Not only did Brown catch the game’s first touchdown pass from quarterback Ammon Olsen in a 55-7 rout over the Division II Tornadoes, but the senior proposed to his girlfriend on the scoreboard and at midfield after the game.
It was a small piece of a big night as the T-Birds evened their record on the season at 2-2. After a sluggish beginning, Olsen found Brown for the first of his three touchdown passes on the night with 28 seconds to play in the opening quarter, and the offense propelled itself forward from there.
“We had our least success in that first quarter, but other than that, everything else was awesome,” said Olsen, who finished 16-of-22 for 195 yards in only one half of work.
SUU had its biggest scoring run in the second quarter as Olsen threw two more touchdown passes – a 29-yarder to Desert Hills grad Ty Rutledge and a 14-yarder to Naia Ursua – to help the T-Birds take a 27-0 lead at the half.
“The first quarter mimicked our energy and concentration level throughout the week of practice,” T-Birds coach Ed Lamb said. “We started off slow, things picked up as the week went on, and the guys came into the game mentally ready to play. Maybe some of the early-week struggles with concentration and enthusiasm leaked into the first drive or two of the game.”
The T-Birds poured more gas on the offensive fireworks in the second half set up by a 46-yard punt return from Rutledge. Malik Brown, who led SUU with 91 yards on 17 carries, scored his second touchdown of the night on a 24-yard run, and the game was never in doubt from there.
Rutledge matched teammate Mike Needham’s defensive touchdown from last week’s win over Northern Colorado with one of his own.
“I was kind of mad Mike got his first touchdown before I did, especially because he plays defense and I’m on offense,” said Rutledge, who caught three passes for 47 yards in addition to the punt return. “Mike’s a great player who made a great play last week. I just hope Coach (Carl) Franke saw it, and I’m sure he’s proud.”
SUU didn’t throw a pass in the second half and was whistled for just one penalty. Brevard quarterback Tyler Gregory completed only one pass for 36 yards.
The Tornadoes (0-4), a Division II program from North Carolina, broke the T-Birds’ shutout bid early in the fourth quarter on an 8-yard touchdown run by running back Anthony Washington. Hurricane grad Jarom Healey, who had 76 yards on nine carries, got in on the offensive scoring party later in the period with a 6-yard touchdown, and backup quarterback Tannen Pedersen sliced through two Tornado defenders on the way to a 15-yard score that capped off a big night.
In total, SUU racked up 560 yards of total offense, 365 rushing. The T-Birds’ longest scoring drive lasted 2 minutes, 47 seconds, and they had the football for only 21:33. On this night, it was more than good enough.
The T-Birds will return to Big Sky play Friday when they travel to Stewart Stadium in Ogden to play in-state rival Weber State. The Wildcats beat Northern Colorado 38-17 last week in its conference opener and evened its overall record at 2-2.
SOUTHERN UTAH 55, BREVARD 7
Brevard 0 0 0 7 -- 7
S. Utah 7 20 14 14 -- 55
SUU – Brown 26 pass from Olsen (Calhoun kick), :28
SUU – Rutledge 29 pass from Olsen (Calhoun kick), 10:19
SUU – Ursua 14 pass from Olsen (Calhoun kick), 6:24
SUU – Brown 1 run (kick failed), 1:58
SUU – Brown 24 run (Calhoun kick), 8:34
SUU – Te’o 7 run (Calhoun kick), 4:51
BC – Washington 8 run (Noboa kick), 13:40
SUU – Healey 6 run (Calhoun kick), 11:13
SUU – Pedersen 13 run (Calhoun kick), 7:50
RUSHING – Brevard: Washington 12-59; Gregory 20-40; German 6-27; McEachern 9-24; Berry 9-22, Rucker 3-5; Shaw 1-3; Garrett 1-(minus-4). Southern Utah: Brown 17-91; Te’o 6-90; Healey 9-76; Pedersen 5-39; Lewis 1-27; Williams 4-25; Olsen 2-18; Team 1-(minus-1)
PASSING – Brevard: Gregory 1-4-1-36. Southern Utah: Olsen 16-22-0-195
RECEIVING – Brevard: Drasser 1-36. Southern Utah: Ursua 4-28; Rutledge 3-47; Brown 3-29; Te’o 2-40; Sharp 1-19; Brown 1-16; Measom 1-11; Wroblewski 1-5