​​Bradley Football 

Another Bear Headed to Tusculum


By JOE CANNON

For the second time in a little over a week, a Bradley Central football player has chosen to continue his playing career at Tusculum University.
 
Joining teammate Caden Moore, senior Kanon Hall announced he has chosen to play for the Pioneers as he studies to become a physical therapist at the state's oldest university, which is located in the Greeneville area.
 
"I had a few offers and I went to a couple of schools to see what they had to offer. When I went to Tusculum, I really liked what I saw and immediately felt at home," the speedy 6-foot, 175-pound wide receiver/kick returner expressed.
 
"I like the energy the coaches gave me and made feel like I'm already a part of the team.
 
"They have a really good physical therapy program and that's what I want to do as a career."
 
Veteran Bear head coach Damon Floyd declared, "They (Tusculum) are getting a steal. He's got great talent. He got overlooked and I hate it for him. COVID hurt his opportunities, like it did a lot of people. 
 
"It worked out to be a great opportunity and fit for him. The offense they run will be really good for him and his skill set. 
 
"Once he gets in the weight room and gets a little stronger, he's going to have a great career for them," the coach assessed. "His best playing days are yet to come. You look at our receiving numbers the last 10-15 years and he's right up there as one of the best we've ever had." 
 
A two-time All-County honoree, Hall led the county with 69 receptions (fourth highest in Bear history), and gained 961 yards (fifth best in Bradley record book) with 13.9 ypc average, plus found the end zone on seven occasions this past season.
 
Hall owns two of the Top 5 single-game receiving yards numbers in program history, gaining 198 and 200 yards (both on nine receptions) against Ooltewah the last two seasons. He also tied Tyler Carpenter for fifth in the most receptions in a game in Bear history when he hauled in a dozen against McMinn County this year.
 
His junior season, Hall pulled in 38 passes last season for 825 yards (21.7 ypc), finding the end zone eight times.
 
Hall began his perp gridiron career by helping Polk County make its last TSSAA playoff run in 2017. As a freshman starter, he pulled in a half dozen catches for 118 receiving yards (19.7 ypc) and a score, plus he carried the ball 29 times for another 96 yard (4.0) and a TD for the Coach Derrick Davis' four-win Wildcat squad.
 
Coming to Bradley meant he had to sit out varsity his sophomore, but saw action in junior varsity games. 
 
"He only got to play for us two years. I wish we'd had him all four. He was very productive for us the last two years," explained Coach Floyd. "He and Javon (Burke) both had to play JV their sophomore years and I'd have to pull them out of games because they'd score every time they touched the ball."
 
Hall remembers the move to Bradley as an easy one.
 
"The transition from Polk County was smooth. I came over during the summer workouts and made a few friends and felt real comfortable. 
 
"I had to sit out my sophomore year because of the transfer, but I've played the last two years and really enjoyed it," he stated.
 
"My junior year I had put in the work and I showed them what I could do. I love it here and made a lot of good friends and really enjoyed playing here. 
 
"This is my favorite place in the world. It's a great atmosphere and I really appreciate everything they've allowed me to be a part of," Hall proclaimed.

Bradley's Burkes Make it Official


By JOE CANNON
 
All the hype and anticipation came to a head Wednesday as Bradley Central's Burke twins inked their National Letters of Intent to continue their gridiron careers on the NCAA Division I level.
 
"We were very fortunate to have the chance to coach them, not only for the type of players they are, but the type of teammates they are as well," proclaimed veteran Bear head coach Damon Floyd.
 
"They fit in since the day they got here (their sophomore years). Their teammates loved them. It was a special group we had and these two are part of the main reason for that."
 
Javin Burke got the lion's share of attention early on with a tremendous junior season drawing him more than 15 top offers, including SEC teams Tennessee, Vanderbilt and South Carolina, plus Baylor of the Big 12, Indiana of the Big Ten, as well as Army and Navy, before he committed to Virginia and the Atlantic Coast Conference in June.
 
