Runnin' Bulldogs Used Balanced Attack To Beat Brevard, 34-17 - GWUSports.com—Official Web Site of Gardner-Webb Athletics
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Kenny Little scores his third touchdown of the night.
Courtesy: Gary Smith
Runnin' Bulldogs Used Balanced Attack To Beat Brevard, 34-17
Courtesy: Gardner-Webb
          Release: September 03, 2011
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BOILING SPRINGS - Kenny Little ran for a career-high 131 yards and three touchdowns and Juanne Blount added 102 yards on the ground as Gardner-Webb piled up 437 offensive yards to beat Brevard 34-17 Saturday night.

The Runnin' Bulldogs (1-0) had two backs post 100-yard games in the same contest for the first time since October 12, 2002 against Elon - when quarterback Jeremy Martin and running back Chris Foster accomplished the feat.


Head coach Ron Dickerson, Jr., picked up his first career head coaching win in the process.


"[The first win] hasn't settled in for me yet," Dickerson said shortly after the game. "I'm so happy for those kids though. I know how hard they have worked and to see how excited they were in that locker room was the most rewarding part of the night."


Gardner-Webb scored 17 unanswered points to pull away, getting a 34-yard scoring pass from Chandler Browning to James Perry III with 6:30 to play before halftime to give the 'Dogs a 17-10 lead, and Trever Austin booted his second field goal of the game - a 33-yarder - just before halftime for a 20-10 lead at the break.


After a scoreless third quarter, Little capped a 14-play, 80-yard drive with a one-yard scoring plunge for a 27-10 lead with 13:13 to play in the game. Brevard (0-1) responded with a 75-yard scoring drive on five plays to cut the lead to 27-17, as Derek Church scored from 10 yards out with 10:56 left.


Little put the Bulldogs in the end zone again with 6:24 to play for the final margin, scoring from three yards out.


Gardner-Webb finished with 220 yards on the ground and 217 through the air, averaging a solid 5.9 yards per play. The 'Dogs had 249 of their 437 yards in the second half, controlling the clock with a punishing ground game that featured Little and Blount.


GWU held a 25-10 edge in first downs and nearly a seven-minute edge in time of possession. The 'Dogs were also a solid 7-of-15 on third down.


The balance was just what Dickerson and his staff were in search of.


"We always like to be balanced offensively," he said. "Our guys knew we wanted to run the football, and we did that well, but we also had some key plays in the passing game when we needed it."


Brevard led 7-3 after the first quarter, getting a six-yard run from Church to cap a 66-yard drive out of the gate. Austin answered with a 30-yard field goal to get GWU on the board, and the 'Dogs began to get rolling offensively from there.


"We didn't get our heads down early, and I'm very proud of that team for that," Dickerson said. "I told them to press on. We're going to have times where things don't go our way, but if you keep plugging things will turn around. We did that tonight."


Browning completed 14-of-26 passes for a career 217 yards and a score, and Perry finished with six catches for 107 yards - including his slippery run after catch to score in the second quarter. Little added 48 yards receiving - finishing with 179 all-purpose yards.


GWU had a 62-yard touchdown play on a screen from Browning to Ricky Rhodes called back due to a hold in the third quarter, but later scored on the same drive. Rhodes also had a 79-yard punt return chopped down to a 59-yarder due to a personal foul behind the play during the return and returned three kickoffs for 75 yards. The Richmond, Ky., speedster finished with 193 all-purpose yards on the evening.


Brevard finished with 245 yards on the ground Saturday, with quarterback Aaron Reese leading the way with 11 yards on 15 carries. Church added 97 yards and a pair of scores from his fullback spot. Reese was just 2-for-6 for 18 yards through the air, and Gardner-Webb's defense was able to limit the Tornados to just a 2-for-10 effort on third down.


Devin Johnson led the GWU defense with a career-high 15 stops. Lyndrez Leslie and Jordan Woods each had six hits, including two tackles for loss each. Tyler Hough-Jenkins came off the bench to record a pair of tackles behind the line and a quarterback pressure for the 'Dogs.


Michael Gist and C.J. Wilson each had 13 hits to pace Brevard's defense.


Gardner-Webb will hit the road next week for a game at Ohio University. Kickoff is set for 7:00 pm in Athens, Ohio.



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