LaGRANGE, Ga. – Trailing by 10 points with 3:24 remaining in the contest, Brevard's offense took to the field looking to cut into LaGrange's lead. With O'Shay Carter under center, the Tornados took over at the 22-yard line and on the second play moved 25 yards on a strike from Carter to Bubba Craven.
A second completion to Craven moved Brevard into Panthers (2-2) territory as the offense found its earlier form. Carter then found Xavier Brown and Jarkevius Hopkins for gains of 12 and 17 yards, respectively, to move the ball to the LaGrange eight. After falling short on three attempts a field goal by Joseph Calhoun was blocked to seal the 38-28 win for the Panthers.
Carter led Brevard (1-3) to 354 yards of total offense, connecting on 21-of-34 passes for 237 yards through the air. His primary target in the game was Craven, who hauled in six catches for 71 yards and made the only receiving touchdown. Teammate Xavier Brown finished with the most receiving yards (85), making five receptions.
Hopkins was the rushing leader for the Tornados with 55 yards, reaching the endzone on two occasions. Senior Jason Nieradka led the way on defense with 10 tackles, while Jinsly Jhon and Tekhiyah Hollinger added six stops each.
A false start penalty in the early stages of the fourth quarter forced LaGrange to punt the ball away on a fourth-and-six, pinning Brevard at its own two-yard line. The Tornados answered with a methodical drive that covered 98 yards in 13 plays, highlighted by 71 yards through the air by Carter.
Carter hit three receivers as he finished six-of-seven on the drive, before finding Bubba Craven in the back of the endzone on a 13-yard strike that pulled the Tornados to within three, 31-28.
The Panthers answered on the ensuing drive, using a completion from Connor Blair to Marcus Campbell, on third down, to move near midfield. Three plays later, Blair hit Austin Sapp in coverage, who streaked 55 yards for the final Panther score.
LaGrange stretched its lead to 31-21 on the first play of its first possession in the third quarter. After the defense stopped Brevard three yards shy of a first down, the Panthers took over at their own 20-yard line following a punt that reached the endzone. Blair hit Campbell in full stride at the Brevard 48-yard line, as Campbell went 80 yards to score the fourth LaGrange touchdown of the afternoon.
Beginning its first drive of the second quarter from its own 17-yard line, LaGrange capitalized on series of 31 and 11 yard strikes by Blair to move to the Brevard 28. It was there that the running back Brendon Scott came through with a pair of 14-yard runs to put the Panthers back on top 21-14.
Brevard answered with a scoring drive of its own on the ensuing possession, which began at the 33-yard line, following a 24-yard kickoff return by Xavier Brown. The running back tandem of Hopkins and Bobby Clerisier moved the Tornados into LaGrange territory before a key 10-yard pass on fourth down Carter to Bobby Clerisier put Brevard at the 27-yard line. On the next play, Brevard's offensive line opened a hole for Hopkins, who streaked into the endzone to knot the game at 21-all.
After limiting the Brevard offense to five plays with just over two minutes remaining in the half, the Panthers took over at their own 48-yard line. LaGrange moved 37 yards in five plays, including a 22-yard gain by Nicholas Searcy, to take a three-point lead into the intermission following a 32-yard field goal by Zachary Kudwa.
The second Brevard touchdown of the afternoon came via the special teams. After a defensive stand on LaGrange's third possession of the contest, Andreas Wyatt streaked past the Panther defenders to block Collin Worsham's punt. Teammate Nazayah Brown scooped up the ball at the 32-yard line and scampered into the endzone to give the Tornados a 14-7 advantage.
LaGrange added its second touchdown of the afternoon on the ensuing drive. The Panthers moved to within one point of the lead on a 31-yard strike from Blair to Searcy as Brevard led after one half.
LaGrange took the opening kickoff and put together a seven-play, 73-yard drive, capped off by a pass from Blair to Brendan Thomas, to jump out to the early 7-0 lead.
Xavier Brown's 27-yard kickoff return allowed the Tornados to start their first possession at the 37-yard, but the drive ended at LaGrange's 45. A punt by Tyler Beam backed the Panthers deep into their own territory to start their second possession.
Facing pressure from Brevard's defense on a third-and-four, as they looked to give themselves breathing room, Blair was picked off by Malik Silva at the 17-yard line. Silva picked up five yards on the interception return, allowing the Tornados to start their second possession at the 12-yard line. Three plays later, Hopkins found a seam in the Panther defense to knot the game at seven-all.
The Tornados return to action next weekend when they host Huntingdon at Brevard Memorial Stadium with the game set for 1 p.m.