BREVARD, N.C. – Linebacker Jinsly Jhon, competing in a Tornado uniform for the final time, established the program's NCAA record for most single-game tackles (24) on Senior Day against Averett. However, it was the Cougars that emerged with the 41-17 victory in Brevard's season finale at Brevard Memorial Stadium.
Jhon, who made 3.5 tackles for loss and 12 solo stops against the Cougars (5-4), topped the program's previous NCAA single-game mark (21 tackles) set by Stanley Jones against Lenoir-Rhyne on Sept. 27, 2008. Jhon was one of four Brevard defenders to top the double-digit tackle mark along with Wesley Ross (13), Tanner Pettit (10) and classmate Jason Nieradka (10).
Joining Jhon among major contributors in the contest was Malik Silva, who finished the game with two blocked punts for the Brevard special teams unit. Silva's first block of the afternoon came in first quarter, which eventually led to a Joseph Calhoun field goal and a 10-0 advantage. His second came in the early stages of the fourth quarter when he scooped up the ball for a 34-yard return for touchdown.
Wide receiver Rikiya Bain led the way for the Tornado offense, finishing with 73 yards receiving, while Bubba Craven made the most receptions (three) for a total of 40 yards in his final collegiate contest.
With a 17-point edge and the opening kickoff of the second half, Averett began the first drive of the third quarter at its own 35-yard line. The Cougars would take advantage 52 penalty yards against Brevard as they moved the ball 65 yards before taking a 34-10 lead on a three-yard touchdown run by Sean Bowman.
The leg of Cole Westberry again put Brevard deep in its own territory as the offense began its first drive of the second half from the 25-yard line. Despite an 11-yard run by Nazayah Brown, the longest run from scrimmage of the day for Brevard, the Averett defense forced a punt which resulted in a 20-yard return to the Tornado 44.
The Cougars turned to reserve running back Chris Francis at that point, who gained 23 yards on the first three plays of the drive as Averett moved to the 25. Two plays later, quarterback Christian Miles hit Brandon Dry for a 24-yard touchdown, extending the lead to 41-10.
Silva's 34-yard block punt return capped off scoring for the two teams at the 11:10 mark of the fourth quarter.
Averett distanced itself on the scoreboard at the midpoint of the second quarter when it used a 12-yard run by Bowman to take a 17-10 lead. Bowman was responsible for 32 of the 64 yards in the drive, highlighting the seven-play possession with a 20-yard scamper that moved the Cougars into red zone territory at the 19-yard line.
Two possessions later, with the Cougars offense taking over at the Brevard 25-yard line, the Tornados defense made three consecutive stops before allowing a 43-yard field goal by Westberry.
The Tornados were forced to start their fourth drive of the second quarter from the 15-yard line after a holding penalty negated a 41-yard return by Xavier Brown. Facing third-and-18, Jordan was popped by Averett's Victor Miller, who gobbled up the ball in the endzone, to stretch the Cougars' lead to 27-10 heading into the intermission.
The Tornados took advantage of receiving the opening kickoff of the contest in their opening drive when Jordan placed a pass perfectly into the hands of an open Bain, on the second play from scrimmage, who streaked 73 yards to provide Brevard with a 7-0 lead.
A three-and-out by the Brevard defense the Cougars were forced to punt from their own 39, which was blocked by Silva and returned by Evan Francois to the 10-yard line. Unable to make forward progress in their second possession, kicker Joseph Calhoun drove home a 28-yard field goal to provide the Tornados with a 10-0 advantage.
Averett put its first points on the board just over midway through the opening quarter, capping off a six-play, 43-yard drive with a seven-yard scamper into the end zone by Bowman. The Cougars knotted the game at 10-all on their ensuing possession when Westberry converted a 48-yard field goal.
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