Neville Bryce and the Tornados look to run past the visiting Knights on Saturday
Neville Bryce and the Tornados look to run past the visiting Knights on Saturday

Tornados prepare for Southern Virginia

Brevard, N.C. - The Brevard College Football team will be at home for the second straight week as the Tornados welcome the Southern Virginia University Knights to Brevard Memorial Stadium on Saturday, September 19.

The Tornados are in the midst of the program’s first three-game winning streak since resuming play in 2006. This three game stretch has been one of the best in school history, both offensive-wise and defensive-wise, as the Tornados are ranked among the leaders in both the South Atlantic Conference and the entire NCAA Division II.

Head Coach Paul Hamilton also set a milestone this past weekend against the Chowan Hawks, as he won his 50th career game as a head coach in the 27-24 victory last Saturday.

Opponents have struggled to defend the Tornados triple option offense so far in the 2009 season as BC has averaged 39 points and 362 rushing yards through their first three games.

Neville Bryce leads a deep BC running back corps, averaging 129 rushing yards a game, and has two 100+ yard rushing efforts this season, going for 192 yards and a score against Edward Waters in the season opener on August 31st down in Jacksonville and last week’s 28 carry, 128 yard, 2 touchdown effort against the Hawks. More impressively than those numbers is the fact that Bryce has only had one carry for a loss this season, in averaging 6.5 yards per carry. His five touchdowns tie him for the conference scoring lead at 10.0 points per game as the junior fullback has exceeded all expectations going into camp this season.

Five other Tornados running backs have combined with Bryce to score 15 rushing touchdowns, proving the rushing attack does not rest on their star fullback’s shoulders, as Brevard has shown the ability to both grind up yards and use up the clock, as well as scoring points in a hurry.

Slot Justin Fleming became the third Tornado to eclipsed the century mark on the ground this season, due largely to his 74-yard touchdown run in the third quarter against Chowan, joining Bryce and Quarterback Michael Crumbaker.

Crumbaker, a junior transfer from Feather River (Calif.) College, has excelled at reading defenses and making solid decisions in the option game. In his first year of starting under Coach Hamilton, Crumbaker is averaging 64 rushing yards per game and has found the end zone three times, most recently on a 38 yard scamper vs. Chowan. He has also thrown for 63 yards in 13 pass attempts this year.

The Tornados have converted 50 percent of their third downs and have cashed in on 13 of 14 red zone chances, including 12 touchdowns, leading the South Atlantic Conference in both departments.

Offense makes headlines but the Tornado defense has been equally dominant as Coach Scott Brumett’s group has opened the season allowing a mere 11 points per game. While the Tornados offense has picked up most of their yards through the ground, the front seven of Brevard has limited the opposition to an average of 69 yards per game.

Preseason First Team All-South Atlantic Conference Linebacker Stanley Jones headlines the Tornados defense, leading both the Tornados and the SAC with 29 tackles through three games, averaging 9.7 per game. The senior from Spartanburg, S.C. made 16 stops against Chowan to earn last week’s SAC Defensive Player of the Week Honors, harassing Hawks’ quarterback C.J. Westler for two sacks, and picking up three tackles for loss.

Joining Jones with standout performances from the linebacking corps includes fellow First Team All-SAC selection Brandon Rawls and sophomore Prince Simunyu. Simunyu currently sits in a tie for second on the team with 16 tackles, having a breakout game against Pikeville on Sept. 6th where he lead the team with seven tackles, with four of them going for losses. Rawls, lining up opposite Simunyu is sixth on the team in tackles and often forces the quarterback to roll in the opposite direction, right into the eager sophomore’s grasp.

Justin Jefferson, Richard Ray, Chris Lumbu, Eric Conner, Travis Flynn and Mason Boddy all rotate in on the defensive line, completing the dominant front seven for the Tornados. Jefferson leads the group with 14 tackles, four tackles for loss, with four sacks on the year, with Ray right behind with 11 tackles and 3.5 sacks.

When opponents attempt to take to the skies against Brevard, the Tornados secondary, under the tutelage of Coach Teddy Gaines has proven to be an effective group of ball hawks this season, intercepting four passes in three games, and having several big plays on special teams, which have directly led to scores.

Safety Michael Gist receives most of the recognition, having been named a preseason Second Team All-SAC pick and he leads the secondary in tackles this season with 16 to go with an interception, but there is plenty of depth behind the sophomore playmaker.

After spending his first three years on the offensive side of the ball, Donald Hudson made an immediate impact in his first game, as he picked off a pass Edward Waters’ third offensive play, returning it 30 yards for a touchdown. Cornerback Dwayne White also had a pick in the game, which he returned 59 yards to set up a Tornado score. Fellow corner Austin Williams got the ball rolling early against Pikeville the following week, jumping in front of a third-down pass to set up a touchdown for the Tornados and Salonik Amos returned a botched field goal snap later in the game for 57 yards and a touchdown.

Both the Tornados offense and defense are chomping at the big, ready to improve on the best opening in modern school history and improve on their school record three-game winning streak as they take on the Southern Virginia Knights.

Southern Virginia, who started up their program in 2003, has struggled so far this season under first-year Coach DeLane Fitzgerald, falling to 0-3 after losses to Concord, Morehead State and Lincoln.

QB Sam Turlock leads the Knights offense and has thrown for 428 yards and three touchdowns in three games. However, he’s also thrown six interceptions in the last two games as turnovers have plagued the SVU offense early this season.

Turlock’s favorite target is freshman wide receiver Brad Schultz. Schultz has hauled in 6 catches for 213 yards and two scores on the year, with a 77 yard scoring reception against Concord and a 33 yard grab against Morehead State.

Daniel Bokinsky also is a part of the aerial assault for the Knights, with 5 catches for 55 yards and a score in his last two games.

On the defensive side of the ball, linebackers Matt Mellor and Clark Steele teamed up to combine for 13 tackles, two tackles for loss and a sack against Morehead State. Defensive backs Vernon Joines, Dakoda Windsor and Joshua Hodges anchor a young Knights secondary.

Kickoff time for the Tornados final non-conference game in the 2009 season is set for 4 p.m. at Brevard Memorial Stadium in Brevard, N.C. The shuttle buses begin running at 2 p.m. and the gates will open two hours prior to the opening kickoff.

General admission to the game is $10 for adults, five for students.

Those unable to make the game in person can follow the game via live broadcast brought to you by the “Voice of the Tornados” Jim Stewart over the radio at WSQL 1240 AM or over the Internet at www.wsqlradio.com.  You may also visit the Brevard College Athletics website at www.BCTornados.com and click on the LiveStats link located on the left-hand side under the “Tornados Links” section.

Week 4 Game Notes
Brevard vs. Southern Virginia

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