ROCKY MOUNT, N.C. – Junior quarterback O'Shay Carter set Brevard's NCAA record for most passing yards in a game (499) as the Tornados earned a 58-42 victory over N.C. Wesleyan at Rocky Mount Athletic Stadium on Saturday afternoon.
Carter, who capped off his career day by going 31-of-43 with five touchdowns, shattered the previous passing record of 297 yards that was set by Kye Hamilton against Chowan on Sept. 13, 2008. Senior wideout Tyler Gregory hauled in 14 catches for the Tornados, totaling a career-best 225 yards in the process. Gregory topped the previous program-record in receiving yards (169), set by Bubba Craven against Greensboro (Sept. 16).
The Tornados (4-5) eclipsed the 50-point mark for the second time this season in the win, including a 63-point outing against Greensboro. It is only the second time in the program's 11-year NCAA history that Brevard has two 50-plus point outings. The last came in 2010, when Brevard posted 69 points against Southern Virginia (Sept. 25) and 53 against Edward Waters (Aug. 29).
Brevard finished with 645 yards of total offense on 82 plays as the Tornados picked up 34 first downs. The biggest advantage came in time of possession as Brevard controlled the clock for 37:48.
With a nine-point lead heading into the fourth quarter, Brevard put the lead into double figures following a two-yard pass from Carter to Justin Peck at the 13:20 mark. After holding the Battling Bishop (3-6) offense without a first down, the Tornados took over at the N.C. Wesleyan 47-yard line and again went to work.
Carter converted two first downs before finding Martigus Henley for a 20-yard touchdown in the corner of the end zone for the 44-21 lead. Brandon Thompson and the Bishops retaliated on the ensuing possession, traveling 80 yards in nine plays to score on a five-yard pass from Thompson to Dupre Falls.
An on-side kick again allowed Brevard to start the drive in Bishop territory, this time at the 48. After a penalty moved the ball to the Tornado 37, Carter found an open Xavier Brown for a 48-yard gain to the N.C. Wesleyan 18. That was followed by an 18-yard pass to Gregory, giving Brevard a 51-28 advantage.
The Bishops offense took to the field with just under seven minutes on the clock and put together a six-play drive that spanned 55 yards, scoring on a Thompson pass to Ty Roberts from 15 yards out, again making for a 16-point lead.
With a second unsuccessful on-side kick by N.C. Wesleyan, Brevard took over at the Bishops' 49-yard line. Facing a third and 11, Carter rushed for 14 yards to pick up the 32nd first down of the afternoon for the Tornados. Two plays later, on third-and-four, Bobby Clerisier broke through the N.C. Wesleyan defense to score from 12 yards away for the final Tornado score.
N.C. Wesleyan added one final score with 1:53 remaining, when Thompson completed a 20-yard pass to Brandon Leake.
The back-and-forth battle that began in the second quarter extended into the third as N.C. Wesleyan travelled 60 yards on seven plays to trim the lead to 27-21. The biggest play of the drive came on a 24-yard pass from Thompson to Trey Lancaster, which moved the ball to the Brevard 28. The Battling Bishops scored their third touchdown of the affair on a 21-yard scamper by Darian Curley.
Two possessions later, after forcing a fumble at the N.C. Wesleyan 11-yard line, Brevard used a 19-yard field goal by Calhoun to extend its lead to nine.
The Tornados took over at their own 24-yard line to open the second quarter and followed a short gain by Nazayah Brown with a 14-yard gain by Craven to their own 41. Carter then found a seam in the Battling Bishops' secondary, hitting Gregory for a 28-yard pickup to the N.C. Wesleyan 31.
Brevard's fourth play of the second quarter resulted in the first touchdown of the contest as Carter found Craven in the back of the end zone, extending the lead to 13-0. The Battling Bishops answered on the ensuing possession, putting together an eight-play, 81-yard drive that was capped off with a seven-yard pass from Thompson to Trey Lancaster, trimming the deficit to six.
Two possessions later Brevard's offense returned to the field with a six-point advantage at their own 43-yard line. Carter again put the Tornados into N.C. Wesleyan territory with an 11-yard pass to Craven. Two plays later, with the ball at the Battling Bishops' 30, Carter rolled right to again find Craven in the end zone as Brevard grabbed a 20-7 lead.
Led by Thompson, who had four passes of at least 10 yards, N.C. Wesleyan scored its second touchdown of the afternoon following a five-play, 65-yard drive. Thompson twice hooked up with Leake, who made gains of 22 and 19 yards, before making a 12-yard pass to Falls for the second Bishop score of the half.
A 16-yard return by Xavier Brown on the kickoff allowed Brevard to start its final drive of the first half at the 31. Running the two-minute offense to perfection, Carter completed a 15-yard pass to Hopkins before finding an open Rikiya Bain for an 18-yard pickup, moving to the N.C. Wesleyan 36.
Carter moved the Tornados inside the 10-yard line when he fired a 28-yard pass to Tyler Gregory. Two plays later Hopkins found a seam in the Battling Bishop defense as he scored from six yards out, allowing Brevard to take a 27-14 lead into the intermission.
Brevard's offense controlled the time of possession in the opening frame, forcing the Battling Bishops' defense to spend 12:34 on the field, as the Tornados gained 99 on 23 plays. Carter's arm was responsible for a bulk of the yards, gaining 78 yards through the air, connecting with Gregory on four occasions for 61 yards.
Joseph Calhoun was responsible for all six of Brevard's points in the first quarter, converting a 40-yard field goal to cap off a 14-play, 48-yard drive on the opening possession. With the Brevard defense holding N.C. Wesleyan without a first down on its opening drive, Calhoun extended the lead to 6-0 with a 35-yard conversion that ended an 11-play, 41-yard drive with 1:29 remaining.
The Tornados welcome Averett to Brevard Memorial Stadium next Saturday in the season finale that is set to start at 1 p.m.