ROCKY MOUNT, N.C. - The Brevard College football team (4-2, 2-2 USAS) scored 26 unanswered points to lift itself over USA South Conference opponent N.C. Wesleyan (3-4, 2-2 USAS), 26-20 on Saturday afternoon at Rocky Mount Stadium in Rocky Mount, North Carolina.
The Tornados resisted a late comeback attempt by the Battling Bishops, who outscored Brevard 20-0 in the fourth quarter. However, N.C. Wesleyan's comeback bid fell just short as Brevard was able to escape with the hard-fought road victory.
The victory marked Brevard's fourth victory of the 2019 campaign, matching the program's win total in each of the last two seasons, where the Tornados went 4-6 in both 2017 and 2018. One more win will give Brevard its highest single-season win total since the Tornado football program won seven games in the 2009 season.
Sophomore quarterback Dalton Cole scored twice on the ground to spark Brevard's offense early, as the Hendersonville, North Carolina native totaled 155 combined yards (110 passing, 45 rushing). Cole completed 14-of-18 passes on the afternoon.
Sophomore running back Damon Rouse, a native of Charlotte, N.C., put the game out of reach with his third-quarter touchdown - a 12-yard scamper - to give the Tornados a 26-0 lead. Fellow sophomore wide receiver Cortez Scales Jr. hauled in a team-high five catches for 47 yards.
Brevard's defense was sparked by a pivotal 82-yard pick-six interception return touchdown from freshman defensive back Rook Tate. The Gaffney, South Carolina native, who was named to the D3football.com Team of the Week earlier in the season, picked off N.C. Wesleyan quarterback Donielle Totten deep in Brevard territory and returned it to the house to give the Tornados a controlling 19-0 lead near the end of the first half.
Junior defensive back Dante Anderson tallied 10 tackles and four pass breakups, while freshman defensive back Joc Pledger - the reigning USA South Defensive Player of the Week - added a season-high nine tackles. Louis Williams III recorded two sacks and a fumble on his first-career sack, while Travon Ford tallied sacks in Brevard's win.
Brevard's defense limited N.C. Wesleyan to a 33% mark on third downs (4-of-12), and held one of the most potent offenses in the USA South scoreless through the game's first three quarters. Totten and the Battling Bishop offense fought back as NCWC's quarterback scored once through the air and twice on the ground. However, the late push proved too little too late as Brevard's early lead held up for the victory.
The Tornados conclude their two-game USA South road trip next Saturday, November 2 when Brevard travels to LaGrange, Georgia for a conference battle against the LaGrange College Panthers, with kickoff slated for 2 p.m.
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