BREVARD, N.C. – Behind a season-best 270 net rushing yards and four rushing touchdowns, the Brevard College football team (7-2, 5-2 USAS) concluded its 2019 regular season with a resounding 42-3 victory over Greensboro College on Saturday at Jamieson Stadium in Greensboro, North Carolina.
With the victory, the 2019 Tornado football team reached seven victories, which ties the 2009 team for most single-season victories in the NCAA-era.
Brevard's 7-2 record sets the new program-high for single-season winning percentage. Pending possible postseason play, the Tornados boast a .778 winning percentage mark. The Tornados' five conference wins this season also set a new program-best mark.
Dating back to October 27, 2018, Brevard has won 10 of its last 13 contests.
BC's well-balanced rushing attack was led by sophomore running back Aaron Bennett, whose six carries resulted in a game and career-high 71 rushing yards. Bennett recorded two of Brevard's four rushing touchdowns on the afternoon.
Sophomore quarterback Dalton Cole completed eight passes for 155 yards, connecting with fellow sophomore wide receiver Blake Taylor for a 29-yard touchdown score. Cole accounted for a total of 207 combined yards of offense.
Taylor's 88 receiving yards led all receivers, while sophomore Brandon Norris caught two passes for 55 yards. Norris returned his first-career punt return TD – and Brevard's first of 2019 – when Norris ran back a punt 57 yards for a touchdown.
Defensively, the stout, record-breaking 2019 Brevard defense added to its school-record interception total. Three more interceptions on Saturday afternoon gave the BC defense a total of 19 for the season, which leads the USA South Conference by seven INT's and ranks top-10 in all of DIII Football.
Brevard's defense has gone the entire month of November without allowing a touchdown, as each of the Tornados' three victories this month (at LaGrange, Nov. 2; vs. Averett, Nov. 9; at Greensboro, Nov. 16) have all come with BC's shutdown defense not allowing an opposing team to reach the end zone.
On Saturday, junior defensive back Dante Anderson recorded the first two interceptions of his 2019 season, while freshman defensive back Joc Pledger recorded his fourth interception of the year. Pledger, who didn't make his collegiate debut at the defensive back position until Week Five vs. Huntingdon College, leads all Tornados in interceptions this season.
Greensboro was led defensively by Jeremiah Speed, who recorded seven tackles. Zac Ellison made a 27-yard field goal for the Pride, which proved to be all the points that the Tornado defense would allow.
Following a Greensboro punt on the game's first drive, Brevard's offense put together a nine-play, 88-yard drive that resulted in a 29-yard touchdown pass from Cole to Taylor. Placekicker Stamati Damalos' extra point gave the Tornados an early lead, 7-0.
Both teams would then trade punts before Ellison's 27-yard field goal - Greensboro's lone score of the afternoon - went through the uprights, cutting Brevard's lead to 7-3.
On the ensuing Tornado possession, Bennett rushed in the first of his two rushing TDs, as a 21-yard scamper followed by a Damalos extra point made the score 14-3.
On Brevard's next drive, Cole connected with Norris for a 37-yard completion to open up BC's five-play, 58-yard drive that was capped off with a two-yard touchdown run from Jamie Turner.
Pledger picked off Greensboro quarterback David Loughry II, and the Tornados immediately capitalized, scoring with a Bennett nine-yard rushing touchdown before the half. Damalos' extra-point extended BC's advantage to 28-3.
The Tornados punted on their next three possessions, with senior wide receiver and 2018 USA South All-Conference Second Team punter Ralph Roman III handling the punting duties on two of those attempts, before a six-play, 44-yard drive resulted in a nine-yard touchdown run from Gerald Hines. Prior to Brevard's score, Anderson recorded interceptions on back-to-back Greensboro drives.
Norris' 57-yard punt return touchdown gave Brevard its sixth touchdown of the afternoon. Damalos' sixth extra-point of the contest – a new career-best for the sophomore placekicker – gave the Tornados a commanding advantage that Brevard took to the final whistle, as the Tornados claimed the victory, 42-3.
Brevard will now await a possible bid into an ECAC Bowl Game, announced on Monday, November 18 on a special Facebook Live selection show-style edition of the "Inside the D3 Football Huddle" podcast episode.
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