Javon Burke stole the spotlight this past season and has chosen to play for the University of Tennessee at Chattanooga after earning offers from Appalachian State, Western Carolina, Tennessee State, Eastern Kentucky, East Tennessee State, Austin Peay and UT-Martin.
 
"I couldn't be happier for these two guys. They have worked really hard and deserve the opportunities they are getting," praised Floyd, who would have liked to had a second campaign with the dynamic duo together this past season, but an injury to Javin in the opening game dashed those hopes.
 
"Sometimes things don't go the way you have them planned," he stated. "We would have loved to have had them both for a full season this past year.
 
"Javin had an explosive year his junior year and Javon had a coming out party his senior year. I would have like for them to been able to play more together, but like I said we were just fortunate to have them."
 
The duo helped lead the state-ranked Bears to 15 victories and a pair of TSSAA playoff berths the past two seasons.
 
"I loved being here at Bradley; it will stick with me the rest of my life," remarked Javin. "While my high school playing career didn't end the best, my junior year was the best. With the atmosphere and those fans, it's been amazing here. I'd recommend anybody come play football here."
 
The 6-foot-3, 200-pound Tennessee Football Coaches Association All-State performer posted a junior campaign with a team-leading 738 yards on 99 rushes, for a 7.5 average, plus he found the end zone 10 times. With a tremendous ability to scramble and a powerful arm, he completed 120-of-222 passes for 2,152 yards and posted a 22-to-8 TD to interception ratio. 
 
Javin had completed 3-of-6 passes for 41 yards and a TD, plus ran the ball a half-dozen times for 57 yards, including a 35-yard scamper, before injuring his non-throwing shoulder while throwing a block for his brother midway through the second quarter of the season-opening game at Farragut.
 
"It would have been really nice to have been able to play this final year with my brother. He says he's more valuable than me and he took my number (3), but I have to remind him I had it first."
 
In honor of his brother, Javon switched jersey numbers (from No. 1 to No. 3) and responded to the challenge with a Region 2 Offensive Player of the Year performance that included averaging eight yards on his 305 touches during the campaign.
 
Garnering 2,451 all-purpose yards, which is the second-best among non-quarterbacks in Bear history, Javon owns the top three single game performances in the category: 356 against William Blount, 300 versus McMinn County and 296 in the second Farragut game this season.
 
The 5-foot-11, 180-pound workhorse carried the ball 248 times (fourth-most in a Bradley season) for 1,867 yards, which put him past Floyd's 1,816 (1995) into second place in the Bear record book for most rushing yards in a season.
 
Javon has four of the Top 15 rushing games in Bear history: William Blount (4th, 304), Cleveland (11th, 237), Ooltewah (13th, 234) and the playoff win over Farragut (15th, 225).
 
The speedster also caught 31 passes for 395 yards and had a dozen kick returns for 163 yards. He also had a pair of "picks," returning them for 26 yards, to go with 15 tackles in limited time in the Bear secondary. Javon found the end zone 16 times this past season — a dozen on the ground and four on pass receptions.
 
While both were standouts on the offensive side of the ball, their speed and agility has also drawn college defensive coaches' attention.
 
"Defensive back will be different, but I'm fine with it, if they think that will be the best way for me to get to the NFL," Javin said of Virginia's plan to convert him to the secondary.
 
"Virginia established a relationship with my family. They maintained a great relationship with everyone. The huge thing for me was to make sure my mom felt comfortable with me going there.
 
"They have a great football team. Coach (Bronco) Mendenhall really wants you to be great as a person, not just on the field," he added. "Being a great person off the field translates to winning on the field.
 
"It (UV) can challenge me academically. My mom's really big on me getting my education. In my family, my uncle Charles Little (a former basketball standout at Cleveland High and University of Dayton, who played professionally overseas), is the only one to be able to graduate from college, so me going to college and graduate and play football as well, would be a huge thing for me.
 
"They (Virginia) take academics very seriously and I'm going to take them just as serious."
 
