Heartbreaking Last-Minute Touchdown Lifts Methodist over Brevard, 24-23

Junior wide receiver Jamerial Parks led the Tornados in receiving yards in their narrow loss to Methodist.
Junior wide receiver Jamerial Parks led the Tornados in receiving yards in their narrow loss to Methodist.

FAYETTEVILLE, N.C. - The Brevard College Tornados football team (3-1, 1-1 USAS) battled back from a 10-0 halftime deficit, taking a 23-17 lead late in the fourth quarter before the Methodist Monarchs (2-3, 1-2 USAS) completed a 49-yard touchdown pass with 27 seconds left to break the Tornados' hearts 24-23, in an in-state USA South Conference showdown at Monarch Stadium in Fayetteville, N.C. 

The defeat halts Brevard's three-game win streak to open the 2019 season and the Tornados' five-game streak dating back to last season.

Sophomore quarterback Dalton Cole and the Tornado offense overcame a slow first half offensively, rebounding with three second-half touchdowns through the air. Cole finished with 267 passing yards and three touchdowns, while BC was led in receiving by Jamerial Parks, who caught two passes for career-best totals in yards (108) and touchdowns (two). Sophomore Brandon Norris caught his first touchdown pass of the season in a three-catch, 90-yard effort that included a big 79-yard touchdown catch.

Defensively the Tornados were led by Dante Anderson and Jerome Bass, who each tallied nine total tackles on the afternoon. The Tornado trio of Bass, Steffon Canady, and Toby Naylor each recorded sacks, while Brandon Crawford and Joc Pledger each forced Methodist fumbles. 

Freshman punter Jaxon Youngblood sent a game-long 54-yard punt up for the Tornados, as the Greer, S.C. native pinned Methodist inside the 20 twice in Saturday's game. 

The Tornados forced one turnover compared to Methodist's four in the contest, as early mistakes cost Brevard offensively. 

A scoreless first quarter was played out before the Monarchs struck with 10:25 left in the second quarter to take the lead, 7-0. Methodist's defense stifled the Tornado offense from that point on in the second quarter, adding a 21-yard field goal to its ledger to extend the lead to 10-0 at halftime. 

After seven minutes of scoreless action in the third quarter, the Tornado offense broke through with the Cole-to-Norris 79-yard connection to trim the Methodist lead to 10-7.

The Monarchs then strung together a nine-play, 53-yard drive that was capped off with a four-yard touchdown run to extend their lead to 17-7.

The Tornados quickly struck back, as Parks scored his first of two touchdowns on a three-play, 64-yard drive that included another big strike - an explosive 64-yard touchdown to cut Methodist's lead to 17-13, following a blocked PAT attempt. 

Parks then opened the fourth quarter up with a 44-yard touchdown reception to give the Tornados their first lead of the evening, 20-17.

After trading possessions, Stamati Damalos added on to Brevard's lead with a 27-yard field goal following an eight-play, 49-yard drive, giving the Tornados a 23-17 lead 

However, the Monarchs came through with the game's pivotal play with 27 seconds left in the contest, as Methodist quarterback Brandon Bullins found Xzavier McNeil for a 49-yard game-winning strike that clinched a 24-23 victory for Methodist following the extra point. 

Brevard will return to action for its "Crucial Catch" game next Saturday, October 19 when the Tornados take on Huntingdon College. Kickoff is set for 1 p.m. at Brevard Memorial Stadium

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