No. 11 Eagles clobber Tornadoes 41-14
Carson-Newman running back Brandon Baker breaks loose on a 15-yard touchdown against Brevard Saturday at Burke-Tarr Stadium in Jefferson City.
JEFFERSON CITY — Neither a heavy rain nor the Brevard defense slowed Carson-Newman’s first-team offense as the Eagles opened their SAC season with a 41-14 rout of Brevard Saturday afternoon at Burke-Tarr Stadium.
Coach Ken Sparks’ club scored three touchdowns in the first period and was in control all the way in improving to 3-0 for the first time since 2007. It will be more conference action next week as the Eagles host Catawba.
The game was played in a heavy rain throughout the first half before it slacked off and finally stopped late in the third quarter.
Tyron Douglas and Andy Hibbett combined for 194 yards and four touchdowns as the Eagles racked up 406 yards of total offense with 329 coming on the ground.
Douglas finished with 112 yards on just 11 carries while Hibbett chipped in 81 on 13. Douglas also had a 17-yard score wiped out by a penalty.
Brevard had 280 yards on the ground but had no passing game, completing just 1 of 7 for 10 yards with an interception. Kelvin Jeter led the Tornadoes with a hard-earned 75 yards on 14 tries.
“It was a good win for us today,” said Sparks. “And I think Brevard is a team that’s probably going to beat some people before the year is over. It’s great to be 3-0.”
The coach continued, “There was a lot of excitement on the sidelines. We were energized. I felt our defense came out there and hit some people. We got after it. Our coaches put together a good plan and the kids really executed it well. I felt we controlled the line of scrimmage on both sides of the ball.
“Our backs did a good job and they ran hard,” he said. “We missed some open receivers and we’ve got to do a better job there, but I thought we played well.”
Freshman Marcellas Pope returned the opening kickoff 57 yards to give the Eagles a quick big play.
“We work really hard on kickoff returns and it paid off today,” said Sparks. “I thought he was going to take it all the way but somebody barely got him. He showed some explosion.”
Sparks was pleased that his team continued to show a lot of improvement overall. “I think our guys were disappointed last week because they knew they could play better. And they came out here and did that today in some difficult conditions.”
After Brevard won the toss and elected to defer, Pope returned to the Tornado 39 before being tripped up by kicker Ben Noboa. C-N covered the distance in three plays aided by a roughing the passer penalty on Brevard.
Brandon Baker got the touchdown with a 15-yard burst up the middle just 1:08 into the game. The Eagles struggled big time on the extra point. First they had only 10 men on the field and burned a time out, and then they had a motion call with Curt Duncan hitting the kick both times the ball snapped. On the one that really mattered, the ball was snapped over everybody’s head and Duncan picked it up and tried to run but went nowhere.
The visitors went three-and-out before punting. The Eagles started at their own 31 and on the second play Douglas took a handoff off tackle, spun away from one tackler and ran over another on his way to a 64-yard touchdown. Duncan made it 13-0.
Before the quarter was over, Dante Thomas pounced on a Brevard fumble at the Tornado 40 and the Eagles ground it out in nine plays to up the count to 20-0. Hibbett carried the last three plays of the drive, scoring from the 1.
The Tornadoes had a 12-play drive early in the second stanza before turning the ball over on downs at the C-N 37. Quarterback De’Andre Thomas hit passes of 30 yards to Aaron Seward and 14 to Luther Walker to move the Eagles to a first down at the Brevard 17.
Douglas scored on the next play but it was called back by an illegal shift penalty and Duncan was wide right on a 30-yard field goal attempt with 9:06 left in the half.
After Brevard punted again, the Eagles went 67 yards in eight plays. Douglas had a 16-yard run, Thomas passed 16 yards to Walker and Hibbett had an 11-yard gain before Thomas scored from the 2. Duncan hit the conversion for a 27-0 lead at the half.
Brevard punted early in the second half and Hibbett’s 18-yard run capped an 8-play, 55-yard drive with 10:14 left in the third and the Eagles’ starting offense was through for the afternoon.
Aided by two huge fourth-down penalties, Brevard took the ensuing kickoff and drove to its first touchdown, needing 14 plays to cover 75 yards. The biggest play came on fourth-and-4 from their own 31 when C-N’s Jarrett East-Brown blocked Garrett Nestor’s punt and the Eagles recovered at the 2. But an offside penalty gave the Tornadoes a first down on the play.
From there Brevard got four more first downs with the last coming at the C-N 8. The Eagles’ Javaris Neal had a 7-yard sack before a pass interference penalty produced another first down at the Eagle 9. Andre Overholt scored on the next play on an option pitch and Noboa converted with 2:38 left in the third.
The Eagles reserves then drove from their 33 to the Brevard 8 before losing a fumble. But the Tornadoes fumbled it back at the 22 and Pope scored on a 16-yard run for a 41-7 lead.
Brevard’s final points came on an 81-yard, 14-play drive with quarterback Tanner Wright scoring from the 6. The Eagles fumbled again at their 36 but Jerry Miclisse grabbed an interception in the end zone and C-N ran out the clock.
- By Derwin Helton, Tribune Staff Writer