Wingate, N.C. - Shaton Pratt scored from four yards out and Eric Watts out-jumped Robert Fletcher for an eight-yard fade, but the Tornados were unable to overcome a costly turnover and several drive-killing penalties in falling on the road to Wingate, 28-12.
The loss is the Tornados first on the season, breaking a modern team record five-game winning streak, as Brevard moves to 5-1, 1-1 in the South Atlantic Conference, while Wingate improves to 4-1, 2-0 in SAC play.
Michael Crumbaker picked up 98 yards on the ground on 22 carries to lead the Tornados rushing attack, which came into the game averaging 322.0 yards per game. Brevard was able to rack up 238 yards on the ground on 63 carries, with Shaton Pratt coming through with 58 yards on seven carries to go with his touchdown jaunt.
In the air, Matthew Gaines went two of six, throwing for 22 yards, with a long of 15 going to Lawrence Martin. Crumbaker was also one of two in passing, for eight yards with a touchdown.
Eric Watts again had an outstanding game for the Tornados, punting six times for 266 yards, an average of 44.3 yards per kick, including a season-long 68-yarder, pinning the Bulldogs inside the 20-yard line twice.
Stanley Jones and Prince Simunyu led the Tornados defense for the day, with Jones coming through with 11 tackles, including a sack at the end of the game, to go with 1.5 tackles for loss, while Simunyu racked up his third straight game with at least 10 tackles, putting down 10 Bulldog offensive players, with one going for loss. Donald Hudson also had a big game, with three tackles and an interception he returned 30-yards.
Brevard opened the game with the ball, holding it for six plays and picking up a first down as Neville Bryce carried it across the line of scrimmage with a one-yard plunge on 3rd-and-1, but on the following first down play, a Tornado penalty negated a long run by Martin and Brevard was unable to recover, being forced to punt.
Wingate responded on their first offensive play of the game as Cody Haffly, off the play-action fake, found a wide-open Philip Thomas for a 69-yard scoring strike, putting the Bulldogs up with 11:27 remaining in the first quarter, 7-0.
Brevard was forced into a three-and-out on their second possession and Wingate responded with a seven-play, 58 yard drive capped off by Vince Jordan rushing for 2 yards through the Tornados left side for the Bulldogs’ second touchdown of the day.
The score would remain the same going into halftime.
Wingate opened up the second half on their first possession, marching the ball down the field on an 11 play, 57 yard drive, taking 4:03 off the clock as Haffly found Delric Ellington for a five-yard fade in the left corner of the end zone to increase the lead to 21-0.
Brevard got on the scoreboard on the following drive as the Tornados turned in one of their trademark grinding drives, taking 15 plays to march 74 yards, chewing up 7:37 off the clock before Pratt plunged in from four yards out. Chase Henry pushed the extra point right, leaving the score at 21-6 with 3:20 left in the third quarter.
Brevard forced a Wingate punt with 25 seconds left in the quarter and the Tornados took over on their 23, but on the first play of the drive, a miscommunication between Crumbaker and fullback John Compton left the ball on the turf where it was recovered by the Bulldogs’ Mico Drew.
Wingate immediately capitalized, as Haffly found Chris Bowden falling into the end zone for a 20-yard scoring strike to make the score 28-6.
Neither team was able to move the ball halfway through the fourth quarter, before Brevard took over for their second possession of the period. A 10-yard scamper by Martin led to a 16-yard run by Crumbaker, which turned into a 31-yard gain, thanks in part to a face mask penalty charged to the Wingate defense, setting up the Tornados with a first down at the WU 24-yard line.
Four plays later, Brevard capitalized as Crumbaker found Watts in the left corner of the end zone to put the score at 28-12 with 4:10 left in the game.
Brevard held possession once more in the game, but was unable to score as Wingate closed out the game, holding onto the win, 28-12.
Brevard returns home to Brevard Memorial Stadium on Saturday, October 10th, as the Tornados host Tusculum College. Kickoff for the game between the Tornados and Pioneers is set for 6 p.m.