornados possession on the Pikeville 38.
On first down, Crumbaker faked the entire defense out, carrying the ball down the left sideline for 37 yards before being forced out-of-bounds at the one-yard line. Bryce carried it in from there, giving the Tornados the early 7-0 lead 2:27 into the game.
Following a Pikeville three-and-out, the Tornados started the first of what would be many extended drives on the day. Brevard opened the drive on their own 40 yard-line. 6:28 and 14 plays later, the Tornados punched the ball across the goal line on fourth down as Bryce carried it across the white line to put Brevard up 14-0.
Pikeville got on the board at the beginning of the second quarter after the Tornados first turnover of the season. Kyle Chilton, the Bears All-American kicker put one through the uprights from 44 yards out on a possession caused by a Bryce fumble to make the score 14-3.
Brevard was forced to punt on the ensuing possession after a penalty drove them back from a first down, but a booming 56-yard kick off the foot of sophomore Eric Watts forced Pikeville to start their next possession at their own 20.
On the first play of the drive, Preseason Second Team All-Conference defensive back Michael Gist came up from his safety position to force a fumble out of Bears’ Alston Norris which was recovered by Justin Jefferson to give the Tornados excellent field position at the Pikeville 25.
Brevard capitalized on the turnover as Crumbaker carried the ball into the end zone four plays later on a five-yard run off the left tackle to give the Tornados a 21-3 lead with 10:44 left in the first half.
Brevard threatened to put points on the board two more times in the first half, but an interception by John Brown and a 36-yard field goal attempt as the clock was running out forced caused the score to remain 21-3 as the teams went into the locker room.
Both teams swapped possessions to start of the second half, before Brevard went on a long drive, capped off by a five-yard sprint by Shaton Pratt off the pitch from Crumbaker increased the lead to 28-3. The 14 play, 78 yard drive lasted 6:45 as the Tornados started to churn out yards against a tiring Bears defense.
Pikeville put together a drive of their own, starting on their 36 and moving the ball to Brevard’s 25 before trotting out Chilton to attempt another kick. A high snap went through the hands of holder Levi Hanks and Salonik Amos picked up the bouncing ball and carried it the remaining 57 yards into the end zone, escorted by the entire defense to give the Tornados a commanding 34-3 lead after the Bears blocked Chase Henry’s extra-point attempt with 14:48 left in the game
The Tornados scored one more touchdown in the closing seconds of the game as Derek Church rumbled over the goal line as Brevard marched down the field, using 19 plays to go 80 yards, killing off 10:32 off the clock. Pikeville again blocked the PAT attempt to put the score at 40-3.
Other statistics of note throughout the game, Justin Fleming had 10 carries for 44 yards, Richard Bush had seven carries for 34 yards and Jefferson and Eric Conner both combined for a sack on Ellis.
Brevard sets their sights now on next week as the Tornados head home to Brevard Memorial Stadium to take on the Hawks of Chowan University. Last year’s contest was a down-to-the-wire thriller as the Hawks came from behind to defeat the Tornados 23-20. Kickoff for the Brevard College home opener is set for 2 p.m.