Javon, who took the ball for a 97-yard touchdown on a kickoff return the first time he touched it for the Bear varsity, also offers UTC several options to use his talents. He had a pair of interceptions this past season, plus a 48-yard "scoop-and-score" on a fumble return in 2019.
 
"They (UTC) stayed consistent with me. Coach (David) Bibee (defensive safties), Coach (Adam) Mims (receivers) and (head) Coach (Rusty) Wright made me feel like it was a home environment," Javon explained.
 
"I grown up around here and heard the ins and outs of that school all my life. I've been there and I just like the environment they have there."
 
Like his brother, Javon was also thankful for his three years at Bradley. 
 
"I took a lot from and have grown a lot from my experience here with the coaches, the people in that locker room and the people who graduated last year. They just make me want to be a better person on and off the field.
 
"I expect Chattanooga to push me to be the best me I can be," he assessed. 


Bears Round Up Mustangs


By JOE CANNON

Walker Valley stampeded into Bear Stadium Thursday night and smacked 12th-ranked Bradley Central right  between the eyes, but the burly bruins took the repeated shots and battled back to claim a classic "County Conflict" victory.
 
"We'll take it. We're not very happy. It's my fault — I've got to have them ready to play. We came out and got punched in the mouth," proclaimed veteran "Papa Bear" Damon Floyd moments after the narrow 37-34 victory over the northside Herd.
 
"They got physical with us early and we made a few mistakes. That's on coaching. We got beat by a very good Farragut team last week, but we didn't get out 'physicalled,' but we did tonight and that's frustrating."
 
After the Stallions raced to a 21-0 lead midway through the second quarter, the Bears woke up and put 24 straight points on the scoreboard before the teams traded four touchdowns in the final frame of the battle.
 
A 26-yard field goal attempt as time ran out had plenty of leg but slipped just wide left, thwarting the visitors' hopes of overtime.
 
"That was a lot of fun. I'm so proud of our guys. There were so many times we could have laid down, but we didn't," proclaimed second-year Mustang wrangler Drew Akins. "I asked them to leave everything here and we did.
 
"We came out strong, but we knew they'd come back. We weren't quite ready to do the things we needed to do. Next time we're in this situation, we'll be ready.
 
"We're going to correct some things and come back to play a big region (4-5A) game next week," Akins said of the Mustangs (1-1) tangling with ninth-ranked Rhea County in Evensville next Friday. The Golden Eagles (1-0) face Jefferson County this evening.
 
Bradley (1-1) will also open Region 2-6A play with a trip to Maryville Heritage next Friday.
 
With the "County Conflict" moved up a night to avoid expected heavy rainfall tonight, Walker Valley, whose lone victory in 16 battles with the Bears came in 2014 by a 17-13 score, found the end zone on its first two offensive possessions.
 
Finally getting his chance for a varsity start in Bear Stadium, senior QB Tucker Pope put on a show, put up 425 yards of Walker Valley's 465 yards of total offense himself.
 
The former Bear backup signal caller carried the ball 20 times for 115 yards, scoring twice, plus completed 19-of-26 passes for 310 yards and two TDs.
 
His first scoring toss came on a 25-yard connection with favorite target Brody Swafford for 25 yards for the game's lone opening-quarter score. Swafford snagged eight aerials for 142 yards and a pair of scores in the contest.
 
Pope took the ball in himself from the 5-yard line to cap the following Mustang possession on the first play of the second frame.
 
The Mustang defense forced a trio of punts and a turnover, caused by Spencer Jackson and recovered by Eli Denton, in the first four Bear offensive tries.
 
With the hosts' backed up on their own 7 yard line and forced to punt, the visitors picked up their third score of the evening when Denton swatted the ball up in the air on the kick and then pounced on it in the end zone for a touchdown with 5:19 left in the opening half.
 
The turnover got the Bears' attention and after the ensuing kickoff went out of bounds giving them the ball at their own 35, needed just five plays to find paydirt.   
New Bear starting QB Aiden McClary connected with senior Kanon Hall for a 16-yard strike with 3:28 on the clock to start the momentum shift. Hall pulled in 11 catches for 152 yards on the night.
 
