Tornados recognize 25 seniors on Saturday against Catawba
Brevard, N.C. - The Tornados welcome Catawba College on Saturday afternoon for their final home game of the season in which Brevard will recognize their first four-year class of senior football players, as well as celebrate Homecoming and induct two former Tornado athletes into the BC Hall of Fame.
Brevard comes into this afternoon’s matchup having dropped their past two games, 28-12 to Mars Hill and 77-7 to Carson-Newman this past weekend and the Lions and Eagles both held the Tornados NCAA #7-ranked rushing attack under 100 yards.
Senior fullback Xavier Johnson led the way against the Eagles this past week with 64 yards on 15 carries, scoring from 21-yards out in the second quarter and will potentially be looked to carry the load this week against the visiting Indians, spelling the Tornados battered backfield.
The Tornados rushing attack will look to take advantage of the Indians’ seventh-ranked rush defense who averages allowing 174.4 yards per game on the ground. Looking to stop the Brevard attack will be the trio of Lakeem Perry who leads the team with 55 tackles, while freshman linebacker Cory Johnson is second on the team with 47. Linemen Melquan Fair and Brandon Sutton have combined for 31 tackles for loss in the 2009 season and will look to clog up the running lanes to allow Perry and Johnson to operate.
Catawba started off the season winning their first three games, but since then have hit the wall, dropping four of their past five, including their first three South Atlantic Conference contests before defeating Tusculum two weeks ago in Greeneville, Tenn. The Indians offense is led by quarterback Pat Dennis who has thrown for over 1,100 yards this season and 12 touchdowns on the year, compared to four interceptions.
Catawba has seven receivers with at least 10 receptions this season, led by Eric Morman with 30 grabs for 328 yards and score, while Brandon Bunn has 25 catches for 449 yards and 11 touchdowns. Gerron Bryant leads the team in receiving with 518 yards on the season, averaging 21 yards per catch.
Against them comes the Tornados secondary, headlined by sophomore safety Michael Gist who leads the South Atlantic Conference in interceptions with five on the season. Donald Hudson, Salonik Amos, Austin Williams and Dwayne White have combined for five interceptions and three fumble recoveries and will look to take away the Indians’ passing game.
If the passing attack stalls, Antonio Hall, Catawba’s leading rusher will look to try to make a dent against the Tornados front seven led by the SAC’s leading tackler in Stanley Jones who comes into the contest averaging 10.2 tackles per game. He is joined by fellow linebackers Brandon Rawls and Prince Simunyu, as well as defensive linemen Richard Ray and Justin Jefferson who lead the Tornados defense which is ranked fourth in the SAC.
In last season’s matchup, the Indians won 24-10 against Brevard in Salisbury. Catawba running back Jamelle Cuthbertson gained 156 yards on 16 carries and two touchdowns. Lakeem Perry made 15 tackles for the Indians, while the Tornados gained 202 yards on the day, including 183 rushing. Donald Hudson ran for 52 yards on 12 carries, while Michael Gist made 10 stops on defense and Salonik Amos chipped in with eight tackles and an interception.
The Tornados will be recognizing the 25 seniors on this year’s squad before the game and thanking their contributions to the program as Brevard recognizes their first four-year class. In addition to the pregame recognition, Brevard College is also recognizing the 2009 Homecoming Court during halftime and will also be inducting Danny Bost (class of 1962) and Alice Gaines Coddington (class of 1989) into the Brevard College Hall of Fame.
Fans can gain free admittance to the Brevard-Catawba game by helping out the Brevard College Athletic Trainers in their annual Toys for Tots Drive. Any fan who donates a new, unwrapped toy gains free admittance to the game and the toys will be collected in the collection bins located at the gates around the stadium.
The kickoff time for Saturday’s game is set for 1 p.m. at Brevard Memorial Stadium in Brevard, N.C. The shuttle buses begin running at 11 a.m. and the gates will open at that time as well, two hours prior to the opening kickoff.
General admission to the game is $10 for adults and tickets will be given away all week by WSQL Radio, with an average of four given away per hour. Lucky winners will also have the chance to win two sets of four VIP passes (which grant the winner access to the hospitality tent and priority seating at the football game).
As always, if you are unable to make the game in person, you can catch 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.