Late Game Turnovers Lead Crusaders Over Brevard
Tigerville, SC – Thanks in large part to the defense forcing three fourth quarter turnovers, the North Greenville University football team earned a 41-31 victory over Brevard College on Saturday night in Younts Stadium.
The Tornados netted a 27-yard field goal on their first drive to take 3-0 lead before the Crusaders used a four-play, 48-yard drive on their first series of the game to take a 7-3 lead on a 41-yard pass from junior Nelson Hughes to sophomore receiver Robbie Brown in the first quarter.
The Crusader defense forced Brevard to punt on the ensuing drive, giving North Greenville the ball on their own 18-yard line. The Crusader would drive 63 yards down field, ending with a 36-yard field goal by senior Justin Gravely to extend their lead to 10-3 as the first quarter came to a close.
Brevard tied the game at 10-10 on a 16-yard run by senior Jordan Ollis before the Crusaders used a six-play, 67-yard drive to take a 17-10 lead on a 16-yard touchdown run freshman Tristen Jackson, his first score of his young career.
On the next series, the Tornados rushing attack took control, keeping the ball for nearly nine minutes on an 18-play, 73-yard drive that ended with a touchdown from quarterback Tanner Wright to receiver Andre Overholt to tie the game at 17-17 with 1:38 left in the half.
North Greenville used a 38-yard kick from Gravely, his second of the game, to take a 20-17 lead into th locker room just before the end of the first half.
The Crusaders would extend their lead to open the second half, finishing a seven-play, 64-yard drive with a two-yard touchdown from Jackson, his second of the night, for a 27-17 advantage.
Brevard cut the lead to 27-24 with Ollis’ second rushing touchdown of the night, this time from just one yard out, before taking a 31-27 lead over the Crusaders with Ollis’ third score of the night at the beginning of the fourth quarter.
On the comeback trail, North Greenville used Jackson’s third score of the night, this time a four-yard rush after a roughing-the-kicker penalty by Brevard, to take the 34-27 lead. After sophomore linebacker Mason Hodge forced a fumble that was recovered by freshman Johnny Burch, the Crusaders used a 13-yard pass from Hughes to sophomore Tyrecous Garrett to extend the lead to 41-31 with 5:35 remaining in the game.
The Crusader defense again forced a fumble, this time the ball was knocked loose by junior Taylor Anderson and recovered by freshmen Tyler Reimer before the Crusader offense was forced to punt on their next drive. However, sophomore Rochar Witherspoon would put the game away with an interception on the North Greenville 33-yard line with 1:11 remaining as the offense ran the clock out to secure the victory.
North Greenville racked up 439 total yard of offense, highlighted by Jackson’s 184 yards and three touchdowns on the ground, along with two catches for 14 yards in his first career start. Hughes completed 20-of-28 pass attempts for 242 yards and two touchdowns, while Brown led all receivers with seven catches for 91 yards and a score. Freshman
Mason Sanders was the team’s second leading receiver, catching four passes for 58 yards, as Garrett scored on his only catch of the contest.
For the second week in a row sophomore linebacker Sam Houston set a school-record finishing with a game-high 19 tackles, while Anderson followed with 14 stops of his own and a forced fumble. Sophomore Caleb Adkins totaled a career-high 11 tackles and a tackle for loss, as sophomores Nigel Gay and Tony Godbolt each recorded 10 tackles in the game.
North Greenville (3-1) will host first-year program Limestone College next Saturday, Oct. 4 at 1 p.m. in Younts Stadium.