After forcing a three-and-out, Bradley put together a 13-play scoring drive in the final two minutes of the half.
 
Starting on their own 13, the Bears ran the ball just twice as McClary completed 7-of-9 passes on the march. Bradley was able to cash in with a 35-yard field goal by sophomore Era Rojas as the final seconds ticked away to cut the deficit to 21-10 at the break.
 
After forcing just the second Mustang punt of the night to open the second half, Bradley continued its rally with the "Jackson Wilson Show" debuting.
 
The 6-foot-1, 195-pound freshman running back bolted 48 yards on the second Bear play of the third period for the first of his four touchdowns in the final 24 minutes.
 
"From the very first day he (Wilson) showed up, we knew this kid was going to be special," commented Coach Floyd. "He's a tough kid. A hard worker and a team guy. It's nice to know we have him for four years."
 
Two plays later, Bradley senior Javon Burke picked off the game's lone interception and came up just short of a "Pick 6" with a 27-yard return to set up Wilson's second score, this one from a yard out to give the hosts the lead (24-21) for the first time at the 7:24 mark of the third frame.
 
The score stayed the same until Walker Valley regained the edge with a 75-yard catch-and-run from Pope to Swafford on the second play of the final frame.
 
The Bears answered with a nine-play, 75-yard march with Wilson scampering in from 18 yards out to put the Black-and-Gold back up (31-28) with 7:43 left in the contest.
 
Unwilling to surrender, Pope led the Herd back downfield with four straight double-digit gains before finishing off the drive on a five-yard keeper for a 34-31 advantage with 6:08 showing.
 
Bradley once again rallied, going 81 yards in eight plays, including a 51-yard swing pass that Hall caught in the flat, spun a Mustang defender off and raced 51 yards before getting tripped up by his own blocker.
 
Wilson, who scored his first Bear TD last week in Knoxville, found the end zone for the fourth time on a one-yard plunge with 2:46 remaining in the game.
 
Once again, the Mustang offense made a final march, getting off 11 plays in the final 166 seconds to set up the potential game-tying field goal.
 
After Coach Floyd "iced" the WV kicker with back-to-back timeouts with just 4.8 seconds on the clock. The attempt was just off the mark allowing the Bears to escape with the victory. 
 
"Our kids starting making plays midway through the second quarter. There were some subtle defensive adjustments that helped us and got the momentum going our way," Coach Floyd assessed. 
 
"He (WV head coach Drew Akins) did a good job of taking advantage of some of the things we do defensively, so I give him credit. It's hard when you don't have a lot of film on somebody. It takes a minute to adjust.
 
"I'm happy the guys stuck together and pulled this one out. We've got to learn to play all four quarters," he declared.
 
Along with Wilson, who finished with 89 yards on 14 carries, Floyd also praised the effort of McClary.
 
"Aiden in a tough spot. You replace a guy (Javin Burke, see related story this section) that's all-state, that's going to Virginia, so the pressure is on him. 
 
"I thought he did pretty good. He missed a few passes early on, but did a great job of settling in there. He's a competitor; he's a huge part of this team. He's been a starter at safety and now he's going to lead us as our quarterback," he said of the 6-foot-1, 180-pound junior who completed 20-of-26 passes for 222 yards.
 
Javon Burke gained 83 yards on 13 touches, while senior Braydon Clark pulled in five passes for 47 yards.
 
The Bear defense was led by Riley Harmon (7 solos, 2 assists, 1 TFL, 1 sack, 1 fumble recovery), Cam Creighton (4 solos, 4 ast., 2 TFL), Braydon Clark (6 solos), Trentavious Roberts (5 solos, 1 ast.), Gage Anderson (5 solos, 1 ast., 2 TFL) and Kins Hooper (2 solos, 6 asts., 1 TFL).
 
