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Williams sets records in Braves' win

By Curtis Brooks
Sports Editor

October 18, 2012

Photo by Hillary Akers
Braves junior wide receiver Te'vell Williams reaches out for a catch over an opposing defender. Williams broke the school record for catches in a game with 10 and touchdown receptions in a career with 14 on Oct. 6 against Tusculum.

The visiting Braves traveled to Pioneer Field in Greenville, Tenn., on Oct. 6 to defeat the Tusculum Pioneers for the second consecutive season by a score of 20-10, en route to their fifth straight victory.

The Black and Gold defeated the Pioneers last Homecoming 58-38 at Grace P. Johnson Stadium.

In a game that was played evenly on both sides of the ball, UNCP was able to gain an advantage over the host team by capitalizing on scoring opportunities and gaining more yards in key situations in order to gain first downs.

The Black and Gold gained nearly 450 yards on the day, while the opposition was only able to manufacture 355 total yards on the day.

Tusculum, known for their potent offensive attack, was tamed by a Braves' defense that was able to stop the Pioneers from scoring on six of their trips to the red zone.

UNCP allowed the host squad to convert on seven of their 21 third down plays and forced the Pioneers to a 2-for-8 success rate on fourth down situations.

Preseason All-American Luke Charles returned to the lineup for the road team, after missing the previous week's victory over Catawba due to injury.

The junior quarterback led the Black and Gold offensive attack by connecting on 25 of his 45 passing attempts on the day for a season-high 313 yards through the air.

Charles also threw a pair of first half touchdowns for the Black and Gold.

The Braves turned the ball over on downs at their own 46-yard line on their first possession of the game, setting up good field position for the host team.

The Pioneers jumped out to an early 3-0 lead after sophomore place kicker Logan Cornelius knocked down a 35-yard field goal following a nine play drive that traveled 28 yards.

Later in the first stanza, the Black and Gold were able to manufacture their first points as Charles connected with junior wide out Ben Decelle for a 60-yard touchdown bomb, giving the visitors a 7-3 lead.

At the start of the second quarter, senior running back Brian Marshall's one-yard touchdown plunge put Tusculum ahead with a 10 to 7 lead.

The visitors quickly responded less than two minutes later when junior wide receiver Te'vell Williams hauled in a three-yard touchdown pass that turned out to be the game-winning score for the Braves.

Williams broke the school record for touchdown receptions in a career with 14 over the past three seasons.

Kicker Connor Haskins' 22-yard field goal allowed the Braves to go in to halftime with a touchdown lead over the Pioneers.

After an uneventful second half a late field goal by Haskins' and great defensive effort, allowed the Braves to secure their fifth victory of the season by the score of 20-10.

Williams set the standard for the talented Braves receiving corps finishing the game with 10 receptions, another school record, for a career-high 152 yards and a first half touchdown.

Decelle set new career-highs in both catches and reception, as he hauled in five passes for a total of 91 yards on the day.

Junior defensive end DeVante Bush spearheaded the infamous "Black Shirts" defense as he tallied four tackles, a pair of sacks and an interception.

Sophomore L.J. Stroman recorded a career-high in tackles as he made a dozen stops from his corner back position.

Sophomore Cadarreus Mason and freshman Preston Perry combined for 21 tackles, two of which were behind the line of scrimmage.

"I am very pleased to be 5-1," UNCP skipper Pete Shinnick said.

"Our defense had a fantastic second half today, and Te'vell played very well," Shinnick continued.

"We are excited to get a road win heading into a three-game home stand," Shinnick acknowledged.

In a losing effort,Tusculum junior signal caller Bo Cordell set the South Atlantic Conference record for career passing yards with 11,176 yards.

The record was previously held by former Presbyterian College quarterback Todd Cunningham who finished his four year career with 10,937 passing yards.

Cordell threw for 284 yards after completing 39 of his 64 passing attempts, as the Pioneers fell to 2-4.

The Braves' secondary didn't allow a single passing touchdown on the day, and Cordell's longest throw of the day went for 17 yards.

Following the victory, the Braves cracked the national rankings for the first time in 2012 as they were ranked 24th in the American Football Coaches Association Division II Coaches Poll.

Record breaking

Williams broke former Braves standout wide receiver L.J. Johnson's three year-old record for touchdowns in a career and also set the new record for catches in a game.

Johnson, last played in 2009, hauled in 13 touchdown receptions during his illustrious career.

The junior receiver is pleased with his recent accomplishments on the gridiron, but is striving for more.

"Honestly, I believe the more successful you are, the more humble you need to be. Hard work has gotten me here, and continuing to work hard will get me further," Williams said.

Hoping to motivate his teammates as they eye an opportunity to qualify for the NCAA Division II Playoffs, Williams is confident that his record breaking performance will positively impact the Braves.

"It gives a little momentum to everyone else as individuals. When I played my hardest, it makes my teammate want to play just like me, with passion. I hope this motivates everybody as individuals and it hits home for somebody, that if he can do it so can I," the junior said.

Looking forward

On Oct. 20, the Braves will host the Carson-Newman Eagles.

The Eagles, who are coming off a 42-7 victory over conference foe Catawba, are looking to beat the Braves for the first time since the 2009 season.

The Braves defeated Carson-Newman 42-14 in 2011.

Carson-Newman, now 3-2 on the season, will look for success in the running game as they have a stable of running backs that are capable of big games.

Junior halfback Brandon Baker leads the Eagles with 523 rushing yards on 55 attempts and four scores on the season.

Dual-threat quarterback Brandon Haywood has thrown for 504 yards and a pair of touchdowns, while also rushing for 207 yards and scoring seven touchdowns for Carson-Newman.

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Updated: Tuesday, October 30, 2012
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