Written by Sean Dahlin
BREVARD, N.C.—The Southern Virginia University football team could not overcome an early 31-point deficit at Brevard College on Saturday as the Knights fell 59-24 to the Tornados, who earned their first victory of the season.
"We were unable to stop Brevard's offense today, especially on the ground," said fourth-year Head Coach DeLane Fitzgerald. "We fell behind and turned the ball over early, but I credit our players for continuing to battle throughout the contest."
The Brevard College (1-6, 0-4) offense racked up 591 yards of total offense with 559 of those yards coming on the ground—the most rushing yards allowed in program history. Tornado running backs Ty Jeter (163 yards), Dominique Lesine (106 yards) and Derek Church (103yards) ran for 100-plus yards each and accounted for six of the team's eight touchdowns on the day.
The game began as Brevard scored 24 unanswered points in the first quarter, highlighted by two touchdown runs from slot back Jeter, including a game-long 79-yard score with 3:38 left in the first quarter.
Southern Virginia answered with its first score of the game with less than one minute left in the first quarter as senior tight end Jeff Waldron (Costa Mesa, Calif.) caught a 55-yard pass from freshman quarterback Andy Jones (Salt Lake City, Utah) to set up a four-yard touchdown run by sophomore running back Jamal Coates (Conover, N.C.).
In the first half, The Tornados took advantage of three Southern Virginia turnovers—two interceptions and a fumble—and scored two more touchdowns after Coates' scoring trot to take a 38-7 lead going into halftime.
"I was pleased with our offense in the second half," said Fitzgerald. "Our offensive line did a good job and Jeff [Waldron] had an outstanding game at tight end."
Southern Virginia's offense outscored Brevard 10-7 in the third initiated on the first drive after intermission by a 14-yard touchdown strike from freshman quarterback Andy Jones (Salt Lake City, Utah) to senior wide receiver Cameron Williams (Sacramento, Calif.), and was followed-up by a 26-yard field goal by kicker Brett Murray (Hollywood, Fla.) with 1:38 remaining in the third stanza.
Coates was the Knights' leading rusher on Saturday recording 19 carries for 65 yards while adding his second touchdown and Southern Virginia's final points after the Tornados went four-and-out. Coates scored on a three-yard rush with 12:52 left in regulation to cut the Brevard lead to 45-24.
Southern Virginia would come no closer, however, as Brevard scored two more touchdowns in less than seven minutes, highlighted by a 65-yard trot from Lesine.
Waldron had a standout performance leading all Southern Virginia receivers with three catches for 93 yards, including a 26-yard reception from Jones to set up Murray's field goal late in the third quarter. Jones had a team-high 139 passing yards as he completed 7-of-15 throwing attempts.
On the defensive end, linebacker Robert Robbins (Glendale, Ariz.), who earned USCAA Defensive Player of the Week honors for his performance in the win against Apprentice last Friday, finished with a team-high 13 tackles (5 solo, 8 assisted).
Watch live video on the Southern Virginia online broadcast portal as the Knights returns home to Robert E. "Bobby" Williams Field on Oct. 20 to face NAIA-affiliate Concordia College Alabama in Selma at 1 p.m. EDT.