"It was a good rivalry game. Coach Akins has done a great job of turning that program around," commented Coach Floyd.
 
Along with Pope and Swafford's tallies, Mustang Spencer Jackson added 87 yards on eight touches. 
 
Denton (10 solos, 4 assists), Kallum Lowe (10 solos, 3 asts., 2 TFL), Dylan Jenkins (10 solos, 2 asts.) and Kyler Tjaarda (6 solos, 5 ast., 3 TFL) led the Mustang defensive effort with double-digit tackles.
 
"We've got to learn from this. Our bodies weren't prepared for the grind of this. If we want to win ballgames like this we have to be able to go the whole four quarters," stated Coach Akins.
 
"Everything is still ahead of us. We're going to put this behind us and get ready for what's ahead of us."
 

Bears Extend Win Streak to Six over Raiders


By RICHARD ROBERTS
 

The Cleveland Blue Raiders and Bradley Central Bears could not have started on more opposite ends of the spectrum.
 
The Raiders lost starting quarterback Gage Kinsey for the game on their second play from scrimmage and the Bears' scored a touchdown on their first play from scrimmage.  Sophomore Drew Lambert guided the Raiders the rest of the night.
 
Senior star Javon Burke broke through the middle of the Raiders' line and raced 67 yards untouched for for the score and went on to lead the Bears to a 42-25 win over cross-town rival Cleveland Friday at Raider Field.
 
It was the second highest point total for the Bears against the Raiders. Bradley scored a 43-0 win over Cleveland in 1978.
 
Burke had a field day against the Cleveland defense rushing for 237 of the Bears' 415 total yards on 19 carries with two touchdowns.
 
“I'm pleased with the win, obviously, but not the way we gave up the deep ball. Kley McGowan and Destun Thomas are hard to guard and they threw it up quite a few times and we didn't do a good job of defending that. Offensively, I thought we played pretty well. We stalled in the third quarter a little bit, but you've got to be happy anytime you get a rival,” said Bears coach Damon Floyd.
 
“We started making some tackles and we defended the deep ball there at the end and got after the quarterback. They got in a situation where they got behind and they had to be pass happy, so we kind of knew what was coming. Overall it was a good team win.”
 
The win over the Raiders was the sixth in a row for the Bears. Cleveland holds the series lead, 27-19.
 
The Bears missed a field goal with just under five minutes left in the first quarter and the Raiders took advantage as backup quarterback Lambert engineered an 80-yard, six play scoring drive capped off by a Lambert to Mcgowan touchdown pass good for 50 yards to tie the score at 7-7 with 2:16 left.
 
McGowan caught five passes on the night for 134 yards. The Blue Raiders racked up 305 yards through the air.
 
“We had our quarterback go out the very first play of the game. But, I want to make this clear right now; I'm as proud of the effort that Drew had here tonight as maybe I've ever been for a guy who had to come off the bench in a game like that one,” said Blue Raiders coach Marty Wheeler. “He made some mistakes, but he's a competitor and a fighter. He'll learn from it. He's a sophomore and he's not going to do anything but get better. I thought there were a lot of bright spots as far as the way he was able to step up and play.”
 
A Blue Raiders fumble at their own 45-yard line led to the Bears' second TD when Aiden McClary found Josh Helsdon open for 13 yards four plays later.
 
Cleveland answered right back on its next possession with Lambert scoring from 42 yards out. The missed point after attempt made it a 14-13 game with 8:02 left in the half.
 
“We had some guys who made some great plays. All our receivers are play makers. Kley and Destun both had a pretty good night. From a depth standpoint we were just thin,” said Wheeler.
 
It took the Bears only five plays to open the lead to 21-13 when Riley Harmon blasted his way into the end zone on a fourth-and-goal from the 5-yard line with 4:57 left in the first half.
 
“We had a lot of people step up at crucial times. That was good to see,” said Floyd. “I think our underclassmen played really hard for these seniors. Obviously, the seniors made some plays, but we had a lot of underclassmen that made some plays for them too. It was good to see.”
 
