Written by Chris Pendleton
BUENA VISTA, Va.—The Southern Virginia University football team jumped out to a 14-0 first-quarter lead during Saturday's homecoming game against NCAA Division II Brevard College before the Tornados responded with 35 unanswered points on the way to a 41-21 win over the Knights.
Tommy Davidson (Paradise, Calif.) had a career day for the Knights on defense setting a single-game tackle record against the Tornados with 21 total tackles—13 solo and 8 assists—as the senior linebacker moved into first place on Southern Virginia's all-time tackles list with 283 career tackles.
Despite turning the ball over seven times—Southern Virginia recovered five of the Tornados' seven fumbles while intercepting senior quarterback Aaron Reese twice—Brevard recorded 582 yards of total offense against the Knights, including 519 rushing yards on 70 attempts.
Brevard senior running back Rodney Donald led all rushers with 191 yards on the ground, including two touchdowns, while averaging 10.1 yards per carry. Freshman running back Jack Woerner also eclipsed the century mark for the Tornados with 102 rushing yards on the afternoon and one touchdown.
Senior linebacker Brett Kassel (Madison, Miss.), who had three interceptions and one fumble recovery last week at Guilford, gave the Knights excellent field position midway through the first quarter when he recovered a Tornado fumble on the Brevard 38-yard line. Southern Virginia capitalized on Brevard's early miscue scoring the game's first touchdown just over a minute later on a one-yard rush by freshman running back Jerry Washington (Gloucester, Va.).
After the Tornados went 4-and-out on their ensuing possession, sophomore quarterback Mitch Stevenson (Muskogee, Okla.) connected with senior receiver Dewayne Beamon (Eastern Wayne, N.C.) for a 62-yard strike, leading to a 13-yard touchdown run by freshman Terry Eytcheson (Apache Junction, Ariz.) as the Knights grabbed a 14-0 lead with 4:24 still remaining in the opening quarter.
Brevard responded to its early deficit on its next play from scrimmage as Donald went 50-yards untouched into the end-zone—the first of five unanswered touchdowns by the Tornados. The Tornados also turned up the pressure defensively, holding Southern Virginia's offense scoreless over the final 49 minutes of play.
The Knights' third and final touchdown came in the fourth quarter when sophomore linebacker Kody Winsor (West Richland, Wash.) returned a Brevard fumble 10 yards to the end zone making it 21-35 Tornados with 12:58 remaining in the game.
Southern Virginnia would come no closer, however, as Brevard scored one more touchdown with just over a minute left on the clock to reach the final score.
Junior punter Brenton Estorffe (Mooloolaba, Australia) also had a standout day for the Knights setting Southern Virginia single-game records for most punts (10) and most yards punting (354).
Coming off a career performance at Guilford College last Saturday, Stevenson finished 21-of-40 for 216 passing yards, but was picked off a season-high four times by the Brevard secondary.
With the loss, Southern Virginia falls to 2-4 on the season (1-4 NAIA) while Brevard climbs to 3-4 (1-3 conference).
The Knights travel to Newport News, Va. next Saturday, Oct. 22 to face The Apprentice School at 1 p.m. EDT.
Watch live stats as Southern Virginia renews its rivalry with the Shipbuilders.