Rocky Mount, N.C. - On Senior Day at Rocky Mount Athletic Stadium, Brevard College was able to overcome N.C. Wesleyan in an offensive shootout, 58-42. NCWC freshman quarterback Brandon Thompson and Brevard QB O'Shay Carter led their respective teams up and down the field all day, throwing five touchdowns apiece and combining for over 800 passing yards in the contest.
Thompson turned in Wesleyan's first 300-yard passing performance of the season, connecting on 24-of-35 attempts for 314 yards, while his five TDs are a program-first. Former Bishop Dustin Midgett twice threw six TDs in a game, while the program has seen three 4-TD performances in its history. For Brevard, Carter set the Tornados record for most passing yards in a game with 499. Brevard finished with 645 yards of total offense on 82 plays.
With a 30-21 lead heading into the fourth quarter, Brevard put the lead into double figures with a two-yard pass from Carter to Justin Peck at the 13:20 mark. After holding the Battling Bishop offense without a first down, the Tornados took over at the Wesleyan 47-yard line and again went to work. Carter converted two first downs before finding Martigus Henley for a 20-yard touchdown in the corner of the endzone for the 44-21 lead. Thompson and the Bishops answered on the ensuing possession, traveling 80 yards in nine plays to score on a 5-yard pass from Thompson to freshman Dupre Falls.
An on-side kick again allowed Brevard to start their next drive in Bishop territory, this time at the 48. After a penalty moved the ball to the Tornado 37, Carter found an open Xavier Brown for a 48-yard gain to the Wesleyan 18. That was followed by an 18-yard pass to Gregory, giving Brevard a 51-28 advantage. The Bishop offense again countered with a 6-play drive that spanned 55 yards, scoring on a Thompson pass to Ty-Traveon Roberts from 15 yards out, again making for a 16-point lead.
After a second unsuccessful on-side kick by Wesleyan, Brevard took over at the Bishops' 49-yard line. Facing a third and 11, Carter rushed for 14 yards to pick up the first down. Two plays later on 3rd-and-4, BC's Bobby Clerisier broke through the Bishop defense to score from 12 yards away for the final Tornado score. Wesleyan added the final points of the contest with 1:53 remaining when Thompson completed a 20-yard pass to Brandon Leake.
Prior to the fourth quarter fireworks, the back-and-forth battle that officially began in the second quarter had extended into the third as Wesleyan traveled 60 yards on seven plays to trim the lead to 27-21. The biggest play of the drive came on a 24-yard pass from Thompson to Trey Lancaster, which moved the ball to the Brevard 28. The Battling Bishops then scored their third touchdown of the affair after a 21-yard scamper by Darian Curley set up a 4-yard scoring run by Adrian Minondo. Two possessions later, after forcing a fumble at the Wesleyan 11-yardline, Brevard used a 19-yard field goal by Joseph Calhoun to extend its lead to nine, 30-21, and NCWC would get no closer.
The Tornados had previously taken a 27-14 lead into the half. Calhoun was responsible for all six of Brevard's points in the first quarter, converting a 40-yard field goal to cap off a 14-play, 48-yard drive on the opening possession, then extending the lead to 6-0 with a 35-yard conversion that ended an 11-play, 41-yard drive with 1:29 remaining. Carter's first TD pass opened the second quarter, and with the Bishop offense stalling, NCWC head coach Jeff Filkovski went to Thompson who promptly orchestrated back-to-back TD drives capped by 7- and 12-yard scoring strikes to Lancaster and Falls.
Playing his final game at at the Stadium, Leake led Wesleyan's receiving core with six catches for 122 yard and a touchdown, while Falls hauled in seven receptions for 60 yards a pair of TDs. Sophomore Antonio Johnson again led the defensive effort with a game-high 11 tackles and one sack.
Wesleyan now enters its bye week with a 3-6 overall record. The Bishops will wrap up their 2017 season on November 11th at USA South rival Methodist.