The Bears tacked on one final first-half score with another five-play drive capped off by a 2-yard McClary TD run.
 
The Raiders came close to putting points on the board before the buzzer, but fell just short when a 29-yard Lambert to Thomas pass was stopped with a sparkling defensive play at the 1-yard line as time ran out.
 
“We had some guys out there who fought,” Wheeler said. “We're down a couple of offensive linemen. If you want to try and play physical football, you can't do that if you don't have a physical mindset. We've got to improve on that. A lot of those things are correctable in the offseason in the weight room. We've got to get stronger. They were bigger than us, they were stronger than us and they leaned on us. They were more athletic in a couple of spots.”
 
The Raiders cut into the Bradley lead late in the third quarter taking advantage of a Bears' punt with a 52-yard Lambert to Thomas connection for Cleveland's third score of the night. A blocked extra point attempt left the Bears with a 28-19 advantage with 3:04 left in the quarter.
 
Bradley opened its lead back to 16 points finishing a 67-yard march, that started in the third quarter, on a Burke 8-yard run to the end zone with just 12 seconds ticked off the fourth-quarter clock. 
 
Once again, Cleveland answered moving 80 yards for the score as Lambert capped the drive with a 5-yard TD toss to Thomas that made it a 35-25 game with just under 10 minutes left to play.
 
“We had some big plays as well. Our defense played better in the second half. We made a couple of adjustments that worked,” said Wheeler. “The biggest thing is our guys have to understand, in order to win you've got to do what you are coached to do. You can't go out there and be undisciplined. At times we are a very undisciplined team in all three phases. We're just very inconsistent. I'm tired of watching that. That's not an excuse anymore. We need to get stronger and bigger so we can handle playing a game where it's a physical game. You've got to give credit Bradley. They physically whipped us.”
 
The Bears lock up the win with a pair of big plays midway through the quarter.
 
Burke added to his highlight reel night with an interception at the Cleveland 13-yard line returned for a touchdown. The PAT put the Bears out front 42-25.
 
“Everybody who saw the game saw it. He was the man. We just kept giving it to him and the offensive line opened some good holes and he was seeing them and breaking tackles. He played really well,” praised Floyd.
 
Knox Watson sealed the victory with a fumble recovery on the ensuing kick. The Bears took over a the Raiders' 25-yard line and were able to run five-and-a-half minutes off the clock before turning the ball over at the Cleveland 11-yard line with 39 seconds left to play.
 
“We always like to play at home, but we don't really care where we get to play Cleveland. We've said it many times, 'As long as we get to play the game'. It's an exciting game and we look forward to this rivalry every year,” said the Bears' coach. “We made enough plays tonight. As a coach you think about the negative things. I you had told me tonight before we came to play we were going to get the win, I would have been happy. We need to celebrate it. Our kids worked hard for this and we're happy with the results.
 
“I was pleased after we played Ooltewah. I'm not a big fan of the bye-week. Quite honestly I think it's an excuse. I just don't think we need the time off. Hopefully, we can start the jelling again. We just weren't as crisp after the off week.”
 
The Bears host Maryville Thursday in a game slated for television.
 
Wheeler said it's gut check time for the Blue Raiders who must put the night behind them and be better prepared for visiting Shelbyville Friday.
 
“The game couldn't have started out any worse for us. We lost our quarterback on the first play and we had to punt to them and on their first play they scored a touchdown. It was from us not doing what we're coached to do. We over pursued and he made a cutback. That kid's a pretty good athlete and we had some folks that weren't ready for that," Wheeler stated. “We've got to do a better job as a coaching staff with them and we're going to have to replace a couple of things. This is going to be a gut check time for this football team. I say it every week, the team that can put behind them what happened tonight the quickest, for next week has the best chance to be successful. Hopefully we're able to get that done.”
 
.

Bear Lineman Inks With Tusculum


By JOE CANNON
 
Big things have been expected of Caden Moore on the football field for quite some time, and now he will get the chance to continue his gridiron career on the next level.
 
