BREVARD, N.C. – Brad Green's field goal at the 14:54 mark of the fourth quarter provided Ferrum with a three-point edge that it would not relinquish as the Panthers escaped with a 27-24 win at Brevard on Saturday afternoon at Brevard Memorial Stadium.
Ferrum (5-2) scored the go-ahead field goal after putting together a five-play, 41-yard drive that began at its own 28-yard line. The drive was highlighted by a 17-yard completion from Zack Clifford to Josh Bare, who moved the Panthers to the Brevard five. The Tornado defense made a three successful stops, allowing just three yards, forcing the field goal by Green.
Brevard (3-5) had three possessions in the final quarter, including their opening drive of the frame which began at their own 36-yard line, but all were stalled by the Panther defense. The best opportunity to score came on the opening drive of the frame as the combination of O'Shay Carter in the pocket, who connected with Bubba Craven for a 10-yard gain, and Nazayah Brown's three-yard gain moved the ball to the Ferrum 45. It was there that the Panthers recorded and sack and forced an incompletion to end the drive.
Leading 17-10 as the two teams emerged from the locker rooms, Brevard capitalized on a holding penalty that negated a 96-yard kickoff return by Mann to open the third.
Two possessions later, after taking over on the Brevard 40-yard line, Clifford found an open Dre Davis for a 14-yard touchdown to knot the contest at 17-all.
The Tornados quickly regained the lead with a touchdown of their own on the ensuing possession. Two plays into a drive that began at the 32-yard line, Carter hit an open Xavier Brown who gained 26 yards to move into Panther territory. He then hit Bubba Craven in the corner of the endzone, who fumbled the ball after being hit by teammate Justin Peck, and recovered the fumble on the goal line for the final Tornado touchdown.
Among the offensive leaders for Brevard were Nazayah Brown, who gained 58 yards on 13 carries, Craven, who finished with a team-best 65 receiving yards, and Carter, who tallied 190 yards passing after connecting on 19-of-32 attempts.
The Tornado defensive efforts were highlighted by Jason Nieradka, who finished the afternoon with 12 tackles (eight solo), and Jinsly Jhon (seven tackles). Brevard limited the Panthers to 4-of-11 third down conversions in the contest.
After dominating the time of possession in the opening half, to the tune of 21:46, Brevard took a seven-point lead into the intermission. The Tornados' offensive unit produced 13 first downs and 180 total yards, keyed by 116 through the air.
Brevard began its opening drive of the game at the 25-yard line and crossed over midfield when Carter completed a series of passes to Tyler Gregory and Peck. A roughing the passer penalty by the Panthers moved the ball to the 26-yard line, giving Brevard it's fourth first down of the drive. Nazayah Brown trucked through the middle for a 21-yard gain, before Hopkins sprinted around the end to record the first touchdown of the contest.
Ferrum quickly bounced back with a score of its own as Mann broke free from the Brevard defense to score a 69-yard touchdown. After holding the Tornados scoreless on the ensuing possession, the Panthers added their second score of the game by virtue of a 21-yard field goal by Green, to take a 10-7 lead at the end of the first half.
The Tornado offense retaliated in the opening moments of the second quarter, after sustaining a 12-play drive that covered 67 yards over six minutes of the contests. Gregory broke through the interior of the Ferrum defensive line to score a one-yard touchdown and give the Tornados a 14-10 advantage.
The four-point lead was extended to seven after a 29-yard field goal by Joseph Calhoun with 15 seconds remaining in the half. Calhoun's boot capped off an 11-play, 52-yard drive by the Tornados that extracted 5:28 off the clock and was highlighted by a 16-yard pass from Carter to Nazayah Brown on third and three. Ferrum committed two key penalties during the drive, including a substitution infraction and a facemask, which allowed the Tornados to gain 20 yards on the penalties, helping move the ball to the Panthers' 12-yard line.
Brevard makes its final road trip of the season next weekend when it heads to Rocky Mount for a clash with N.C. Wesleyan that is set to begin at 1 p.m. The Tornados then close out the 2017 campaign at home when they host Averett on Nov. 4, also slated to start at 1 p.m.