Tornados Battle N.C. Wesleyan Saturday

Tornados Battle N.C. Wesleyan Saturday


BREVARD, N.C. – In search of their first two-game road winning streak since the 2010 campaign, the Brevard football team heads to Rocky Mount, N.C., for a clash with N.C. Wesleyan on Saturday at 1 p.m.

The Tornados (3-5), looking to rebound from a 27-24 setback at home against Ferrum last weekend, are looking to follow-up a 41-17 victory at Methodist (Oct. 14) this weekend against the N.C. Wesleyan. Brevard last won back-to-back road games eight years ago when they downed Johnson C. Smith and Southern Virginia in succession.

Brevard will look to exploit the Battling Bishops' defense, which has surrendered the seventh-most points (268) in the USA South this season, with the trio of Bubba Craven, O'Shay Carter and Jarkevius Hopkins.

Craven tallied the most receiving yards (65) in the three-point setback against Ferrum and in the process moved his season total number to 701, third-most in the USA South. With those 65 yards against the Panthers, Craven surpassed the total receiving yards for each Tornado receiving corps from the last five seasons (2012-16).

Carter, who leads the team with 1,525 passing yards, has been an integral part of Brevard's success in the red zone this season. The Tornados converted three red zone opportunities against Ferrum last weekend to move their total number of red zone conversions to 18 on the season, breaking a tie with the 2016 unit. Brevard has reached the end zone on 14 occasions in 2017, which ties last season's number of total touchdowns with two games remaining.

Hopkins heads into the contest with 445 rushing yards (55.6 yards/game) and five touchdowns. His best single-game performance of the season came against Greensboro (Sept. 16), where he gained 147 yards on 13 carries and reached the end zone twice.  

Senior Jason Nieradka will be looked upon to lead the way for the Tornado defense. Nieradka, the leading tackler in the USA South, has 84 total tackles (50 solo) on the season as he averages 10.5 tackles per contest. The Kernersville, N.C., native has contributed at least 10 tackles in six contests, including a season-high 17 against Davidson in the season opener.

The Battling Bishops (3-5) enter the weekend on a two-game winning streak after downing Greensboro (45-0) and Averett (21-15). Quarterback Nate Gardner is guiding the way offensively with 968 passing yards, while Deandre Gillis (363 yards) and Trey Lancaster (608) highlight the team in rushing and receiving, respectively.

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