The 6-foot-4, 320-pound Bradley Central offensive lineman signed a National Letter of Intent during National Signing Day to play for Tusculum University.
 
"I loved the Tusculum coaches. They have continually checked up on me," Moore related after Wednesday's signing ceremony.
 
"Playing football here (Bradley) has made me better as a person and has helped me to grow.
 
"It came down to Tusculum and Maryville (College) and Tusculum had a better Criminal Justice program," said the young man who wants to go into law enforcement with hopes of being a K-9 officer and eventually a detective.
 
Beginning his school playing days at Cleveland Middle, Moore was named the seventh-grade Player of the Year at the Diamond All-American game in Myrtle Beach, S.C., which included more than 600 participants.
 
It was his second time being named a Diamond All-American, as he regularly competes with Team USA and FBU’s TN State Team.
 
Then a 6-foot-1, 225-pounder he drew the attention of college teams, including LSU, Tennessee and Florida.
 
After playing at Cleveland High his freshman year, Moore transferred to Bradley, forcing him to sit out a year of varsity play.
 
He was a reserve on the 2019 record-setting Bear squad that averaged more than 40 points per game and worked his way into the starting lineup this past fall as the Bears' left guard.
 
Moore helped open the holes as the Bear offense gained more than 4,600 yards and scored 370 points this past season, in which they advanced to the second round of the TSSAA Playoffs.
 
"Caden's an extremely hard worker, especially in the weight room and in our off season program," remarked veteran Bear head coach Damon Floyd. "He's a big, strong, powerful kid.
 
"He was a big key to Javon's (Burke) big success this past season," Floyd said in reference to the UTC signee's 2,451 all-purpose yards, which is the second best among non-quarterbacks in the 104-year Bear history.
 
"Javon and Aiden (McClary, Bear QB) are my boys. I don't want to see them hurt, so I did everything I could to protect them," commented Moore, who had several "pancake blocks" for the Bears.
 
Agreeing offensive line is not a glamour position, the smiling young man related getting a key block on a big play or "running over" someone is a thrill.
 
"I was watching the news one night and they were showing Kanon's (Hall) long touchdown run. I was one the screen for just 2 to 3 seconds, but I was driving my guy back and throwing him down — it made my day," he stated.
 
"I'm going to miss high school — it has flown by. I'm going to miss my teammates, but I'll make new friends on the Tusculum team."
 
Having slimmed down to 279 pounds for wrestling season, Moore is also a member of the third-ranked Bradley squad which is headed to the TSSAA State Duals Championship this weekend.    
 
"This is my first year wrestling and I love it," he related.
 
Moore becomes the latest in a long line of Bears who have signed to play for Tusculum, the state's oldest university and 28th oldest in the nation.
 
"We've had several guys go play there, including Justin Houston, who was an All-American there, and Patrick Benson, both of which have paved the way for our players up there," explained Coach Floyd. 
 
A two-time Hansen Football Gazette NCAA Division II All-Super Region 2 team, Houston finished his Tusculum career with 322 receptions, which is not only a school and league record, but is the fourth-most in NCAA DII history.
 
Houston holds the Bradley record with 3,531 all-purpose yards in 2011.
 
Moore becomes the third Bear signee with twins Javon (UTC) and Javon (Virginia) inking during the December signing period.
 
Two others are expected to get the opportunity to continue their career's as well.
 
"Kanon Hall and CJ Hardy will probably get the chance to go somewhere and play," related Coach Floyd. "With the COVID situation, there's not a lot of scholarships out there right now."
 
Hardy, a 6-foot-2, 240-pound strong side defensive end, had committed to the University of Tennessee at Martin before the season began, but the Redhawks withdrew the offer after the NCAA allowed current players another year of eligibility.
 
Hall is a 6-foot speedy wide receiver and kick returner that has led the Bear receiving corps the last two seasons.
 
"CJ and Kanon are really good, tough players. Somebody's going to get a steal in them," assessed Floyd.   

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