Joseph Marvin: Assistant Sports Information Director
BREVARD, N.C. – Tornados Football is primed and ready to kick the second year of the Bill Khayat year off as they travel to Richardson Stadium Saturday to square off with the Davidson Wildcats. 2018 marks the second straight season that Brevard faces Davidson to open the year, as the Wildcats took last years bout by a score of 30-7.
The Tornados and Coach Khayat finished 2017 with a 4-6 record overall alongside a 3-3 record against conference opponents. 2018 marks the first year the Tornados are eligible for a USA South regular season championship, as the program is currently transitioning to NCAA Division III.
The USA South welcomed Brevard College last season. The Tornados will be eligible for all-conference awards in addition to a regular season championship, but will not be eligible to represent the Conference in the NCAA Tournament until full DIII membership is established.
2017 was a promising year full of accomplishments for the Tornados to build upon. The Brevard College 2017 offense finished among the top five in seven major team categories in program history including passing yards (2,460-1st); first-quarter points (92-1st); fourth-quarter points (94-2nd); total points (282-4th); first downs (188-4th); total offensive yards (3,343-4th); and red zone scores (27-4th).
The Tornados surpassed the 50-point mark twice in 2017 as they downed Greensboro College (63-7) and N.C. Wesleyan (58-42), making it only the second time in program history (2010) that Brevard completed two 50-plus point outings. Brevard's 58-42 victory over N.C. Wesleyan also gave the program back to back road victories for the first time since 2010.
Brevard's offense looks to be anchored by Senior wideout's Bubba Craven and Tyler Gregory. Craven led the Tornados in all major receiving categories, compiling 50 receptions for 868 yards to go along with 11 touchdowns in the 2017 campaign. Craven eclipsed the 100 ypg mark four times, and his individual season totals alone were higher than 10 out of 11 previous Tornado receiving corps since Brevard jumped to NCAA competition in 2007. Gregory totaled 497 yards and 4 touchdowns in 2017, which included setting the single-game school record for receptions (14) and yards (225). Gregory was named wide receiver of the week by D3Football.com following this performance.
Fellow Senior Ryan Jordan was given the starting nod for the second straight year. He made the start against the Wildcats a season ago, marking his first career start. He threw for a season-high 238 yards, totaling 428 yards on the season.
The Tornados defense returns pieces up front as well as in the secondary. Senior Axel Easter comes off a solid 2017 campaign that saw him rack up 32 tackles to go alongside 8 tackles for loss and a 2017 team high 2.5 sacks. Sophmore's Tanner Pettit and Samuel Butikofer look to anchor the linebacking corps, as the duo combined to tally 50 total tackles and two forced fumbles. The secondary features Andreas Wyatt, who alongside his 33 total tackles blocked two kicks in 2017. Sophomore Wesley Ross also returns, who is coming off a 44 tackle season (4th in 2017) and five tackles for loss, which lead 2017's secondary.
2018 Season At A Glance
Following the showdown with the Wildcats, Brevard enjoys a bye week before returning home to face off with the NAIA's Allen University on Sept. 15th. Brevard closes out the non-conference stretch with a road trip to the NCCAA's Virginia-Lynchburg on Sept. 22nd. The Tornados then storm through a slate of 7 consecutive conference games, starting with a trip to Maryville on Sept. 29th and ending with a Nov. 10th clash with Greensboro.
Full 2018 Tornado Football Schedule
September 1st @Davidson 7:00 pm Davidson, N.C.
September 15th vs Allen University 3:00pm Brevard, N.C.
September 22nd @Virginia-Lynchburg 1:00pm Lynchburg, Va.
September 29th @Maryville 2:00pm Maryville, Tn.
October 6th vs Methodist 1:00pm Brevard, N.C.
October 13th @Huntingdon 2:00pm Montgomery, Al.
October 20th vs N.C. Wesleyan 1:00pm Brevard, N.C.
October 27th vs LaGrange 1:00pm Brevard, N.C.
November 3rd @Averett 5:00pm Danville, Va.
November 10th vs Greensboro 1:00 pm Brevard, N.C.
*Bold Denotes Conference Game
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