COLUMBIA, S.C. - The Brevard College Tornados football team (2-0) claimed a big 40-9 victory on the road against Allen University (1-2) on Saturday evening at the Charlie W. Johnson Stadium on the campus of Benedict College in downtown Columbia, South Carolina.
The Tornados impressed in all three phases of the game to take the impressive win, as Brevard's offense, defense, and special teams all made a significant impact on the final outcome.
Brevard improves to a 2-0 record to start the 2019 season for just the second time in the school's NCAA-era history, as the 2019 Tornados squad joins the 2009 team as the only groups to start undefeated in their first two contests (2009 Tornados started their season 5-0).
The Brevard defense, led by Defensive Coordinator Luke Jaicks, set a new school record for single-game interceptions, as five different Tornados snagged picks in Saturday's game.
Leading the interception charge was senior defensive back and last week's D3football.com "Team of the Week" honoree Quentin Jackson. Jackson's 15-yard interception return touchdown kickstarted Brevard's scoring efforts and was the second of five BC picks. Junior cornerback Andreas Wyatt picked off Allen quarterback Noah Shoeman on Allen's first offensive possession. Jackson, Wyatt, and Wesley Ross recorded three of Brevard's five interceptions, while freshmen Rook Tate and Tae Sullivan snagged their first career interceptions as Brevard College student-athletes.
Offensively the Tornados were paced by a solid running attack and big passing plays. Sophomore running back Damon Rouse led all ball carriers with a game-high 10 carries for 99 yards, including a 29-yard touchdown scamper for #29 Rouse. Saturday's contest marked the second-straight week that the running back from Charlotte, N.C. recorded exactly a 29-yard touchdown run.
Gerald Hines, a freshman from Pike County, Ga., scored on a 10-yard run, while Tornado signal-caller Dalton Cole snuck in the end zone from a yard out for a touchdown. All told, the Tornados tallied 134 net yards rushing and three touchdowns on the ground.
Through the air, Cole completed 13 passes for 214 yards, connecting with sophomore slot receiver Blake Taylor for a 60-yard touchdown late in the second quarter. Taylor led all Brevard receivers with 81 yards receiving in the contest, while senior Ralph Roman III (three catches, 34 yards), Brandon Norris (three catches, 32 yards), and Jamie Turner (two catches, 15 yards) all had multi-catch nights.
BC's defense was paced by a few key performers in the trenches. Junior safety Dante Anderson led all Tornados with 10 tackles (six solo, four assists), one of which being a tackle-for-loss. Anderson also forced one of Allen's four fumbles on the evening, three of which were forced by Tornado defenders.
Junior linebacker Steffon Canady recorded Brevard's lone sack of the evening, wrapping up Allen's Shoeman for a five-yard loss.
Brevard's Jacob Olds and John Burton III each forced fumbles that were recovered by the Yellow Jackets, while BC's Tyler Harrison recovered a fumbled snap by Allen's punter. Chris Diaz led Brevard with two quarterback hurries, while Toby Naylor's 1.5 tackles-for-loss were BC's team-high.
Special teams made a significant impact on Brevard's win. Freshman punter Jaxon Youngblood helped the Tornados flip possession and pin the Yellow Jackets deep on multiple occasions. Youngblood booted five punts away for 228 yards, which equated an average of 45.6 yards-per-punt. The Greer, S.C. native pinned Allen inside the 20-yard line three times and launched a new career-high 56-yard punt.
Placekicker Stamati Damalos was 4-for-4 on extra points, and made two of his three field goal attempts, drilling a 40-yard field goal to close out the first half for the Tornados.
Return man/wide receiver Jamerial Parks nearly returned the game's opening kickoff 89 yards for a touchdown before his run was called back for a holding penalty. Parks' second of just two total kickoff returns due to limited kickoff opportunities by the opposition proved fruitful, as the junior broke free for a 44-yard run back.
Brevard forced a grand total of six turnovers in Saturday's contest, which tied the school's NCAA-era record for turnovers forced in a single game. The 2016 Tornado football team forced six turnovers (three fumbles, three INTs) in a contest vs. the Apprentice School on Sept. 24, 2016.
The Tornados held onto the ball for the entirety of the contest, showing discipline by taking care of the football and not committing a turnover throughout the duration of the game.
Brevard College returns home and sets its sights on Homecoming 2019 this coming week, as the Tornados football team kicks off conference play on Saturday, October 5 vs. defending USA South Conference champion Maryville College. Kickoff is slated for 3 p.m. at Brevard Memorial Stadium.
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